When Everything's On Fire
What do we do when everything is on fire, when the world around us, our belief systems, and even our faith seem to be on fire? That is a question millions are asking; whole generations are watching their world burn metaphorically and they are understandably fleeing the fire. But what if there is a more beautiful way? A way in which we see the fires as cleansing and making way for new life as a forest after a tragic fire. This is the direction Brian Zahnd takes us in his newest book When Everything's On Fire.
Many who have grown up in the church, especially in America, are awakening to the fact that the faith they received does not look like the faith or religion they experience in scripture. They are recognizing that the faith handed to them is often so wrapped up in national identity, economic systems, and partisan politics that it is a shadow of the faith they are seeking. This truth is a good reason for much of what they experienced to be burned to the ground to make way for a revival of faith which seeks trust in God rather than safety in empire.
The good news is that Zahnd guides us through the fires of what has been to a hope for what can be. He shines the light on the lie that doubt is an enemy of faith, that certitude is the substance of faith, and that Jesus wants us to be good and faithful citizens of a political party. Reaching into the ancient Chuch, we can see that doubt is a refiner of faith; that faith is a trust in a living and active God; and that certitude is that which obscures an honest and abiding faith. In guiding, Zahnd is pointing us toward the revival that so many pray for daily yet miss as it breaks out.
We are reminded that the Church should be a refuge for the hurting, the oppressed, those who we see as enemy, and the outcast. We are remined that Christianity is a religion based in the work and ministry of an active and living God who came as one of us to reveal his love for us. We are reminded that the Church is to be above the politics of the world and forge a different path than any human system; especially when it means laying down the power of this world to embrace the servant Lord.
Zahnd brings a hopeful message for the Church. A message in which we see a deep and abiding faith free of certitude and open to doubt and questions. One in which there is true freedom to ask, to struggle, and to refine that faith in the fires of a world that often appears to be on fire.
I highly recommend picking this book up. It is a hopeful look at the journey of discipleship and deeper faith.