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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

"The Inverted Christian" Chapter 1 Inaugural Chapter

Painting of Peter Crucified Upside-Down

By Caravaggio

“The Inverted Christian” ©

Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for

my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24; KJV).

Chapter 1

Why “The Inverted Christian”?

An Introduction

This is the inaugural article for “The Inverted Christian” section of our web page. It is my desire to post an article weekly (or at least bi-weekly). But, as we all know, life-happens. So, my prayer is, “God Willing” (James 4:15)—to use this once a week time frame as a goal of opportunity, not as a god to be worshiped. Before we begin, I would like to have you know a couple of things: First, I would like to thank you for stopping by to read our sundry thoughts, ideas, and opinions that are fleshed-out here. Many a time; ideas appear more radical when written-out than when only abstract thoughts. My subjective deliberations often betray me when objectively committed to black ink on white paper. I do not claim to have a lock on truth. And I do invite your responses. For “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17, KJV), “so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” But I would sincerely request, if you give feedback; that you write, speak, and act by “The Golden Rule.” With this request please read again Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Secondly, I would have you know a bit more about me. For an in-depth look please refer to the home page of “The Inverted Christian” ( It gives all my ministerial, experiential, and educational credentials. I am an orthodox Christian. (I do not mean by that I am a communicant of an Eastern Orthodox Church.)

However, I do stand in the long line of Christian orthodoxy. Confessional beliefs held are as follows (but are limited to): the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed, the Five Solas of the Reformation, the Particular View of Christ’s Atonement (T-U-L-I-P), the Second (Baptist) London Confession of 1689, and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. These are posted in a predominant place on the web page for your consideration.

A Rationale for “The Inverted Christian” Web Page

On the homepage is a painting of Peter being crucified upside-down. This event is not found in the Biblical narrative. However, Followers-of-Christ possess ample evidence from testimony, history, and Christian tradition to believe it occurred. (See John Oaks article: Caravaggio captures Peter in a visual way that becomes visceral when studied intently. The abstract idea of Christian discipleship, and all that means, has been dancing around in my head for some time. Dietrich Bonhoeffer asserted it clearly; “When Christ calls a . . . [person], he bids him come and die.” He too, like Peter, was martyred for his commitment to Christ.

Some explanation is in order: Peter did not feel himself worthy to be Crucified like his Master. So, he requested to be crucified upside-down. Hence, the idea for “The Inverted Christian.” For him, it was his last full measure of devotion. It completed a lifelong call to follow Christ as disciple then Apostle. The truth be told, Peter’s personal experience is rather unique. But our call to follow the Lord Christ is general, it becomes personal, like Peter’s, when we take up our own individual Cross. All who heed Christ’s invitation are called to “come and die.” This Gospel dynamic is set before everyone who would consider becoming a Follower-of-Christ. It is declared most clearly in the New Testament Gospel of Luke. Jesus asserts; “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24; KJV). Hence, this Bible verse and image of Peter are the basis of the articles to be posted. Peter’s crucifixion imagined and seen becomes a literal representation of the metaphor for what it means to be a Follower-of-Christ. Arguably, this is the major dynamic of Discipleship or “follow-ship.” It is a topsy-turvy understanding (or inverted understanding) of the Christian life and worldview; when compared to the life and worldview of this present culture where we find ourselves. The Christian is to “seek those things which are above” and live like “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” From the Follow-of-Christ’s perspective—counter to this world’s understanding—everything is to be done from an “other worldly” way of seeing things. The focus of “The Inverted Christian” is to provide an alternative mindset of this present world and the world to come!

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