Wednesday, January 16, 2019

day no. 14,695: wise by whose standard?

Deuteronomy 4:5-8
See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

We tend to provide a less glowing review of the Old Testament law. If someone lobs an accusation against the old-timey, backwards ways of early Israel, we tend to grant the ground readily. We immediately take the position of apologizing for it and assuring the detractor that objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are, but that they actually aren't. We love putting distance between us and God's revealed Words, especially when the verdict of those onlooking is guilty.

But Moses assumed that a people committed to God's Word would attract onlookers and create a buzz that elevated God's reputation among those they lived - no caveat required. Seems like perhaps the Apostle Paul would have agreed with Moses (fancy that).

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

day no. 14,694: more or less?

Deuteronomy 4:2
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.

When dealing with the Word of God, there are always two temptations close at hand:
1) to say more than He has said
2) to say less than He has said

It is one thing to elaborate or explain what has been said, it is another thing to expand on what has been said. There is a difference between describing the path in more detail and paving new lanes to make the road wider.

It is another matter to excuse or expunge what has been said. It is not permissible to be silent where God has spoken. Again, the end result is often a path that is wider than it would be if certain road signs were present and enforced.

Monday, January 14, 2019

day no. 14,693: appetite guide

While watching "The Riot and the Dance" tonight, I was struck by a comment the narrator, Dr. Gordon Wilson, made regarding appetites. During a clip showing gecko lizards eating flying termites by a lonely lamp lit in the jungle, he made a comment about how much geckos love eating flying termites. He supplemented this by pointing out how tragic it would be if they craved eggs and bacon and only ever had flying termites to eat. Their appetites match what they are provided. Their God gave them both a desire to eat termites and termites in abundance on which to feast. They get what they were designed to want.

In similar fashion, man was made for God and in Christ He has provided all of Himself to us. How tragic that so many crave sex, drugs, fame, money, power, pride, and comfort when infinite joy is offered to us? How sad that we desire what God is offering and search for it in mud pies in the slum?

We may take pity on the gecko for being relegated to a life of eating flying termites, but the gecko takes pity on us for gorging ourselves on vending machine snacks when a feast is on the table.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

day no. 14,692: complementarianism and counter-punching

All this talk of complementarianism and chauvinism got me to thinking…. 

If the pejorative term for being Biblical through and through is "chauvinist," the pejorative term for wanting to be thought of as Biblical while feeling the freedom to promote unbiblical ideas with respect to complementarianism should be called, "Masochism."

Let me explain. What would you call the paying and promotion of a woman to the position of being your master, applauding her for their handling of the whip and congratulating yourself for your humility? Read that job description back as many times as you like, but there's no way around it sounding like a world drenched in leather and domination. If you don't think that's masochism, then you need masochism lessons.... which i DO NOT recommend: the previous lashes do not seem to have left an impression. The only difference here is that masochism typically, like cockroaches, thrives in the dark, but this new play is being run out in broad daylight. Most masochists at least recognize that this kind of behavior is best left tot the shadows, while these new, enlightened whipsters have the audacity to do this sort of thing for everyone else to see (Eph 5:12) turning a private shame into a public debacle. And all the while expecting to be greeted by fanfare and a tickertape parade (Rom 1:32).

You might say, "that sounds over the top and intentionally hyperbolic in order to make a point," to which I may respond, "compromising positions often do not sound less compromising when described by those who have the benefit of not currently being bent over. It looks different from a standing position than it does from a kneel."

Saturday, January 12, 2019

day no. 14,691: complementarianism and compliments

The Biblical, complementarian position on gender roles and distinctions is often accused of being chauvinistic. It receives these 40 lashes from those without who see the whole thing as a toxic masculinity cesspool as well as from those within who see a gradation between old guard, patriarchy and new guard, progress with the former being out of the touch the latter being up n' coming and enlightened. I understand why those without cast the first stone, complementarianism undermines everything they hold dear by insisting that meaningful distinction and design undergird everything we encounter. I do not understand, however, the backlash that is often received from those who claim Christ, but consider those still reading their Bibles to be ass backwards – for nothing is less progressive than going backwards and flipping the pages back to Genesis 2 and 3.

There is a brand of Christian that holds complementarianism in derision and another that holds it blushingly and apologetically as though they were only holding it for now... for someone else... until they get back, but not a moment longer. Instead of providing an apology for the Bible's position, they provide apologies for the Bible's positions by the way they shrug their shoulders. Regardless, a Bible-believing complementarian should consider it a compliment to be criticized as a "chauvinist, by either of these brands.

"Chauvinism" is a choice term. Decades of women's studies majors have pre-loaded it with all the appeal of a plastic straw in the ocean. It is not cool. It is a word that no one wants to be and thus can be used to manipulate people to change their behavior. If you label what they do or think as "chauvinistic," you successfully maneuver them off that position or activity. No one can in clean conscience remain a chauvinist any more than they can tolerate being a "racist." If something is called chauvinistic or racist, whatever it is, even if it isn't at all, we know one thing… it must stop… NOW!

