Posts filed under 'writing'
I received this little encouragement in my inbox this morning:
“You may not check this thing anymore, and I know you said not to “hold you to it” later, but I think it would be lovely if you kept up this site and your writing. Working on a computer all day in the marketplace, it’s helpful to read something of substance rather than another journal article which proves the impoverished state of our national health and then attempts to come up with a scheme of man to somehow make it better, when really all this country needs, Christian and non-believer alike, is the reality of the Savior.
So yeah, I like to come here to read a little bit of truth on my breaks, so if you feel so lead, keep up the writing.“
Well, every once in a while, I do check this thing. In fact, I think about it often - this little journal represents years of expressing my heart and reaching for God through writing in a way that is critically knit to how I am wired by my Creator. What I am never sure of is how to navigate that internal longing to write with the other areas and avenues that I’ve signed up for (some desired, some not). What touches my heart, however, is that many of you also “check this thing” and have encouraged me to write more. I so appreciate the kindness (and the hunger for God)! Honestly, I wasn’t sure anyone was poking there head in here because of my negligence.
Part of my challenge recently is how to navigate other writing that I need to be doing - and am struggling to stay on top of. I have overlooked and neglected other writing assignments that have real deadlines. I am sure that, however, part of my struggle with writing elsewhere is that I have simply gotten out of the habit of writing. That’s bad! Secondly, I have been working through other material in other contexts that don’t necessarily translate to what I have done in the past here. For example, this morning I am wrestling with how to teach and communicate the attributes of God to teenagers. How do I take the language of A.W. Tozer, Charnock, Pink, etc. accessible to a generation of young people that have largely disconnected from the importance of the infinitude of God?
A final aspect of writing I have had a difficult time with is the transition that our culture has made in communicating ideas. I am many things, but as of today I am not succinct. I was made for Tozer, not Twitter. Thus I found, for a while, that every time I wanted to venture into this place to write I found myself mostly thinking about writing about writing (as I am doing here, ironically). If the blog format was a challenge for me, how much more is the twitterfied world that has quickly outpaced the blog world a mystifying reality? There are two camps related to this kind of thing: the “pro-Twitter” world and the “anti-Twitter world”. I am on neither team. I appreciate the manner in which the twitter reality forces precision and presses writers to summarize and assimilate key ideas quickly. Twitter is a glorious place for preachers, and often writers are bugged by preachers in the same manner that they are bugged by Twitter.
The blog format was an early preview of what was to come in regards to internet communication. When I first started engaging in this format, in fact, the number one complaint I received was related to my writing style. I refused to post the short, quick, extemporaneous commentaries that populated the internet. I wasn’t writing to a format, I was simply expressing my heart while sharpening and pushing myself to write better. I’m still figuring it out. I know a few things: I’m not skilled enough to post the quick-hit articles and sentences that many can produce and I’m not interested in the personality driven asides that attract so many to blogs and creates so much twitter traffic. That so many of you have commented and wondered where my little musings have been encourages me to keep pressing for what I do, in the way that I do it.
So, as long as you don’t mind me writing when I can and as long as you don’t mind me practicing my craft on you, I’ll still pop in here every so often. Not to build a following - but to hone and sharpen a part of myself that needs the glorious repetition an ongoing journal provides. Thanks to Sarah for the sweet note. I checked.
October 13th, 2009
Thanks to all who gave their two cents (plus some) in breaking down the early draft of theCall’s press release related to the fiasco Newsweek published last week. It was all seriously helpful feedback! One point of clarification that you probably didn’t know - Lou had already, earlier in the week, released a short statement calling on believers to cancel their Newsweek subscription. Thus, the call to do so had to be in the longer press release. I did appreciate some of the perspective on that point, however. So what happened?
Well, much to my surprise, our p.r. firm loved the press release as is. So, in an unexpected turn of events, the early draft became the final draft instantaneously. The p.r. firm didn’t change much - they shortened the opening paragraph and added a phrase (that I asked them to remove - because it was dorky, not because it was controversial) before punching up the end a little bit. Hopefully, if you see it somewhere printed over the next week, you’ll appreciate the minor addition they made. Or not.
As things currently stand, however, they have blasted the press release out to wherever public relatations firms blast out press releases. I don’t really know how any of that works, but I do know that, supposedly, the Wall Street Journal has shown interest thus far. We shall see. Either way, it was an interesting experiment in “social press releasing” with all of you - and the glory for me is that, for now, only Lou’s name is on the document. He’s already done one radio interview related to it (yesterday, can’t remember the show).
