Turning Toward Jesus – Dave Schmelzer

Dave tells the story of Bill, an angry Jewish guy who is changed by Jesus in Dave’s church plant in Cambridge, MA. Dave suggests that “just” turning people toward Jesus was the key in Bill’s and many others’ conversions. To address the thought that perhaps “just” listening to Jesus’ voice and turning to follow him fails to deal with the reality that sooner or later a Christian has to “grow” — develop a belief system, opinions, church culture, etc. — Dave suggests the philosophical understanding of the second innocence. After the first innocence of beginning to follow Jesus, where every spiritual encounter feels like a discovery, Christians often find that the shine fades and not everything works out how they thought. In that place of “leaving Eden,” we can try to get back in—the conservative option; we can analyze what happened — the liberal instinct; or we can turn towards the fallen world and start moving, knowing, from John 10:27-28, that we have a shepherd who is going to lead us. Then, as we move through the world, we’ll see paradise ahead of us and enter in through the back door — walking with the living God.

Dave Schmelzer

Dave Schmelzer is the author of Not the Religious Type: Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist. Dave is the executive director of Blue Ocean Faith, a network of churches looking to thrive in very secular settings, and is also the editor-in-chief of Horatio, an ambitious meaning-of-life website that will go live in early 2015. He founded the Greater Boston Vineyard church, which he pastored from 1998 until 2013. He’s spoken about the way of Jesus at Harvard, M.I.T., Tufts, U.S.C., Stanford, the Veritas Forum and many other settings both nationally and internationally. Dave lives with his family in Santa Monica, California.

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