Guest / Limited Access /

The waters off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, are clear and cold, making for some of the best scuba diving in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather can be cloudy, making the ocean steel gray with flecks of white, but below the surface are teeming schools of wildly colorful fish. When pastor and writer Mark Buchanan emerges from the water in his scuba gear, he is inevitably grinning. The author of books like Your God Is Too Safe and The Rest of God consistently finds surprises in deep places. So we thought he was an important voice to respond to the Christian Vision Project's big question for 2008: Is our gospel too small?

I had a Paul-like conversion.

There were no horses, voices, blindness—no bloody trail at my feet. But it was dramatic. Something like scales fell from my eyes. I stood in the shadow of Christ's cross and in the light of his resurrection. Christ met me, embraced me, forgave me, and gave me himself. I never looked back.

That was more than 25 years ago. For 18 of those years I've been a pastor, a fact that has not yet ceased to amaze me: that God would take me, the worst of sinners, the least of the "apostles," and make me his chosen vessel to carry his name before kings and gentiles and homemakers and dentists and plumbers and schoolchildren.

How could a gospel that performed such a feat be too small?

I was saved into a midsized Baptist church, suburban in its sentiments, conservative in its theology. It was a world both familiar and strange to me. The music was awful, third-rate lyrics set to fourth-rate melodies, as C. S. Lewis is said to have described the music at his Anglican church. The preaching was interminable and often bewildering, an exercise in splitting hairs over doctrinal points that, until ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended33 Under 33
Subscriber Access Only 33 Under 33
Meet the Christian leaders shaping the next generation of our faith.
TrendingIntroducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Introducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Delete the chapter and verse numbers. Kill all the notes. Make it one column. Make a million bucks.
Editor's PickWater Works: Why Baptism Is Essential
Water Works: Why Baptism Is Essential
Some churches say Baptism is optional, but the New Testament teaches it is integral to the life of faith.
Comments
Christianity Today
Singing in the Chains
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.