Well, we’re coming to the end of our blog-dabble in Andrew Cameron’s book Joined-up Life, and if I’m honest I don’t know how to finish.
There are almost too many things to look at. Cameron rounds off his book by looking at some ‘hot topics’: women, sex, homosexuality, bioethics, diversity and the catch-cry ‘don’t impose your values on me!’. Each of these topics can easily make us feel scared, hurt or uncomfortable. But Cameron deals with each of them with a refreshing wisdom, sensitivity and brevity – although sometimes I wish there was a bit more, but I guess that’s for another book and another time!
He finishes with the reminder that ultimately ethics isn’t just about the big decisions and dilemmas. It’s about our everyday defaults and directions, the first thoughts our minds go to, our gut reactions and gut fears and seeking to transform them so that we can discern what God wants (Rom 12:2).
I guess it all comes down to trust. Trust that the bible is dripping with wisdom that is richly satisfying for the age we are in. Trust that what God says about how to live does not reflect a dry or dusty or ‘don’t touch’ attitude to the good life but it IS the good life. And when I look back on my life, time and time again I can see times when following God’s wisdom worked out for the best.
Perhaps the best fuel for this trust is Jesus himself. As Cameron points out, Jesus managed to ‘upset moral categories everywhere, yet he inhabited the most joined-up life imaginable’. He’s the human ‘who knew how to be human’. Again and again I feel that society tries to put the Church, Christianity, even the Bible, in a box. But they struggle to put Jesus there. So often reading about Jesus in the New Testament is like a slap from a wet fish: his words sting and then comfort. My fear is that my decisions and defaults follow the status quo and are not anything like a ‘slap from a wet fish’ to the world’s well-worn way of doing and thinking.
And so once again I pray that God would renew my mind and give me the energy to chase down his thoughts in the Scriptures and apply them in my life.
About this month's contributor, Annabel Nixey
I'm a Sydney-bred, Canberra-newbie who's still getting used to the idea of four distinct seasons (yes, in winter it is chilly!). My favourite genres are… for movies - period dramas, for books - biographies and for coffee - tea. I love trying new recipes and the occasional crafty exploit.