We’re all trying to find ways of expressing clearly the notion of a holistic gospel. I ran across the following description of a division of books within NavPress. I thot the words helpful, as it expresses Jesus’ model of life and ministry–as the incarnate Son of God living life as we should. Of course, any 40 line summary will not also capture Jesus’ uniqueness as God and Savior, as atoning sacrifice for sins, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, etc.
From the very beginning, God created humans to love him and each other. He intended for his people to be a blessing to everyone on earth so that everyone would know him (see Genesis 12:2). Jesus also taught this over and over and promised to give his people all they needed to make it happen—his resources, his power and his presence (see Matthew 28:20 and John 14:12-14). NavPress Deliberate takes him at his word and stirs its readers to do the same—to be the Children of God for whom creation is groaning to be revealed. We have only to glance through the Bible to discover what it looks like to be the blessing God has intended: caring for the poor, orphan, widow, prisoner, and foreigner (see Micah 6:8, Matthew 25:31-46, Isaiah 58); and redeeming the world—everyone and everything in it (Colossians 1:19-20, Romans 8:19-23 are examples).
Deliberate books explore the mystery of faith and how to actively live it out. As we plumb the mystery, we use Jesus as our guide—a man who, after spending 40 days of solitary contemplation in the desert, announced:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”— Luke 4:18-19
So began a career that is a study of profound faith in action, a perfect blend of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. He broke firm Jewish mores when he talked to the Samaritan woman alone at the well. He upset the unholy money making in the temple. He left everyone speechless when he defended the woman who slept around. He helped everyone he came across on his way to visit a dying friend. He taught through stories and riddles. He told his followers to love their enemies. He treated party-goers at a wedding reception to the best wine late in the evening.
Jesus told us to live like he did and to do even greater things. He told us to live deliberately, combining faith and action.
NavPress Deliberate encourages readers to embrace this holistic and vibrant Christian faith: it is both contemplative and active; it unites mystery-embracing faith with theological rootedness; it breaks down the sacred/secular divide, recognizing God’s sovereignty and redemptive work in every facet of life; it dialogues with other faiths and worldviews and embraces God’s truth found there; it creates culture and uses artistic ability to unflinchingly tell the truth about this life and God’s redemption of it; it fosters a faith bold enough to incarnate the gospel in a shrinking and diverse world. NavPress Deliberate is for everyone on a pilgrimage to become like Jesus and to continue his work of living and discipling among all people.
Deliberate is theologically grounded. While exploring the mystery, it is important to be mindful of the signposts God already has placed for us through biblical doctrine and church tradition. This grounding is not wholly limiting, however—it pulls from many traditions, readings, and expressions of Scripture, but it will also “test the spirits” to remain as faithful to God’s Word (both written and incarnated) as possible (1 John 4:1).
Deliberate follows Saint Augustine’s guiding principle:
In essentials, unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity.