7 Reflections on Forty Years of Writing // Asbury Seedbed

7 Reflections on Forty Years of Writing // Asbury Seedbed.

  1. Let’s take Scripture seriously, unfiltered, without blinders, inductively.
  2. The church is a spiritual/social organism with its own ecology.
  3. God is always in the business of radically renewing the church, if we are open to the Spirit and faithful to Scripture.
  4. God has “a plan for the fullness of time to bring everything in heaven and earth together under one head, even Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:10).
  5. Christians are “stewards of God’s grace” (1 Peter 4:10) and stewards of the earth.
  6. Since God is always at work to renew the church, church history is largely the story of a succession of renewal movements, from the early church right up to today.
  7. We have unbounded confidence that God will fulfill all his promises.

The Seedbed Daily Text » Blog Archive » PRAYING THROUGH STORMS

The Seedbed Daily Text » Blog Archive » PRAYING THROUGH STORMS.

Last Wednesday Seedbed had a daily reading post I particularly like. I’ve posted the link above in order to make it readily accessible to me, and some of my friends, when we especially need it.

Misperception of Mission

I’m very weak on this and I empathize with the Jews of the Old Testament:

[The Jews were] chosen in order to be a witness. They [were to] transmit the covenant faith to others, indeed, to the whole world. This understanding was difficult for them to maintain; time and again they slipped into the perception that their chosenness was to their own benefit. We understand this, of course, because throughout church history we Christians have so often succumbed to the same misperception. Not often by doctrinal statement, but by pattern of life and failure of mission.

Quoted from Christian Believer Bible Study, session 7.

Deny Though We May

From Christian Believer Bible Study:

We are inclined toward God. We need God. Our disposition toward God may be erratic and faltering; it may even be rebellious and resentful. Indeed, we may become so estranged we deny the existence of God. But the recluse from God is by nature a seeker of divine covenant as is the human recluse a social creature. We are what we are, deny though we may.

The Servant King

I’m so excited that the authors of I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist quoted Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard, really the first existentialist philosopher, is complex and intellectually stimulating. Reading Kierkegaard helped me understand the paradox—which is not contradiction—of faith. How we have to get to the point of taking a leap of faith—what Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas called in a lecture I attended, a leap into faith. Here’s the reference from the above mentioned book:

You can reject Christ because he has left your free will truly free. Author Philip Yancey adapts a parable by Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard that helps us understand how God attempts to save us while respecting our freedom. It’s a parable of a king who loves a humble maiden:

The king was like no other king. Statesmen trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden.

How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his very kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist—no one dared resist him. But would she love him?

She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind. Would she be happy at his side? How could he know?

If he rode up to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross over the gulf between them. “For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal,” concluded Kierkegaard.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

This is going on my list of “Books Every Young Man Should Read” along side other great books like C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I love to read books that have one “Aha!” moment after another. This one does.

Loving and Bold, Not Spineless

Not forgetting love and emphasizing boldness, I really like the following quote from I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist:

Contrary to the spineless Jesus invented today by those who want to be spineless themselves, the real Jesus taught with authority and did not tolerate error. When religious people were wrong, he made righteous judgments and let everyone know what those judgments were. And who could be better at correcting error than God himself? Since Jesus is God, whatever he teaches is true.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

[Twenty] centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned—put together—have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.

Cokesbury – Miracles

Cokesbury – Miracles.

More to read. I believe this is an area in which I need to increase my understanding. It’s comforting to see so many brilliant apologists—like C. S. Lewis–writing on the subject.

Cokesbury – As If The Heart Mattered

Cokesbury – As If The Heart Mattered.

This is a devotional also suggested to me by my Bible Study leader. I’ll get this book too so I can move into a better focused daily discipline of practicing Christian Life.