Moody Bible Institute Professor Featured in Christianity Today

Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate SchoolDr. John Koessler, Professor and chair of pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, is featured in the November 2011 issue of Christianity Today. His article, “Disappointed with Intimacy”, is a poignant perspective on how some Church’s portray personal relationships with Christ.

Koessler opens the article with an example of how we as a society cultivate disappointment, blaming a historically overly optimistic approach, which in turn, facilitates unrealistic expectations.

“We live in an age of unreasonable expectations,” he writes. “Ours is a world where promises are cheaply made and easily broken.”

He points to advertising as both cause and reflection for this set up and fall. And then turns the focus inward, to the Church and American popular theology. Throughout the article, Koessler boldly reveals the hard facts of what it means to follow Jesus. Ultimately the crux of Koessler’s point is that when a Church puts Christianity in an infallible light, it is consequently confusing some Christians into wrongly applying a human understanding of intimacy to the intimacy they could have in a relationship with Christ.

“The bible does promise that we can have true intimacy with Christ. But this intimacy, which is mediated through the Holy Spirit, is unlike any other relationship with which we are familiar,” writes Koessler.

He reminds us, “The construction of the spiritual life requires as much tearing down as there is building up. Although the demolition sometimes results from our own self-destructive behavior, it can also result from God’s renovating work through the Holy Spirit.”

Koessler closes the article with a powerful moment in history, which beautifully illustrates this very point, using “language of spiritual reality”.

His point: We set ourselves up for confusion about God if we forget that the best is yet to come.

John Koessler is also author of Folly, Grace, and Power: The Mysterious Act of Preaching, recently released on Zondervan.

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Source: Moody Bible Institute, Chicago – Education News