Mark 9:24

Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

Men, die for your wives

In Lay Meditations on March 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Too many of us postmoderns wield words like a fly swatter, in fits haphazard and careful with terms. Definition, best a scalpel for discerning truth, is instead wielded as a sword, and poorly — imagine a stubborn 6-year-old boy with a pocketknife. For example, take Ephesians 5. Say some: Please.

Male or female, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, all have some cross, in imitation of Christ. Do we imitate Him further?

For reference, refer to the two verses from Ephesians every postmodern knows of:

Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord.

… and …

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it.

Why are men not required to submit? (Why does outrage so often approach glee?) From here we usually see an emotional appeal: Toss Ephesians so to toss Paul so to toss the New Testament so to toss the Bible and finally be rid of Christianity. If we love our brother, we should not let him wave his hand so furiously. His wrist will hurt.

We might begin by mentioning the preceding verse —

Be subject one to another, in the fear of Christ.

— but suppose we forgot this. From just these two verses, and the smattering of Christian teaching everyone knows, we can easily appeal to truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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In ordinate complexity

In Armchair Apologetics on February 4, 2012 at 10:01 am

We have before us a task of tedious simplicity, but its enormity it may crush us: Ten million square pegs meet ten million round pegs, mixed in a heap and scattered across the floor. There are also two slots of appropriate shape. If we keep the pace of one-and-a-half seconds to find and place each in the right spot we will spend the better part of a year in this monotony. We will spend another two weeks eating, four weeks sleeping, twelve weeks working.

All is ordered by measure, number and weight. Finding their right relation is the tricky part.

(If we take Sunday off, we add another seven-and-a-half weeks to our ambitious schedule.)

Scripture is vastly more complex. Rather than two shapes, there are at least a distinct hundred, and more subtly there are perhaps a thousand more. Left as a pile of stuff, we have no pre-ordained slots. We must figure out where what goes, how, why. Given these wrinkles, we cannot keep such brisk pace, even if we were tireless creatures of self-discipline trained to live in single-minded pursuit of scripture.

It does not take long to wonder: We are limited principally not by the millions of items and unknown several categories but also by our three score and ten. If in 30 generations someone eventually finds the truth, what of the earlier 29 generations? Will they suffer not knowing God, though this is His clear and constant will?

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Chesterton and Lewis show a crossroad

In Pursue Truth on January 31, 2012 at 4:19 am

In reading more and more of Chesterton, and having finished my first time through the bare-bones central corpus of Lewis some time ago, I sometimes come to places where I see apparently inherent contradictions between them. Shallow skeptics of YouTube comment threads would delight in this if they noticed. Alas, it’s left for us to contemplate two truths and their contradiction.

It is not the goal of Christianity to stand for a moment. Rather, our goal to stand forever.

For example, Chesterton wrote:

There are an infinity of angles at which one falls; only one at which one stands.

… while Lewis wrote:

How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints.

These men aren’t at all opposed, of course, but if we approach the two men as the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible approaches Holy Writ we will gleefully gape at their nakedness though in fact they are perfectly clothed. After all, our former quote is central to Chesterton’s best, most popular apologetic, titled Orthodoxy, just as our latter quote is central to Lewis’ best, most popular apologetic. In fact, Mere Christianity is probably the most popular apologetic among any works we’d recognize as strictly apologetic. How do we reconcile these giants?

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