Friday, August 29, 2014

But that's just too blunt

When we put it plainly like this—as a direct choice between God and our stuff—most of us hope we would choose God. But we need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

Just do it!

[T]hough I do not wish to deny the mental aspect of being wise, the latter part of Proverbs depicts wisdom at least as much as wise living as wise thinking. This means that in order to experience God’s presence in one’s life it is inevitable not only to think the right things but also to do them, according to Proverbs.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 185

<idle musing>
Once again our "brains on a stick" mentality doesn't cut it when you look for it in scripture. Orthodoxy = orthopraxy.
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I've got it together

Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens—they have their savings account. They don’t need God to help them—they have their retirement plan in place. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live—they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis—their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
Sound pretty boring to me...
</idle musing>

No doubt

The opposite of trust in God in Proverbs is not so much ‘doubt’ in God (which is seldom mentioned if at all, at least not explicitly) but trust in oneself (cf. 3:5 vs 3:7; 28:25-26.) No wonder the reader of Proverbs is so often reminded about the dangers of pride.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 150

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Play it safe

Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

<idle musing>
And, I would add, experiencing the joy of knowing that God cares for every need...
</idle musing>

The source

Proverbs 2 does not teach that the ‘world order’ is independent from Yahweh. On the contrary, the order of reality is that wisdom, and therefore justice and protection, proceed from Yahweh. The teaching is not about Yahweh and the world order but about Yahweh’s mind as the world order. If one longs for understanding the world properly, then he or she has to understand God first, as he is the order of the world. God is the reality.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 149

Monday, August 25, 2014


Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

Brains on a stick?

As for the ‘knowledge of God,’ we have seen that most commentators understand it in Hosea in a covenantal framework in which it refers both to history and law. We have also seen that in the case of history it means more than simply being aware of the historical facts; it also means knowing that it is Yahweh who is behind those historical facts. It very probably also means more than simply being aware of some legal precepts, in the case of law. Knowledge is not enough: true knowledge is expressed by action.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, pages 139-140

<idle musing>
Indeed! This is a healthy corrective to our cerebral christianity...
</idle musing>

Friday, August 22, 2014


I was told that I was good enough, “godly enough.”

But this went against everything I was reading in the Bible, so I eventually rejected what the majority said and began to compare all aspects of my life to scripture. I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.—Crazy Love, electronic edition

Backwards, as usual

Wisdom repeatedly claims about herself that she provides riches, so, though it is not stated explicitly, one can logically deduce that wisdom is better than riches because wisdom can provide riches, whereas riches do not lead to wisdom. Furthermore, the context of some of the ‘better than’ sayings suggest that this virtuous character is useful for survival and protection.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 125

<idle musing>
Of course, we get it backwards, as usual. We want riches, thinking they will take care of us; but they won't. They can't. Only God can. And wisdom is a gift from God...
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What does this mean?

picked this in my garden this AM. maybe I should call a priest and see what kind of an omen it is...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

About those thorns...

[Talking about the parable of the sower, Chan says:] My caution to you is this: Do not assume you are good soil.

I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.—Crazy Love, electronic edition


The transition from industrial society to post-industrial societies . . . brings a polarization between Survival and Self-expression values. The unprecedented wealth that has accumulated in advanced societies during the past generation means that an increasing share of the population has grown up taking survival for granted. Thus, priorities have shifted from an overwhelming emphasis on economic and physical security toward an increasing emphasis on subjective well-being, self-expression and quality of life.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 114

<idle musing>
And what does that mean to us, as we read the book of Proverbs? It will be interesting to see him develop this...
</idle musing>