Catch this short video, “High-stakes listening”:
What he did was simple: He understood the local environment. He spoke the language, he studied the Quran, despite being a Christian. He exercised presence, patience, and persistence—the three Ps of rooftop leadership.
Exactly what’s needed in mission: physical presence among the people, resisting the temptation to get in and out quickly, willing to go the long haul.
One website lists hundreds of sins mentioned in the Bible. One is refusal to be baptized, Lk 7.29-30. I know some people committing that sin.
When a good deed turns out not so good? Just keep going forward.
The abstract mind struggles to get specific. God’s Word helps greatly with that problem, among so many others.
The brotherhood, in some places, is now into titles and degrees. They are flaunted to impress. Before long, insistence on calling them doctors and reverends will follow.
Ladder to new home office was just installed this morning. Now to move in my books from the old office.
An original verse: Work with joy, and give the task your best; / At day’s end, you can truly rest.
A Bible verse: “The Lord stands aloof from the wicked, but he listens to the prayer of the righteous” Prov 15.29 REB.
Peterson makes no truth claims about the Bible, whether it is divinely inspired or accurately conveys historic events. In fact, he explicitly states on his website that the Bible is neither history nor empirical science. Rather, he unpacks the Bible as a guide to understanding Western cultural thought.
For example, Peterson’s lecture about the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve focuses not on whether such events occurred or their religious significance but rather on the story as a metaphor of the battle between chaos and order. Further, Peterson lectures extensively about the symbolic meaning of sacrifice in the Bible and its connection to the discovery of the future.
Peterson’s biblical lecture series would, I believe, pass the Supreme Court’s test as a constitutionally appropriate course of instruction in public high schools. His approach of the biblical narrative from a purely secular point of view does not encourage anyone to believe, or not, the stories as materially true.
Surely there is a better way! The above approach is not objective. To say that the Bible is not history ignores all the evidence that it is accurate in every detail. “Western cultural thought” based upon the Bible took for granted the historicity of the Bible account. Can one not say at least that the Bible presents itself as an accurate record of God’s working in history?
Using Eccl 8.15 as the surprising text on the subject, Ed M. writes today about the mysteries of life and deferred judgment.
Because of the inequities in life, men rush to conclusions that cannot be sustained. They deny divine providence. They suppose God is indifferent to moral distinctions. They decide that piety has no purpose. The presence of such perplexing phenomena is painful. No arguments can solve them. No exercise of faith can charm them away. Many desire to see and hear the deeper things of God but are denied such privileged information, Luke 10:24.
We need these reminders often, since the evil one would persuade us that God is not good.
As a teenager, Daniel Taylor asked a speaker at a Christian camp about a moral issue that was bothering him. Instead of pointing out what was right and wrong, the speaker said, “You need to decide at what plane you are going to live your life.” The words had a great impact on the teenager.
Now he asks himself and his children, “On what plane are you going to live your life?… Are you going to waver here, rationalize there, indulge yourself in this, temporarily suspend your convictions over that?”
The Lord will give you big harvests and make you successful in everything you do. You will be completely happy, so celebrate this festival in honour of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 16.13-15)
Reflect: Scripture does not seem to rule out wealth for a Christian. Sometimes, as in the book of Job, it seems that wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. These verses today remind us that wealth should lead us to thanksgiving and worship. Jesus also seemed to be comfortable receiving invitations to eat with wealthy people he always left his hosts with a word of caution about their responsibility to the poor (see for example Luke 7.44).
The writer applies the Old Testament passage directly to the Christian. This is a common mistake, but here it is more blatant than one usually encounters. The promises of the OT to Israel do not directly apply to the church.
Went to meet with the saints in Eugênio de Melo (the other congregation in town) this morning, preached at their invitation. Good to see some old friends. Attendance was down. Did they hear I was coming?
We had lunch at Empório Ancheita and invited José Roberto along, since we were taking him home.
Much cooler today than normal. Not complaining. Cool is me.
Sore in the lower back today from exercises yesterday morning at the gym. Case of the old gray mare?
Bought a book lately? Try this one: Choose! Easy to read, challenging to practice.
A verse of mine: Pounding drums from a distance, / The party invades our privacy, / No one knows or cares, / Gone the spirit of civility.
A Bible verse: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” Heb 6.19-20.
Arnold Seymour Relman, the former editor-in-chief of the New England Medical Journal, and professor of medicine at Harvard University, once stated: “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”
A prayer site included this line by a contributor: “Lord, I give myself to fully follow You, whatever it may mean.” Perhaps she meant to say, whatever the cost, and that would be a wonderful prayer. The Lord has told us what following him means. The NT goes to great pains to explain what it means to follow Christ. To understand that, one needs to read, not guess at it in a prayer.