Jan 16, 2006

We Don’t Need to Make Life Any More Difficult

A passage from last Thursday's devotional has stuck in my consciousness. "Forget about deciding what's right for each other. Here's what you need to be concerned about: that you don't get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is." It's from Eugene Peterson's The Message transliteration, Romans 14:13. When I first read the passage, I was immediately struck by its promise. Then I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if people didn't unload their personal baggage on others in the name of God? Sometime later, I realized I was trying to do the same thing...Read more +
Jan 12, 2006

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is making its rounds on cable television. It's the movie about the integration of a Virginia high school football team. In 1971, the "white" high school and the "black" high school are combined into one integrated school. An African- American head football coach, Herman Boone, is placed in charge over a successful white coach, Bill Yoast, who stays on the coaching staff in charge of the defense. The racial tensions are intense and real. It's an excellent movie. A high school buddy of mine mentioned the movie, and I told him I didn't like it. He was...Read more +
Jan 9, 2006

The High Calling of Our Daily Work

We hope The High Calling helps Christians understand the purpose of our daily work. All work, not just our jobs, is given to us by God. The question for each of us then is how do I go about my daily activities—my work—in a way that pleases God and reveals Him to others? Much of the content of this website is about personal principles that shape our response, as Christians, to the various situations we face in daily life. Our first goal is to help with individual renewal, so we have numerous radio spots that deal with individual issues such...Read more +
Jan 5, 2006

“Do-It-Yourself Deity”

Somebody sent me a link to a blog about God that eventually led me to The Philosophers Magazine Online . At this magazine, an exercise called "Do-It-Yourself Deity" caught my attention. It's a poll that lists eight possible attributes of God and invites readers to select the attributes they believe to be true about God. The list consists of eight attributes Christians believe about God. So I took their bait and selected them all. According to the "Metaphysical Engineers," the plausibility of my God is 0.2 with 1.0 being plausible. In other words, there is only a 20% chance that...Read more +
Dec 29, 2005

The Laity

• Where is God working in my life? • How do I discern what direction I should take? • What resources should I use? These questions help us find God amid the ordinary circumstances of life. Asking questions like these is called theological reflection. It lends itself well to journal writing and blogging. We should think about our responsibility to God in daily life. We should reflect on the meaning of our actions or a specific situation in the light of our knowledge of God. An excellent theological reflection comes from the Lutheran theologian Herman Stuemple in his treatise "Theological...Read more +
Dec 26, 2005

Never Give Up

"Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." —Winston Churchill Thoughts of bombing raids and the relentless struggles of the British people come to mind whenever this quote is evoked in its various forms. These remarkable words are usually cited as, "Never give in." Or, "Never, Never, Never, Never give up." But the actual quote gives us a context. That context is the "apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." The enemy is the...Read more +
Dec 22, 2005

Motivation

What motivates you in your work? Can you identify a driving force in your work? These questions came up in a discussion at work recently. I hadn't thought about these questions in years, but I do remember at an early age being driven by what I perceived as slights. In elementary school I felt like the coach overlooked me for athletic recognition. I told myself, "I'll show him. Someday he'll regret overlooking me." I used that perceived slight as motivation to succeed in high school athletics. In college I was driven to be a physical education teacher. I thought I...Read more +
Dec 19, 2005

Parallel Conversations

Parallel conversations frustrate me. They usually go something like this. Someone calls to talk to me about a project I'm working on. As they give their impressions of my project, I realize they've misunderstood the details. Naturally, I try to clarify the details. Meanwhile this person ignores my clarification and continues with their point. Finally, I ignore their point and try to redirect the conversation to my earlier clarification. The person gets frustrated with me and wants to know if I've been listening to their point. I get frustrated because their point is based on erroneous information. This happens to...Read more +
Dec 15, 2005

Awakening

Any discussion of postmodernism smacks of pseudo-intellectualism. Not that I am opposed to pseudo-intellectualism. I engage in it regularly. But in this instance, I think the most help for the church is to frame the discussion in light of the Great Awakening. I'm not suggesting we just call the current movement something like "the Postmodern Awakening in America." I'm suggesting we have an informed discussion about the religious grounding that helped form this country. Having just finished the Thanksgiving holiday, we've seen our share of Pilgrims. What did they believe? How does it influence what we have become as a...Read more +
Dec 12, 2005

Postmodernism 2

Evangelicals in particular seem to define postmodernism as a shift away from rationalism, secularism, and scientific certainty. We can all agree that the Enlightenment is over. Its strong influence on American culture, politics, and religion is fading. We are in a period of ambiguity, but it will be up to historians to classify this era. New philosophies just don't define themselves well. Consider the Enlightenment. "Humanism" is a more accurate and neutral description of their philosophy. But in their determination to escape superstition, they arrogantly set themselves above centuries of scholarship. They dismissed every great mind of the Middle Ages—from...Read more +

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