Thursday, November 26, 2009

Earthy, humble, ministry.

I have thought a lot lately about how I should be ministering better to the non-Christians I have contact with, as well as the Christians that I have the privilege to teach at church. The practical suggestion at the bottom of this quote from Sumpter seems right. I hope that my ministry, whether at BCS or teaching on Wednesday nights, or somewhere else will be characterized by this earthy, humble, reality.
This means that Christian ministry must have Spirit-glorified flesh. So how do we gin up the Spirit? Which songs must we sing, which liturgy should we follow, how do we get the Spirit to incarnate our words, the gospel words we speak to those around us? Part of the answer is that it’s impossible, and that we cannot “get” the Spirit to do anything. The Spirit blows where He wishes, and we do not know His plans or intentions. But we do have the Scriptures, and we know the ways that the Spirit tends to work. The Spirit likes weakness. The Spirit glorifies the humble. The Spirit carves life out of the dirt. One practical suggestion is that Christian ministry needs to embrace the weakness of human flesh. Pastors and elders and parents must learn to hug and kiss and cry and shout and plead. The Word has to sink down into our earth, our bodily earth, into our emotions, our passions, our bodies in order to spring up into newness of human life.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Bible on Friends

A friend speaks face-to-face. (Exo 33:11)
A close friend can be described as one “who is as your own soul.” (Deut 13:6)
A friend is expected to be loyal. (2 Sam 16:17)
A friend is expected to be loyal. (2 Chr 20:7)
Withholding kindness from a friend is as forsaking the fear of the Lord. (Job 6:14)
Bargaining over your friend is a bad thing. (Job 6:27)
Grieving for a friend is like lamenting one’s mother. (Psa 35:14)
A close friend is trusted, one who you eat bread with. (Psa 41:9)
A friend loves at all times. (Prov 17:17)
A friend sticks closer than a brother. (Prov 18:24)
Faithful are the wounds of a friend. (Prov 27:6)
A friend gives earnest counsel. (Prov 27:9)
A friend is not to be forsaken. (Prov 27:10)
A friend is the opposite of an enemy. (James 4:4)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thank you—you know who you are!

This week, someone close enough to know some particulars about our life gave us a gift anonymously. Since we don't know who you are, we are spreading our thanksgiving.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The fact that this person is anonymous does not diminish our thankfulness. Nor does it diminish our knowledge that the gift was given in love, love that first came from our savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you, whoever your are, in Christ.

The Abell Six

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I want my kids to be educated, not trained.

Some people who know us have questioned why we home school our children. Hey, even I have. My first answer is that I want my kids to be able to think for themselves. In order to do that, I think they should be educated in critical thinking, by reading, asking questions, writing, and interacting with other great thinkers. They should learn how to diagram sentences and analyze propositions, and communicate properly whether in writing or speech. They should be able to problem solve.

On a related note, I have noticed that by God's grace, I don't really care what job my kids get when they grow up. Instead, I want them to be able to think and reason and talk and act in such a way that God is glorified and they are happy—whether they become a doctor, lawyer, or short order cook. I want my kids to be educated, not trained.

Here is a quote from Doug Wilson's recent blog post on higher education that inspired me to comment.
This unholy alliance between higher education and industry was successfully accomplished, and the system has become unquestioned, and almost unquestionable. Moreover, it has become a system that many Christian parents insist on maintaining. Even while opposing Obama's proposals for socialistic health care (because they don't want "socialism"), they insist on perpetuating the central engine of socialism (as well as the central example of it) by having their kids go to the very schools that Marx demanded of us, and got. And on top of that, when someone proposes that their older student attend a liberal arts school that is seeking self-consciously to reestablish the old tradition, the parental (and Marxist) objection is often that they "want their kid to be able to get a job." But before we think about getting a job, we need to train the next generation how to get a life.
Read the whole thing.