Monday, September 21, 2009

Laurel Wreath or Paper Bag?

Once one reaches that time of life when three-score years and ten are past tense, and there are days when one cannot get much more physical than eating and keeping oneself clean (thankfully not too many days like that), it’s during those times thinking and praying are the major exercises available.

During such times reading some of the really good blogs becomes a much anticipated part of the process.

Brother Dave Black’s pages are perfect for such times because they often remind me of the struggles we experienced as a family, and I as the bread winner, regarding the abandoning of the life we knew and entering into a lifetime committed to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One such entry on Dave’s blog on Sunday September 20, he comments regarding some for whom “Christianity is a faith to be admired or else merely a subject to be studied objectively and historically -- nothing more.”

Writing in the context of some theology students our brother says, “For them the New Testament was nothing more than an analyzable datum of linguistic and historical investigation. For all their audacious ideas, they had no courage to follow the teachings of the One they claimed to have studied so thoroughly. What is true of university students is no less true of the modern church-goer. It really boils down to courage. Do we have the guts to give ourselves to something as costly as genuine Christianity?”

Note that sentence,” What is true of university students is no less true of the modern church-goer.”

How sad! How true!

But I’m drawn back to the comment made the day before the above-mentioned contribution on Dave’s blog, when he draws attention to an article on Henry Neufeld’s blog regarding our propensity to have “concept idols”.

Dave quotes Henry thus: “What's even more dangerous is that once we have made that "concept idol" we become less and less capable of hearing the very proper challenges to our idol and the pedestal on which we have placed it. We hear the challenges to the idols of others. Egalitarians, such as myself, can quite clearly see the dangers of patriarchy and hear clearly when its place on the pedestal is challenged. "Tear down that idol!" we shout!”

How right Dave is when he says, “.. it is sometimes necessary to remove the laurel wreaths around our heads and replace them with paper bags. Our convictions on rightness and wrongness are often ridiculously absurd.”

Just as absurd as are the “concept idols” which stand tall in most groups of Christians, where the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, despite protestations, is at least secondary.

Read these men , and others such as Alan Knox, and have your “concept idols” challenged, if you dare..

1 comment:

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

As usual a thoughtful and needed post.

I sure like the new format also.

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