Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
But It's Still A Ship...
Large spiritual passion with small doctrinal understanding is large sails and tall masts on a tiny boat in high winds. It will dart wildly over the surface for a hundred yards. Then one wave, or one crosswind, will bring it all crashing into the unforgiving sea.Reasonable enough, but for some reason this imagery of balance did not appeal to me. For one thing, I think we tend more to be all ballast and no sail, moving sluggishly with not power. Piper does conclude:
Of course, if you are a sixty-ton flat-surfaced barge, with a broken engine, pray for God to give you sails and wind.Which is probably how I would have started.
But I am trying to recall nautical imagery in scripture - not much. Is it because most people knew little about sailing? (Seems to me like everyone around Christ was boast savvy.)
Or maybe its becasue a ship is an autonomous thin, regardless of its balance.
I wonder if hyper-Calvinist Piper thought this one through?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Where The Conflict?
A good place to begin taking that closer look is with a fascinating book edited by Ronald Numbers, a University of Wisconsin historian of science specializing in the interface between religion and science. In Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion, Numbers attempts to set the record straight right at the outset. His very first sentence sets forth his main thesis: "The greatest myth in the history of science and religion holds that they have been in a state of constant conflict."Well said. Read the whole thing.
As with most myths, there is a kernel of truth in Draper's and White's accounts. But, as Numbers says, "Historians of science have known for years that White's and Draper's accounts are more propaganda than history." Both, as Numbers explains, were promoting personal anti-religious agendas and both were engaging in hyperbolic, but very persuasive, rhetoric.
The point is straightforward, the "conflict" between religion and science is agendas placed on religion and science, not the things themselves. The conflict escalates and is carried into the general consciousness by the fact that most people are largely ignorant of both religion and science. Worst of all, the agendas are typically placed on them by people that understand one reasonably well, but are totally ignorant of the other.
My concern is that the "conflict" has grown tot he point where no one will listen to reason - there is too much personal interest in propagating the conflict.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
- It's not about what you think - it's about what God thinks. While the church;s rules give you complete sway over what you say, you'd be best to vet what you're thinking about doping with some others. God tends to speak through a majority.
- Another way to make sure it's about what God thinks - exposit scripture, don't just hand out good advice.
- It's about communication, not intellect. If you have proven how smart you are, but that is the biggest single take-away, you missed the point. Vocabulary, sentence structure, even number of points matter.
- Listen to your congregation and talk about what they are talking about.
- Gaining audience is not in the sermon, but the rest of the week.
If you can tell that I have sat through my share of lousy sermons, well, let's just say I tire of preachers that demand the attention of a preacher without earning it.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Are You Crusty?
For starters, it’s an attitude. It’s a demeanor where being Calvinist or paedobaptist or inerrantist (three things I am gladly) are put on like armor or wielded like weapons, when they are meant to be the warm glow of a Christian whose core radiates with love for Christ and the gospel.Yesterday, we talked about pride, and here again we see pride, this time pride in our faith (Hmmm, something about 'wanting to be like God' comes to mind yet again.)yet again steps in the way of becoming fully God's.
A second mark of crusty Christians is approachability, as in, not having any. There is a sizing up-ness that makes some theological types unnecessarily prickly.
I look at this and I think I am not sourdough crusty, but I am probably Wonderbread crusty. I don't generally wield my study and stances as a weapon, but I do often grow impatient at the lack of such in other people. I often grow bored at hearing someone tread intellectual ground that I tread decades ago. I often in my impatience sound patronizing when I should sound encouraging.
I honestly don't feel superior, just annoyed - I want to go farther, deeper - I want to keep moving. But that is crustiness too because the point is not for me to get where I want to be, but to help them get to where they want to be.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Pride In All We Do
There are two ways to fail to let Jesus be your Savior.Note that word "self-absorbed" in the third paragraph. Won't that indicate that an inferiority complex is a form of pride too? "I'm not run of the mill bad - I'm 'God can't possibly love me' bad."
One is by being too proud, having a superiority complex—not to accepted his challenge.
But the other is through an inferiority complex—being so self-absorbed that you say, “I’m just so awful that God can’t love me.” That is, not to accept his offer.
I am constantly reminded that Adam and Eve's temptation was not based in hunger, or even a quest for knowledge, but in the fact that they would "be like God." What's that old saying? "Pride goeth before the fall."
Salvation begins the process of becoming God's man or woman. But only when we can completely step off the throne of our lives and let God take His rightful place can we be truly said be fully Christian.
WHat chair are you sitting in right now?