What Formula?

Here’s another great quote from Mark Buchanan’s Your God Is Too Safe.

“This is a bitter irony. That a faith based on staggering mysteries–the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Cross and Resurrection, the imparting of the Spirit–should have become shorn of mystery, so plodding and prosaic, so mundane and managerial is a bitter irony. It’s an irony that Jesus’ famous statement to Nicodemus, you must be born again, has in our hands been turned into a slogan and a formula. Out of Jesus’ mouth, in Nicodemus’s ear, that statement proclaimed a staggering mystery. It was the ultimate antiformula.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases,” Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus, who struggles in his literalism and rationalism to understand. “You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). This is no formula. This is a description of the in-breaking and surprising move of God. This is something we can’t work for, work up, predict, direct. It doesn’t slot neatly into a program. You just hear it coming and fling yourself headlong into the hurricane.”

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