But knowing all of that, those on the more liberal (read: generous) end of the Christian spectrum feel the freedom to connect the conservative, historical, Christian, biblical position with the term "chauvinism" and accuse their exegesis of thinking only with its other head. However, if someone who is in Camp Chauvinist lobs back that grenade before it explodes, they're accused of friendly fire and promoting disunity as though the problem of divisions in the brotherhood were unilaterally the responsibility of the bigger, older brother's punching back.

Friday, January 11, 2019

day no. 14,690: alphabetical areas of interest list January 2019

Advent (really enjoyed our first very intentional season)
Ask Doug (YouTube videos of Doug Wilson answering questions)
Beard (3 months old, looking good, feeling great!)
Benediction (trying to find more ways to implement Numbers 6:24-26)
Bifocals (still haven't mentally resolved to fact of needing them)
Brain Games (show on Netfliex enjoying with family)
Canon Press/Christ Church (wanting to visit)
Calendar (reorienting calendar around Christian calendar)
Charades (enjoyed playing w/ family during Advent nights w/o movies)
Charcuterie board (loved having out several times during feast day celebrations)
Cold Showers (still enjoying cold showers after workouts)
Connection Group (enjoying break over holidays and looking ahead to Spring)
Discipleship (meeting with guys 4 out of 5 days a week for lunch this semester)
Doug Wilson (still fan-girling like a boss: Books, Blog & Mablog, and Plodcast)
Dude Perfect (still a family favorite, Youtube videos)
Down Syndrome (scared after initial ultrasound for baby girl, blood test confirmed negative)
Eldering (identifying next group, beginning new book/group training in Feb)
Fasting (revisiting this discipline accompanied by specific prayers)
Feast Days (implementing intentional focus on feasting) 
Future (keeping eye on prize and wondering what God may call us to)
Genesis 3 (looking fwd to preaching the Fall in a few weeks)
Gentlemen Broncos (excited to watch this Hess film I got for Christmas!)
Gifts (God using Christmas to prompt many to provide financial needs)
Girl's Names (contemplating VV #7's name)
Glasses (trying to adjust to wearing new glasses more regularly)
God Rest Ye Merry (just completed Advent devo by Doug Wilson)
Gratitude (a heart full of "Thank you" for God's kindness in healing and provision lately)
High Protein Diet (looking to get back into it after holiday season)
How to think (learning not just what, but how and how to teach others the same)
IPAs (still by far my favorite genre of beer, lately Logboat's Rosalitas)
Is Genesis History? (excited to watch movie I got for Christmas)
Jammin Jalapeno sauce at BWW (back for limited time, love it! why'd they discontinue it?)
Korn (getting reacquainted while running on treadmill)
Lay leading (prepping for sermon on "All of Life is Spiritual")
Lion and the Lamb (just preached on Rev 19:11-16, loved opportunity to cash it out)
Moscow, ID (interested in the area and the ministry of Christ Church)
Music (excited to explore this possibility more while working in UW)
Mustache (first time growing beard w/o trimming 'stache, crazy)
New Building (Anthem renovating, prepping to enter new building by February)
Ology, The (reading w/ kids during dinner)
Other Jesuses (2 Cor 11:3-4 ref in recent sermon is clutch in combating this tendency)
Pilgrim's Progress (began reading w/ intention of reading through every year going fwd)
Preaching and sermon preparation (delighting in studying, doing and teaching God's Word)
Prayer walking (praying for family by name during morning walk to work)
Pull up bar (Atticus got for Christmas, been enjoying opportunity to work upper body)
Quarter zip (hand me down work out jacket/shirt from Josh Miller I've be wearing tons)
Quit biting pointer and pinky finger nails on right hand (bad habit resurfaced on these only)
Racial Reconciliation (pursuing clear-headed, Gospel-centered discussion/reactions)
Refused (listened to Shape of Punk to Come album other day for first time in long time)
Strength (men: serve, provide protect -- women: make home, cultivate beauty, nurture life)
Stroopwafels (got some for Christmas)
Tax return (excited to see how much we get back this year!!!)
Tithing (God continues to generously provide as we give our first and best to Him faithfully)
Toms (got my first pair as hand me downs from Josh Miller
Underwriting (hired Sep 1, 2018; completing training Jan 11, 2019)
Vacation (excited I get 2 weeks of paid paternal leave when baby girl arrives)
Van (have a 15 pass van lined up from Baptist church in town: answer to prayer)
Vocation (pursuing my calling in the context of lay leading)
Walking to work (been enjoying opportunity for fresh air to and from work)
Why Children Matter (reading at night with wife)
Women in leadership (recent discussion w/ Vint regarding woman worship director)
X marks the spot (focusing on being where I am and thinking about where I want to be)
"Yes!" (realizing I hear myself saying, "No" more than I need to at home)
Zeitgeist sniffer (sick burn Wilson used referring to Rob Bell)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

day no. 14,689: benediction (the priestly blessing)

Numbers 6:24-26
24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 
25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

I was once again astounded by the simplicity and profundity of this short prayer of blessing and I was inspired to find ways to include it more often in my own prayers for others. In particular, I want to speak these words over my household, my wife and my children. As their pastor, I desire to see God's favor upon them, with them, in them, alive and operating, producing fruit and fruitfulness, faith and faithfulness.

I look forward to seeing what may happen and for the privilege of being responsible for the garden I've been given.