It is Ted Dekker’s belief that Christians in the West are asleep to the living hope that God planned for us to have. Consequently when we compare the lives of believers to those who profess no faith, there seems to be little difference. There is the same level of frustration, the same lack of satisfaction, and the same statistics in the area of relationship failures.
Dekker’s book, The slumber of Christianity (Thomas Nelson, 2005), is intended to be a wake up call to encourage Christians to find the passion that the early Christians had. Dekker believes that the way to ignite passion is to gain the same perspective as these first Christians. Much of the New Testament was written against the backdrop of persecution and difficulties. Yet suffering only encouraged the believers to focus more intently on life beyond the grave. As a result their lives abounded in hope and faith.
It is believed that Paul actually had the advantage of experiencing heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2) and it seems this fueled his passion. Likewise Dekker encourages us to gain a picture of heaven from Scripture and our sanctified imagination that will provide us with clarity of purpose and vision.
I have not read any of Dekker’s fictional novels but I found this non-fiction book an enjoyable read. He has quite a blunt style, sometimes being deliberately provocative in order to make a point.
It is quite ironic that I said in Saturday’s post that I was going to read some slightly lighter material and I ended up reading a book that also discussed death!