Meanwhile, I get to stay in my cave and fast and pray. So back to the cave I go.
December 16th, 2008
Submitted for your approval, here is an early draft of a press release that TheCall will be releasing through our P.R. firm that Lou Engle and I wrote early yesterday:
This past week, the editors and publishers of Newsweek magazine made an unfortunate decision to brazenly relegate the vast majority of American citizens who believe in the traditional, biblical view of marriage to, quoting its Editor-in-Chief Jon Meacham, “intellectual bankruptcy”. Newsweek’s attempt to simultaneously tear down the veracity and relevance of the holy scriptures while appealing to those same scriptures to build its case for homosexual marriage is not in and of itself a shocking act. The intellectual dishonesty of these writers and editors is clearly on display in their work and the statements they have made surrounding their work. Thus, we are neither afraid of nor troubled by their submission to the national conversation on this issue.
No – what we are troubled by is the confidence that a failing institution had in publishing such a seemingly bold statement. Newsweek’s economic struggles and loss of subscribers have been well-documented as of late; in taking this stand, Jon Meacham in particular seemed overconfident that he and his constituency are on the winning side of history. In the long view of history, the very scriptures that Newsweek magazine looked to trivialize in their article prove who is ultimately on the “winning side” of this argument. As our friend Jim Garlow has said repeatedly, the Bible ends with a wedding. The manner in which the Bible comes to a glorious conclusion demonstrates the sanctity by which our Creator holds this most sacred of unions. The Apostle Paul spoke of this institution and the manner in which a healthy, vibrant marriage between one man and one woman has continually served as a metaphor for God’s relationship with His people in Ephesians 5:25-33, a passage that Lisa Miller, the author of the Newsweek cover essay conspicuously overlooked in her research.
Some have asked why we care so much about this issue, and why we are taking such a bold stand to oppose homosexual marriage in America. It is because we hold the institution of marriage in such high regard related to its sacredness to our God; yet we also recognize that this very sacredness has left the institution of marriage open to assault from its very beginnings, going back to a garden thousands of years ago. The culmination of this assault on marriage, according to the prophetic scriptures that describe the days ahead, is to try to eliminate this institution altogether (1 Timothy 4:3). The current zeal to redefine marriage is the latest stage of this assault. The strategy of those who are looking to redefine marriage is two-fold: to first frame homosexuality as a racial issue rather than a moral issue and then to establish rights for homosexuals as the true moral issue of our day. Thus there is more than the biblical definition of marriage at stake – but the very definition of what is sin versus what is righteous before our Creator.
Therefore what is troubling is clear: not that Newsweek magazine is taking the “lead” in defining both morality and marriage in America; again, an organization struggling for its financial survival rarely has the stomach for such risks – no, it is troubling that they feel confident that the majority of America agrees with their stance and their definitions of marriage and morality. If this is true then our nation has taken a dramatic and unfortunate turn that has devastating consequences for American culture in the days to come. For if sexual orientation and desire can be classified under the framework of “race” – if we define desires in a manner beyond what our Creator intended without any scientific evidence that such proclivities are genetic – then we open up a proverbial “Pandora’s Box” for such an argument to be applied to all manner of desires under the false mask of “genetics” or the “Creator’s design”. We pray that the vast majority of Americans that have continued to hold the line on what is marriage, what is moral, and what is so clearly part of the created order and the Creator’s design will stand fast against this blatant assault on truth.
As such, we are asking all who desire to stand for truth and righteousness to say, “No!” to Newsweek magazine’s attempt to reframe and reshape scripture for their own self-seeking purposes and to immediately cancel their subscriptions. The American people have a historic opportunity to show Newsweek magazine that its arrogant overconfidence in gauging the opinions of the people is greatly misplaced.
It’s about 33-50 words too long, and a few of the phrases need too much explanation / clarification to hold up - but it gives you a better grasp of what is on our minds related to this week’s Newsweek cover essay.
What do you think?
December 13th, 2008
Honestly, it came from me self-reflecting a little bit after spending the last three days sick and thinking about the latest Newsweek cover story. You would be surprised how much time I’ve spent thinking about it. Not in the “wow, that was well-written, it made me think about the issues,” kind of thinking. No, it’s been more like, “How can I most effectively and efficiently deconstruct the most irresponsible piece of ‘journalism’ I have ever seen in all my limited years of studying and reading old media.” Many of my posts work like that - where I will stew and think for days before writing (or not writing) my thoughts on something.
