Monday, October 21, 2013

A Brief Thought by Luke (Actually Me) on the Authority of the Word

At least twice in the gospel of Luke, Luke shows how the Word is to be preferred to a sign.

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, while the rich man suffers in hell, he begs Abraham to send a risen Lazarus to warns his brothers, arguing that “If someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent” (LUke 16:30).

Father Abraham says, “Nah, they have the Old Testament. That’s enough. Signs will do no better” (Luke 16:31; my paraphrase).

Later, when Jesus encounters the two men on the road to Emmaus who are mourning the death of the one they thought (based on the OT) was to be the redeemer, Jesus could have very easily opened their eyes immediately to see him, the resurrected Savior. Surely such a sign would have been the best and most direct route to faith for these two men.

Yet Jesus instead points them to the OT (Luke 24:27), to the words that they had believed only a part of (Luke 24:25). In fact, it is not until he leaves that they understand, “That was him.”

In this day when people are desperately seeking signs as reasons to believe, we should follow the example of Abraham and Jesus. Point people to the Word.

It’s not that signs don’t work. John reports that Jesus did many signs in order to bring belief.

It’s rather that the Word does work, and it needs nothing else. We need not live in an age of miracles in order to see the gospel spread. We need not be able to call down fire from heaven, or bread or healing or any other thing from heaven.

We need to take seriously the Word given to create life and bring belief in the lives of those who hear it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Around the Horn

At first this week, though the Huffington Post is generally not worth the paper is isn’t printed on, here’s a decent article on teen texting, or just texting in general. I say decent in that it makes some great points about texting, but only decent in that it doesn’t really address the problem of relationships or the problem of technology. If I find an article that addresses it better, I will text it to you. And you better respond within a few seconds.

At second, here’s a good article on evangelistic conversations with skeptics. Be wary of the temptation and tendency to desire to “show them what’s what” or to be ready with easy answers for all their questions. The goal of evangelistic conversations is evangelism, not winning. This article gives some good tips for engaging others in conversations. Be wary of confusing evangelism with talking past people.

At third, for all you word geeks out here, here are some “contronyms,” words that are their own opposites. It proves that context is everything in communication. Chances are, none of these words would confuse you if they were found in a sentence in everyday communication.

The homerun today is this interesting site, showing the progression of time on the planet through thirty years of satellite images. Some changes are pretty drastic, and others are barely noticeable. Dial up your home town and see how things have changed, and by all means, check out some of the links at the bottom of things others have found. (When you click on them, you need to manually scroll back up to the top to see it.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Around the Horn

It’s been a while since I have posted much here. It’s been a busy summer with some other writing and study priorities, not to mention life.

But here goes another edition of Around the Horn.

At first, here’s Sam Storm’s list of things he wished had learned earlier in ministry.

At second, today is a little more than a double, since H. B. Charles took Storms’ ten things and turned them into 103, but this list of things learned in ministry is also interesting.

At third, for those interested in the situation in the city of Detroit, here’s one man who says It Didn’t Have To Be This Way. For those who haven’t followed much of the Detroit scandal (not the financial one specifically but the mayoral one), here’s an article that details the case against former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who is due to be sentenced today for his convictions on public corruption. I post it because it’s a good reminder that power without character is deadly, whether you get caught or not. Kilpatrick got caught.

Last, here’s an article about what ebooks are doing to libraries, but it’s probably not what you are thinking. I had no idea.