“Doing theology” often implies that we understand God better than the apostles or their disciples, and Jesus would really have benefited from a background in textual criticism. But has everything orthodox already been taught? Read the rest of this entry »
I’m thinking that the most important thing is to know where to take guilt. “Oh, I’m much worse than you think, worse than you accuse me of being. But I’m not depending on my own righteousness for my self-worth, and I’m not depending on my own strength to change. Is there anything else you’ve noticed about me that I should be aware of?” But it’s also important to discern when I need to repent and when the other person is mistaken.
If God hadn’t created the world, nobody would have known the difference, and he could have saved himself a lot of trouble.
Sociologists decry the weaknesses of single-parent families, but how many of them speak out against the socially-acceptable sins that made them common? Historically, repentance and conversion, not social programs, have been the only effective solution for a myriad of problems such as child abuse, child exploitation, poor working conditions, low incomes, high unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse and teen pregnancy. God helps a father to stop drinking and start working, God helps the father’s employer to provide job training and increase wages, God helps the employer’s teenaged daughter to seek love from himself instead of boys. Social scientists have even coined a term for the phenomenon: “redemption and lift.”
“These limbs God from heaven gave; therefore, I will willingly surrender them for his law’s sake.”
– Lauwerens van de Walle, Martyrs Mirror, p. 652-654
Becoming defensive if someone questions your spiritual maturity is like becoming defensive if your parents tell you that you haven’t opened all your birthday presents. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing. God has more gifts for you. Open your presents.
“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective ‘Christian’”
― Wendell Berry, Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ’s Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness, via Relevant Magazine.