On this matter, however, I want to do more than “write down a thought or two” - I want to declare war on a magazine that has so blatantly declared war on me. I have never, in my life, seen a more obvious attempt by a mainstream news magazine to delineate between “us” (the right thinking, clear minded media type) and “them” (the neanderthal bitterly clinging to religion and guns) as I saw this week in Newsweek magazine. From the first line, “Let’s try for a minute to take religious conservatives at their word…” (emphasis mine; meaning, I’m not a member of whatever club spawned this article) to the Editor’s note: “Let the letters and emails come.”
As a religious conservative, I’ve now seen a mainstream magazine feel safe enough with its constituency economically to “take me on.” This does not make its ideas or presentations bold, noble, or heroic - mainstream media are hardly capable of such financial risks - no, this means that it (the editors and publisher) believes that the ideas presented are safe for publication; controversial yes, but economically safe - and that its views are the new social norm for the day. I think, sadly, that they are right.
And this answers the comment that I haven’t responded to yet - the one that asked me why, when it comes to issues like gay marriage, do I care? I care because of precisely what I just articulated - the redefinition of social norms under the banner of civil rights, which is a dishonest and intellectually inferior position masquerading as a just and noble cause. Once that redefinition takes place, and the lines that were once clear are at once redrawn, the future for my children suddenly takes a darker turn; for the precedent set in these arguments is one we will be hearing again, I can assure you. I have to end here - but this isn’t the last of what’s on my mind related to what I consider one of the most ominous signs of our time that I’ve seen in quite a while.
December 11th, 2008
When it comes to writing for this space, it’s interesting to me how much I am engaged in the process of writing more than I actually write. For those of you who are new to reading my work here, you’ll find that it makes me somewhat of an unconventional “blogger”. Why? I find that what I do in processing ideas internally is what actually drew people initially to the blog format. In other words, the original “genius” of blogging was the unconventional manner in which writers would process “out loud” in putting their thoughts and ideas on the page, often before really thinking them through or testing them. Thus the “comments” and dialogue that followed became more lively and conversational in tone versus the traditional “thumbs-up!” or, “great stuff!”.
The old-school “blog” felt like the older-school barber shop.
Of course, I’ve never approached blogging that way. When I posted my first articles here a couple of years ago, most of the comments that came back were, “Wow, like your stuff - but it’s so long!” and, “Man, you break the blogging rules - try breaking up your posts into shorter nuggets!” What few anticipated then was that the desire for “short” was knit to the desire for on-the-fly ideas and snippets that could be assimilated quickly - if at all. Thus the general phase-out of “blogging” as the primary 2.0 format by which people socialize and engage in conversation on the web - hello, Facebook and Twitter!
Most people crave touch points and relational “handles” by which to grasp and connect, even in small ways, with people they have various amounts of affection for. The quick “hit” of a tweet or a status update scratches the itch of feeling like you grasp the flow of someone’s life without having to do the work of actually engaging them in dialogue. It gives us a way to scratch the voyeuristic craving that blogs initially fed at some level. Blogs were the web version of the reality show - Facebook and Twitter have brought the show to the next phase because of the speed and pace at which both feed the 24/7 desire of the human mind and heart to be engaged in something quasi-informational and relational.
The blogs that still remain as influential, the ones that have stayed relevant, are the ones that were never designed to be a running diary or provide a short-burst of a conversation topic. The ones that remain are those whose only currency is the provision of ideas and the exploration of concepts that one could not typically make apart from a collaborative effort. That’s just a fancy way, of course, to say that the blogs that are still going strong “bring something to the table” that most could not provide on their own: insight, perspective, information, or opinion that helps fuel the trafficking of ideas.
This is not, however, an apologetic for the blogging medium or is it really meant to offer perspective on the future of blogging in general. To be honest, I have never cared about the “trend”, nor have I looked to capitalize on anything related to the blogging genre. It took me a while to warm up to this format - until I discovered what a helpful resource it could be for me to exercise my writing muscles and really write things people cared to read. Coming off of the publication of End Times Simplified in 2005, it was clear to me that I had to grow as a writer.
Thus it is with far more confidence that I shape Signs of the Times as I labor for clarity and readability. I have three years of regular writing under my belt, and the process of engaging with folks on the other side of these articles has really helped me shape and craft my ideas and bursts of inspiration. I’ve been able to explore ideas that I normally don’t have an avenue to express - particularly in the political realm, though, of course, that part of my life is changing a bit. Though I have been an infrequent visitor lately, I am reaffirming my love of this medium as a place to craft and express the many things that are churning within me.
