Hope w/o Hype
Crown Heart World is a framework for navigating past the dangers of delusion & despair.
I am structuring the manuscript of my book to show how delusion and despair are the biggest obstacles to growing in the life that God intends for us through Christ.
I want to make clear what I am not saying when I say that I am a Christian. I believe that there are many twisted expressions of Christianity which are delusional and unhelpful to seeing the wisdom and beauty of Jesus and his actual way of living.
I also want to encourage people to see what is really healthy and sensible about following Christ. Religious weirdness from Christians has had more negative effect on my spiritual life than what preachers often warn us about from the world. Temptations to despair have dogged me and I have seen them hounding others. I want to explain to myself, and others, why despair is a poor alternative to delusion.
Win: I want this book to help people to be less religiously awkward or cynical, and for Jesus’ wisdom to be more appreciated and considered. Discipleship is the way beyond delusion and despair.
Here is my outline:
- Reflect on Love
Life is about Love, but how should I understand what that means? How should I connect to that and how should that be lived out in my life? What difference will it make?
Crown Heart World is a way to keep these questions and Christ’s answers before us so that we stay on track with what matters.
How? Through the coherence of stories and images presented compactly through symbols with explanations. We will develop a meaningful dashboard for spiritually processing life as we go.
2. Rethink Story
Delusions of discovering paradise are as bad as despairing of experiencing paradise. Discipleship in the Way of Jesus leads beyond delusion and despair toward an ultimate paradise.
This is where I layout the CrownHeartWorld diagram that shows the biblical story of life in 5 interrelated parts.
3. Realign Identity
Rethinking the biblical story points toward learning about sacrificial love through Jesus without having to pretend life isn’t hard or mysterious.
Clarifying my identity with Christ’s way beyond delusion and despair means simplifying. My trust in Jesus does not mean I agree with the wide range of things other people who claim to trust in Jesus say or do.
Deepening my convictions regarding Christ’s ways beyond delusion and despair takes time. We can come to trust ourselves to Christ fairly quickly, but we continue to work out what that means over a lifetime, not unlike the experience of a healthy marriage.
4. Renew Habits
Treasuring Christ as the vision of being truly human becomes my focus. Again, this is different from just trying to fit into a religious group’s beliefs and practices.
As I focus on Christ I replace my old ways of coping with life with Christ’s new ways to help me grow in character. The evidence of spiritual growth is being less of a jerk and becoming more compassionate and useful.
5. Results Matter
Jesus is presented as the new humanity, Adam 2.0. Following Jesus is meant to make us more human, which is good for me and others. As I think about what Jesus says, root myself in him and his ways, branch out with growing habits of graciousness, my life will produce more goodness.
Being more human through Christ glorifies God as it also blesses other people. Looking back on life I will be better able to express my gratitude for a life well lived.
6. Repeat Patterns
Growth is seasonal. Like a tree planted by a stream there is a cycle. The water comes up through the roots, up the trunk, through the branches and helps form fruit year after year. There are seasons of changes in experiences, like winter, spring, summer, autumn. Year after year the seasons follow patterns, but year to year the seasons are not always the same. My patterns of thinking, being, doing, produce different yields year after year. But each year’s productivity comes from repeating the processes.
Reproducing hope without hype is generous for others. The fruit of the tree contains seeds for other trees to also take root and flourish beside the stream. As we grow we also grow in our potential to help others grow.