Affirming our Faith in the Secular Age: A Meditation for Evangelism

The Aquila Report | 10/13/2017 | Staff
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One of the most extraordinary passages in the Gospels is the confession of Jesus’ identity by the Apostle Peter. There are a myriad of remarkable spiritual dynamics at work in the passage, each of them with far-reaching theological and practical implications for the Church and, consequently, for your life and mine. We should consider Jesus’ unequivocal self-identification as the living fulfillment of the prophet Daniel’s messianic “Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13).

Are we entering a new epoch as the Church must confess Jesus Christ in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor has called “the secular age?”

Passages - Gospels - Confession - Jesus - Identity

One of the most extraordinary passages in the Gospels is the confession of Jesus’ identity by the Apostle Peter. There are a myriad of remarkable spiritual dynamics at work in the passage, each of them with far-reaching theological and practical implications for the Church and, consequently, for your life and mine. We should consider Jesus’ unequivocal self-identification as the living fulfillment of the prophet Daniel’s messianic “Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13). We must come face-to-face with not only Jesus’ probing question about what others say about his identity, but also the piercing follow-up: “But who do you say that I am” (Matthew 16:15)? The relationship of that eternally-vital question and the role of the Church as the instrument of God’s fulfillment of his kingdom plans in the world remains crucial to our understanding of our purpose as believers and as the local church. Yet, there is another dynamic at work that also has extraordinary implications for the Church today.

When Jesus asked the question about his identity, he did so in the District of Caesarea Philippi. The city is at the foot of Mount Hermon and was so named by Phillip, the son of Herod the Great, who had ordered the murder of “the innocents” in Bethlehem in...
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