All of this flowed from my own musings on the process of writing, and how much I think about this space - even when the articles and postings are scarce. Here on this site, if an idea makes it to the proverbial page it is because I’ve really thought it through and felt enough about the concept or idea to get it out there. Every once in a while I will be informational, but that has always been reluctantly on my part. Every once in a while I will be humorous, but really I have found that my voice is strongest here when I am being earnest, forthright, and sober in my approach. Here, I am a watchman - not a satirist.
This has been my approach - stew on an idea, think it through, and if it has “life” on it then write it down and see what happens; if not, set it aside. This has led to less frequent posting, longer posts, a less “conventional” web voice - all of which has surely cost me a little bit in terms of readership. Again, I haven’t really cared for that line of thinking anyways. I’ve only and always wanted to, in this space, express my longings and observations about God, His word, and the times in which we live (hence the name and the tagline). I will continue to do so.
I write this mostly for those who are newer who haven’t been following as long as some of you that have been tracking here for a little while. Hopefully, this will help you get to know me a little better and follow along related to the “why” behind the “what”. As one who has always been fascinated by “process” and how things work, this was also a mostly personal, self-analytical, and probably too self-important glance at what I’m doing here. I hope it served its purpose.
Signing up again to write,
December 11th, 2008
Signs of the Times handout? Done. 150 chapters on the end-times? Check. Most commonly asked questions on the end-times 2.0? Helped with a few of those. Book of Revelation outline? Pretty much there. After today’s eight hour final burst, the weight of these documents is behind me…for now. So I plan on enjoying that “for now” for all it’s worth!
Now that I’m a free man, I plan on exercising that freedom to write some things and answer some comments. There’s a lot on the ol’ mind besides researching genocide statistics over the past 100 years, I can assure you. You’ll have to get the handout to connect with the last sentence, but other than that, happy snow, Kansas City friends!
December 9th, 2008
Here’s a bit of a conversation I had recently related to an exchange about Obama and the issue of abortion…
First, the comment I responded to:
See thats just it, not MY thinking, not my understanding, God called me to the ministry that I do, and put on my heart to share the burden of those walking, living dead, in sin, to preach a gospel that gives them life in Christ.
I am fervently doing that so that my Lord will say WELL DONE, and my eyes will rejoice on that great getting up morning to see with HIM, the mothers now in glory reunited with all the souls of their little babies.
See if you could muster up just a jot of empathy, you could see the need of ministry to the mothers that have kill their little babies and are hurting.
How can you say you love them that you have not seen, and can’t help the ones you can see?
Here is my response:
I do appreciate that, and have ministered to and with those who have committed abortions - I have much compassion as we must for any who are in sin or seeking to be free from sin. Murdering your own child has a particularly devastating impact on one’s psyche and soul - I hate it; but have much compassion for the poor who feel trapped and hopeless.
It’s the same compassion I would have had for a Klansman in the 1960’s who was raised by rageful bigots and “knew not what he was doing”. The sin of racism and hatred was not excusable; changing the laws did not end racism. It did, however, begin to shift a culture. I think that was MLK Jr.’s point about the law and the heart related to the beatings he suffered. Would he rather have the heart? Sure. But he also fought for the law as well on the way to changing the heart - as one buys time for the other.
It’s also the same compassion I would have had for a slave owner in the 1860’s who was raised by wealthy landowners who argued about the devastation to the economy of the south and the “complex issues” surrounding the ending of slavery. I am thankful that, in England, William Wilberforce was not moved by such empty arguments - as noble and as lofty as some of them sounded. I am thankful that, in America, many were unmoved by political and economic rhetoric and fought for those who could not fight for themselves.
I think that it is a bogus and strange argument to pit the unborn against the born in legitimizing who is more worthy of our time and energy. To me, it is like pitting prayer against evangelism or social justice. How can one fight for justice and the poor without a deep life of prayer? How can one fight for justice and the poor without fighting for the most downtrodden, ignored group in all of history? It makes no sense to me. I happen to think that it is possible to fight for both.
Again, I find it unfathomable that one would be willing to hand over the next generation in the name of justice for the poor. That seems short-sighted at best, and cannot square with anything in the heart of God that I can find. And again, abortion impacts african-american babies more than any other group in the nation. We have to be fighting for a systematic infrastructure change that gives these babies a chance - not consigning them to heaven and fighting for their parents as we simultaneously excuse or permit a culture of convenience, easy answers, and murder. How is that helpful?
