IVP - Strangely Dim - To Conquer, or to Overcome . . .

June 11, 2010

To Conquer, or to Overcome . . .

Today, on a lark, I listened to the news before work. As I turned the TV off, having heard more news about the horrific oil catastrophe in the Gulf and humankind's general unkindness toward itself than I could stand, I thought, Uggh. The world stinks. And then I remembered that Jesus said, "I have conquered the world."

Actually, he didn't say that. He said that he has "overcome" the world. (I've been watching too many action/sci-fi shows, I guess.)

I'm not sure which is better--conquering or overcoming. The words conquer and overcome elicit similar yet distinct senses (perhaps like the difference between sea air and mountain air, if you will)--mainly because conquerors are the type of people that we make action figures out of, while overcomers are the type of people we actually admire and emulate. But Jesus-the-action-figure "conquering" the world is not as satisfying as Jesus-the-Savior overcoming it. While the transposition made me giggle, the reminder of Christ's victory sobered me, drawing me briefly, gratefully, out of my predawn cynicism. As a friend recently reminded me, while we can make many changes to our own individual lives, there is much about the world in which we live that we cannot fix with our own hands. This can be a tough pill to swallow. But it bears remembering that, with such things, we can take everything to the Lord, who makes all things new.
Posted by Christa Countryman at June 11, 2010 2:46 PM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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