You’re Not Like Me

Last week in our new series, Answers to Tough Questions, we tackled the maze of LGBT issues. The outcome was a simple principle which, while not necessarily answering every question people ask about it, did give us a clear path forward. This week, we tackled the immigration debate. Like last week, you won’t find clear and concise answers or policy prescriptions here. Rather, we clarify yet another foundational principle that should guide all of our thinking about it as followers of Jesus. Read on to find out what this is.

One more thing: I will be in class all this week learning about law enforcement chaplaincy. While I am most excited about this opportunity, it means this will be the only blog post for this week. Stay tuned. I’ll be back in a week with your regularly scheduled program. Thanks for your faithful readership.

You’re Not Like Me

Moving into a new place for the first time is always just a bit scary…especially when it’s in a new town. When Lisa and I moved from Denver, Colorado to Church Road, VA in 2008, we were living somewhere neither of us had any connections at all. We had a house—the parsonage—but we didn’t know anyone. We had a wonderful church family, but that was the extent of our local support network. Specifically, we didn’t know if we could trust our neighbors. Fortunately, one man in the church we had come to trust gave us the assurance that we could and so began a relationship with Bobby and Frances Wilson. They were wonderful. They took us—and our boys as they arrived into the world—on as simply an extension of their own family. We adopted them as a set of grand and great-grandparents who were living next door instead of several states away. They were the best neighbors—and friends—we could have possibly hoped to have.

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Getting Things Right

In this third part of our series, I Do, we finally start getting practical. In the first part we defined marriage, and last week we talked about its purpose. That’s all good and important to know, but how do we actually get it right? Let’s talk about it starting with a special focus on what husbands need to do if our marriages are going to be what they can be.

Getting Things Right

We’ve talked about this a few times before and will talk about it again in the future, but one of the challenges of being a follower of Jesus committed to the idea that the Scriptures are right and true in everything they affirm is that there are some places that are downright hard to handle. The reasons for the difficulty are sometimes theological, but they are also scientific and cultural and social and relational and even just applicational. For example, the Law of Moses calls for the stoning of incorrigibly rebellious children and at the same time Jesus said that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Unless we can successfully understand Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law to mean that we can disregard commands such as that one, other than a strong temptation on rough days—like, say, day four or five of being stranded inside with three increasingly wild boys…not that Lisa and I know anything about that—we need to get used to the idea of living in constant and open rebellion to the Law given by God to His people.

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Irreducible Complexity

With one more week to go in our series, Being Useful, we are starting to get a lot more clarity on what the picture of a life that is useful to Jesus looks like. And what does it look like? Love. This week and next we are going to wrap up this powerful series by talking about the role love plays in the church and in the life of a follower of Jesus. Don’t miss a single part of it.

Irreducible Complexity

Some of the fiercest and most significant debates happen in places where nobody sees them.  These are often inner-disciplinary debates among scholars on a single topic.  And the stakes for these are a lot higher than it would seem.  For instance, a debate among mathematicians about the best way to solve certain kinds of math problems may look from the outside like a bunch of geeks arguing about esoteric philosophies that have nothing to do with the daily lives of normal people.  But, the winning side may very well have their ideas appear in textbooks—do they even use textbooks anymore?—and curricula for elementary students and, all of a sudden, a whole new way of thinking about math will be planted in the culture.  All of a sudden, what was once abstract academic jargon begins to have a profound impact on the lives of regular people who are far removed from the ivy-covered campus buildings of elite universities.  Hello: Have you tried helping your kids with their math homework lately?  Case in point. 

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Return the Favor

Only two more installments in our series, Being Useful, after this one. In this seventh part, we are reaching a point that the qualities on Peter’s list are both the next natural addition as well as the result of the previous additions. What does it look like when we pursue faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, and endurance on a consistent, intentional basis? We begin to fulfill the duty we owe to God. A duty to God? For what? Keep reading to find out more.

Return the Favor

Just out of curiosity this morning, how many of you have both been called and actually served for jury duty?  Thank you for that.  We don’t often thank jurors, but they contribute a vitally important service to our nation’s judicial system.  As much of a headache as this particular service is seen to be—much more of a burden than a blessing—it has kept our court system its distinction as one of the best and fairest in the world for the accused for almost 250 years.  That’s not a small thing. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Peter 1:3-9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

This is a whole lot bigger a chunk of text than I usually include in these notes, but I couldn’t take this one in piecemeal fashion without spending several days on the whole thing—something I will come back and do at some point in the future. I defy you to find a better, richer, fuller expression of the incredible hope and joy we have in our faith and the salvation that comes from it than what Peter writes here. These words are worth reading several times with some meditative prayer along the way. 

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