In fighting for life we establish value on the most important thing - which effects everything else in the value systems and culture of the poor and the hopeless as one builds for the future. In the same manner, fighting for an end to slavery establishes a value for freedom and equality among men that ended the charade of superior races and paved the way for a systematic cultural shift over time. No other social changes or improvements in the 19th century can compare to one that simply assigns value to another human.
In pitting social changes for the living against social changes for the unborn, you are sending a powerful message to the living about what is valuable on about five levels. In devaluing their babies for immediate, short-term change one is also communicating subtly that they are less valuable -though all of the rhetoric is that they are “more valuable” because they are alive. It rings hollow. It feels selfish. It lacks vision.
And frankly, I expect more out of believers, politicians, and the people of this nation in regards to true leadership that transforms a culture rather than elevating a false form of compassion that is really unsanctified mercy or human sentiment. And, I hope that you will forgive me and hear this correctly with tenderness - I expect more out of you.
Jesus’ answer to the issue of slavery and injustice to african-americans is not to place an african-american over the peoples in power and influence. His answer, the answer of true justice, is to deliver them from spiritual slavery and literal bondage and then establish them as a people as slaves to righteousness, serving those who enslaved them willingly in meekness, love, and forgiveness in a manner that glorifies God by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their God. It’s the most shocking, incomprehensible expression of the leadership of God that reflects the Servant of All who came to serve and not to be served.
I find that the answer that many in the African-American community are seeking related to justice falls so far short of the biblical model and lacks heavenly vision and heavenly wisdom, which is why there is confusion and wickedness amongst some of the top voices in our nation today. But for the African-American church to lead the charge in meekness, servant-heartedness, humility, and a unified call for life…what an impact that would have on the hearts of many.
It would glorify Christ and magnify His name.
October 14th, 2008
I’ve been working on “The Gospel of Mark, the Weakness of Discipleship, Pt. 3″ since this past Friday. This is the section in which I had planned on telling Mark’s story, which is as much fun for me as the “heart stuff” in the first two parts that introduce the series. It’s been fun researching and refreshing myself on Mark’s story - I love searching for details and nuggets through the haze of history that I can add to my own picture of the events. It’s like finding unexpected pieces of tile to add to an ever expanding mosaic - one that adds color and sharpens the image a little more than before.
One of the fun little treasures I dug up was a quote examining the fairly famous (in these kinds of theology-dork circles) quote from Papias about Mark and Simon Peter (which you’ll have to wait for part 3 to read - oh! the suspense):
“The earliest piece of external, direct evidence comes to us from Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, (c. 60-130) who quotes someone he identifies as “the elder” (ho presbuteros), probably John the elder, an authoritative figure among the churches in the province of Asia (H.E. 3.39.4, 15).”
That line, for whatever reason, electrified my imagination. I’m familiar enough with the stories and traditions about John the beloved apostle late in his life. Yet, for some reason, this sentence opened a new “door” in my mind’s eye. I pictured this mysterious figure looming in the background of the late-first century church. I pictured young Christians hearing stories of the original “desert father” who wiser, older believers only referred to as “the elder.” I imagined younger believers trying to find out the identity of this mysterious elder - and why some in their midst would only tear up in deep tenderness and fondness when that designation came up.
I love a good mystery. I love imagining the journey of a young man trying to catch up with this mysterious figure as he moves mysteriously through the lives of those who populated the church of Asia Minor. Who was “the elder”? Was he a prophet, a second-generation believer who had an intimate relationship with the famous beloved disciple? Imagine the conversations and questions - and the dogged search to find out the truth about the identity of this mystical, almost mythical figure. Then imagine the day when the “elder” walks into your congregation. He seems to barely whisper the phrase, “Beloved, love one another…” before shuffling off to another place.
I love this stuff!
April 22nd, 2008
I’m in the mood this morning to continue last week’s Danny Hibberd love-fest. The reason will be obvious in a moment. For those of you who don’t know Danny, he’s one of our stalwart nightwatchers and media guys who also happens to be a rock-solid theologian. If Danny and Matt Hartke aren’t careful, they might end up becoming two of the premiere apologists around. Matt, because of his scholarly examinations of scripture that fry the brain and warm the heart; and Danny for his incredibly quick and insightful mind for the arguments and their strengths and weaknesses. I so enjoy the way these guys think.
