Making freedom our highest value and reducing it--as is often done--to freedom from others' control or freedom of choice, cheapens our view of humanity and reduces our liberty. Our contributors go beyond popular notions of political and moral freedom to explore the rich idea of freedom for loving God, people, and the created order.
Richard Bauckham shows how many popular views of freedom can be destructive of community. Unpacking Paul's awkward but memorable phrase "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free," Bruce Longenecker observes, "The story of Jesus Christ, as it comes to life in his followers, is a story of freedom, to be sure, but a freedom constrained by the Cross and deeply at odds with individualistic notions of liberty."
Scott Bader-Saye articulates a "faithful human authority that points to God's peaceful rule" and is consistent with true freedom. Jason Whitt explains how early Baptists reconciled freedom with authority of the Christian community.
Unmasking ironies in the modern idea of freedom as maximum choice, Will Willimon notes, "At the heart of the Christian life is a holy paradox: the more securely we are tethered to Christ, the more free we become." Heather Hughes explains how this holy paradox plays out dramatically in Flannery O'Conner's comic novel Wise Blood.
Christian Reflection is an ideal resource for discipleship training in the church. Multiple copies are available for group study at $3.00 per copy.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to explore the nature of Christian freedom. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.