If you want to know whether a person is wise and understanding, James says look at their lifestyle, whether it’s a lifestyle flowing from humility, because that is the acid test of wisdom. To put it another way, for James the good life is a life of good deeds, and a life of good deeds flows from humility, and that humility is the fundamental mark of wisdom. Without wisdom, there is no humility, and without humility there are no good deeds, and without good deeds there is no good life. Got it?!
Wisdom For Ministry
Larry Norman once asked “Why should the devil have all the good music?” Whether we agree with Larry about the use of rock music to praise God or not, we can ask a similar question about Padraig: Why should we let the world pretend that remembering St. Patrick is about getting drunk on March 17 every year?
We all know that pastors can’t deal with the threat of spiritual shipwreck simply by lobbing Bible verses like hand grenades. Isolated proof-texts aren’t intellectually convincing or spiritually edifying. We need a holistic view of the teaching of the Bible and how it has been understood historically. Are you up to wading through a post on this topic?
Can women be deacons? Can divorced people be deacons? I don’t hear much about deacons at all these days, let alone about these two questions. Maybe our culturally-driven preoccupation with prominent pastors and other high profile Christian leaders draws our attention away from the multitude of faithful deacons who serve Christ anonymously in churches all over the world. In this post we’ll spend a little time reviewing the New Testament teaching on deacons and then speak to the two questions raised above.
Preachers tend to avoid Hebrews. It’s long and involved. It’s full of scary warnings. It probably wasn’t even written by Paul! But its message is vital for those who practice convenient Christianity today. What’s more, it’s a goldmine when it comes to showing us how to preach. Preaching Hebrews means preaching like Hebrews preaches!
Recently I was honored to be the officiant at the wedding ceremony of a family member. Preparing for the ceremony led me to revisit the eternal question about the meaning of love. Here’s the reflection I gave during the ceremony.