Well, Danny and I moderate a Bible Forum elsewhere on the web - I’m “the rookie” and he’s “Bing”. It’s a fairly large forum where we can test our theological mettle against different tender-hearted but sharp thinkers who love to debate the bible. I jumped in a few years back to sharpen my language and learn to say what I believe without a ton of IHOP terminology that can sometimes be difficult for new folks to follow. I recruited a bunch of fellow end-times junkies to jump in as well - and a few of them (including Danny) hung around for a while. I’m glad he did. Here’s a small sampling as to why:
“Friend, I will truncate your post here, because from this point it embarks on a misguided tangent, in which you believe you have successfully diagnosed my problem. You seem to believe me to be a comic book Christian, with photos of world leaders upon my wall, each a candidate in my conspiracy-driven mind to be the Antichrist. I have a vegetable garden and a shotgun prepared for the end times. I am scared of Europe. I have a bag of dust from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and I invest in programmes to breed red heifers, so I can sacrifice them when the temple is rebuilt. I have a shofar.
“The eschatalogical filter through which I view the Bible does not lead me to any of these things - though I wish the best of luck to those who do. I do not look for obscure passages in order to take them out of context and apply them to the latest from FOX News. I look instead at unfulfilled promises that God has made - promises that the entire world should be filled with His glory. Promises that the Jewish people will one day turn to Him in the person of Christ Jesus, and adore Him. Promises that He will come to vindicate His saints. Promises of the new creation. I find these liberally slathered through both Testaments, and they form - as Paul says they ought - my blessed hope - that is, the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
If you didn’t appreciate those two paragraphs, maybe you’ll like this one, shared earlier in his conversation with a guy who was (if you hadn’t caught it) exasperated that anyone would ever study the end-times:
“While I am a little hazy on what precisely ‘thinking…like this‘ actually is, it is evidently my own good fortune not to be a member of your particular denomination.”
I thought that was great, if you hadn’t guessed. I am the unashamed president of the Danny Hibberd Fan Club.
March 25th, 2008
…and it’s not because Nader is running again. I do find that stunning, but consistent (again, you would have to see the documentary). I would have been a bit disappointed if he wasn’t running - but to me, this simply means that he means what he says and, whether you agree with him or not, you can believe that he is sincere. Nope, I’m writing this one today because I tend to be unreasonable, particularly related to my little forum that I have established here. I’ll explain more at the end.
Just a quick response to a commenter whom I did not publish related to “Navigating Extravagance”:
1. I love that the post was so similar to one of Mike’s messages on Mary of Bethany. I had not heard that message, so that was kind of encouraging, actually. Thanks for the tip-off, I’m going to try to dig it up and listen to it.
2. The point about devotion flowing from understanding in a way that differentiated Mary from the disciples is that she, according to those same disciples, “anointed Jesus for burial.” That was a remarkable thing to do, since those who had worked closely with Jesus seemingly had no idea about what was around the corner. Mary, however, seemed to grasp what Jesus was about to do and thus felt compelled to minister to Him and bless Him in preparation for what lay ahead.
3. The question about “secret knowledge” was the tip-off that our “conversation” was probably either:
a. going to turn this conversation into an incredibly unproductive use of my time; or…
b. attract others like you that would turn this conversation into (you guessed it) an incredibly unproductive use of my time.
So, while I may answer the occasional odd comment every once in a while, I, being the unreasonable man that I am, will do so on my terms. Thankfully, I am under no obligation to do otherwise.
How do I believe that Mary grasped what lay ahead for Jesus when the disciples missed it? Um, probably because Jesus said it and she was paying attention. There was nothing “secret” about the cross and the manner in which Jesus was going to suffer and die; as I said (clearly, I had hoped) in the previous post, the disciples personal agendas may have clouded their ability to pay attention to what had to happen next. Mary seemed to have no agenda outside of loyal devotion to Jesus, which helped her hear clearly what Jesus was saying in a manner that the guys with ambition couldn’t catch.
Hope that helps clear things up. Feel free to read and comment away - but don’t take it personally if you never, ever see your comments posted here. This site was always meant to be a mostly devotional one. If it shifts fully into apologetics (which isn’t bad, is critical to our faith, and not what I want to do here but do in lots of other contexts); or devolves into useless “wranglings with words” that Paul counseled us to avoid, then I will probably move on. As, I am guessing, you already have. Be blessed as you do!
February 25th, 2008