I heard a guy yesterday say that it is easy to get people to believe stuff. I read another guy who said that people who are not in a community of belief can, when they experience the community, better understand belief.
These two thoughts are interesting for those who are seeking to be part of helping people believe for the first time.
But the question for me is how to help people not just believe. I want to live. In that life, I want to grow in belief and faith so that I may be used to help others understand, believe and have faith. Jesus said to some blind guys, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” When they responded in the affirmative, he said… “According to your faith…” Thus, in this context, Jesus differentiates between belief and faith. Geo. Mueller was a man of accomplishment because he knew the importance of prayer. This prayer (apparently hours per day) was faith exercising and faith building prayer. May we build our faith by exercising it through not just believing but stepping out daily in faith. What do I need to step out in faith about today? What do you?
Posted from my mobile device.
I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday and he pointed me to a post on a DC pastor’s blog about weighing need and potential. It made me remember what I posted about The Hole in Your Gospel, that we need to be realists with a view toward possibility… read on
Well, I’m planning the next trip from just after Thanksgiving to just after Epiphany… you can see my current plans here
I have lots of reading that I don some of is work, some of it fun. What I classify as ‘work’ reading is that which I should read to better prepare me for my calling. These books often find their way onto this blog and into the hands of those with whom I partner and mentor. True, the work often becomes fun, if it is what I classify as a good read and I truly enjoy reading. This book, I read because I want to, not because I should (as differentiated over and against that which one has to read if in a required course). I am reading such a book.
The Rise of Christianity by R. Stark is such a book.
I think the reason I am enjoying it so much is that he is analyzing the early church and the wealth of data and literature we have about it using modern social science methods. In this he is talking on the usual scholarship on the subject in a different way than the usual “these heathens are tools of the enemy” (they very well may be, but lots of people have done that.
The other reason I am enjoying it (much like I did The Reason for God by T. Keller, is that it is affirming that which I have thought and taught for years. (It’s nice to feel affirmed.) Like this quote:
“The basis for successful conversionist movements is growth through social networks, through a structure of direct and intimate interpersonal attachments.” (p.20)
Now this was written at the end of the last century so he was not talking about Fb. The word intimate let’s Fb out because this kind of “intimae interpersonal attachments” are done while lingering over coffee and engaging in a real conversation in which probing questions dive deeper that perhaps one wishes.
I do have three (or four) books I’m working through that I may report on here as well.
Are you allowing yourself to really engage in these probing conversations? Do you even know how?
Please contemplate this…
Back when I taught about God, us and the world in a classroom of 18 year olds, I did a lot of thinking about what really is. I came to the conclusion that time does’t exist. I came to this conclusion as I considered God, me and what I read about reality in the Bible. Yesterday, I was told about a video that a young man studying at Mr. Jefferson’s school had to watch (I think I have that right) for a class. As we talked about it I thought that I must watch it. So, I asked my young friend to text me the address…
I just watched it. I as intrigued… all that I had thought about during those years (when I did that kind of thinking) seems to have scientific backing… but that’s not the big news, the big news is that as I watched this physist I saw within this theory and explanation some incredible theological importance… I would even be so bold as to suggest that there appears, at least to me, some elements of general revelation… see what you think, if you dare invest twenty-some minutes in physics with theological import…
oh yeah, I’m continuing to post on the blog having decided to not worry about how often or seldom I post (but I decided that before I was reminded that time doesn’t exist)…
By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
I’ve been contemplating the mind afresh recently in light of biblical texts and am pondering two passages in particular:
that we are to love God with all our mind – Jesus
that we are to be renewing our mind – Paul
When He restates the Shema in Mark 12, Jesus clarifies the importance of the mind.
There is a need for balance. Using Jesus restatement of the Shema as a guide, God wants all of us, our heart, soul, mind and strength…
Sadly, this is, seemingly, another source of division in the church, some are so intellectual as to look askance at those who are driven by what they might call “emotional Christianity.” In response, those in the other camp look at the more intellectual faith as being “brainiacs.”
I find this particularly troubling since I know that the Enemy loves this division.
Jesus doesn’t divide us into camps, Jesus recognizes that we are both of these in His answer to the scribe. So, let us love God with all our heart, soul mind and strength. And, as Jesus added, let us love our neighbor as ourselves.
All of our neighbors.
Yes, its hard, but we should never give up trying.