As many know, the lowest elevation in the continental U.S. is Badwater, Death Valley, California, at 280 feet below sea level. And the highest is Mt. Whitney, whose spikey summit soars to 14,508 feet. Most know that Mt. Whitney can be seen from Badwater. Fewer know that Badwater and Whitney Portal (the peak) are parted from each other by 135 road miles. Even fewer may know that each July—this year July 10-12—some 100 elite runners will dare the 115 degrees of furnace-air heat, shimmering asphalt temperatures, hallucinations, emotional lows and a 48 hour time limit to run 14,600 vertical feet to the summit of Whitney. AAA Westways Magazine, July/August, 2017, pp. 59ff
But how many Christians in all America know that faith in Christ demands the extreme in discipleship? While only those with a proven record of long-distance running qualify for the Death Valley ultramarathon—participants must have run at least one hundred-mile race in the previous year, and at least three 100 miles over all, everyone can be a disciple of Christ only at the extreme cost of self-denial. And no discipleship exists without accepting that condition. We can be church members under nearly any condition: in our degraded age, almost ANY condition. But Jesus set self-denial as the basic condition of discipleship in his kingdom, and he’s never reduced it. That extreme condition makes demands that church membership won’t and can’t. Maybe that’s why Jesus has so few “extreme Christians.” But isn’t the term extreme an oxymoron? For since only those living in self-denial belong to Jesus, the word “extreme” is superfluous. Self-denial is the natural state of a disciple of Christ.
Books at: www.createspace.com. (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)
Apologetics book: Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1
Books also at www.amazon.com (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)
New book: The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741