Surprised by Paradox- Wisdom and Wonder from Jen Pollock Michel

We are so excited to welcome Jen Pollock Michel to Rooted 2019!

Jen Pollock Michel lives with her husband and five children in Toronto, Canada. She is a gifted writer and speaker, with three books under her belt: Teach Us to Want (Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in 2015), Keeping Place (2017), and her most recent book, Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World (2019). Her plenary talk at Rooted is entitled, “Telling the Whole Story About Holiness:”

By God’s grace, we are united to Christ in both his death and resurrection. This changes our beliefs, behaviors, and also our desires. Practically, we will look at catching a vision for holiness and passing it on to the next generation.

Michel’s most recent book, Surprised by Paradox, spends some time examining the rich mystery of our union with Christ. She believes that union is what will enable her to speak at Rooted at all:

“By grace through faith, Christ, by His Spirit, takes up residence in our bodies, but he doesn’t kick us to the curb. It is a Buddhist, not a Christian, ideal that self is obliterated and subsumed into God. To be sure there is a dying to self that is required before there can ever be a resurrection, and union with Christ requires a submission of this newly birthed self. We mortify all that is part of the old Eve and the old Adam: her jealousies and hatreds, his lusts and his disloyalties. But this surrender is not to that the self can be extinguished, only that it can burn more purely and radiantly. In other words, union with Christ requires I and he. Holy I, to be sure, but I nonetheless. Maybe union with Christ is why I can stand on a stage and do my own bit of modest marveling…”

Finally, Michel encourages us to embrace the wonder of God’s glory coming forth in our earth-bound, bound-for-heaven lives:

“With the Spirit’s help, the dross of sin can be burned away that God’s glory may shine even brighter in all of us. I don’t know what good you’re called to in this world. But I do know that before the foundation of the world, you were called by the wonders of grace, blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly place, even rescued from the clutches of your own pride. Keep falling into the strong, sure, and merciful hands of Jesus. And as you do, let your life burst into glorious flame. Be the bush that burns, bearing the image of God so brightly in the world that every man and woman must stop to remove their shoes and draw near for a closer look.

When they do, they’ll see God.”

Join us and hear Jen at Rooted 2019 in Chicago, just a few short days away!

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