Mark Sayers has a real knack for diagnosing our Western bone cancers and provoking us to recover true life.
If there’s a crisis in the Western church, he says, it’s not a crisis of church formatting but a crisis of discipleship. The basic Christian life, the very place where the power of Christ ought to be so visibly at work, is becoming stunted and shrivelled in our culture.
We don’t know who we are because we’ve bought into the Horizontal Self, trying to build our identities on the mess of labels provided by our culture.
But aren’t we made in the image of God and being re-made in the image of Jesus? That’s the most basic element of Christian identity! Yet so often, Christians will parrot this idea without it being reflected in their lives — and I can see the same kind of split personality in myself.
What we need is a recovery of the Vertical Self, an identity derived from and directed towards God. And when God is the destination, the road is holy living. The Vertical Self is an invitation to take that step.
There are perhaps a couple of things missing. The ‘means’ of holiness would surely include the work of the Spirit and the Christian community, neither of which get a mention.
Yet the invitation is out there. Will you step off the hamster wheel and start living the true human life?
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.