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I ended the first essay in this series by saying that the deepest crisis of the American church, and of evangelical Christianity especially, is that we have forgotten God. I recognize that it seems absurd to say we have forgotten God when God is on our lips so much of the time. While the numbers are slightly down from previous decades, American Christians worship, pray, read their Bibles, and say in polls that religion is “very important” significantly more than do people in most other nations. If anything, we sometimes talk about God so much, many in the culture are sick of God-talk, especially when his name is invoked in the public square to support one political cause or another. So how can I say we have forgotten God?
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Let me begin by picturing what the church looks like when it hasn’t forgotten God. Evangelicals certainly didn’t forget God at the birth of the movement in America, what we call The Great Awakening. But today I believe we have forgotten our first love—more of this in the next essay. But first a reminder of what that first love was like.
Reality - Exhibits - Principal - Desire - God
The reality of which I am speaking exhibits one principal characteristic: a desire for God so intense it sometimes looks like drunkenness or even madness.
The first place to go looking for a picture of this passion is Scripture.
Psalm 63 expresses this most eloquently:
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
where there is no water.
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Love - Life
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
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Communist, Socialist, Democrat, Republican, at this point, what difference does it make.