Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday morning evangelistic smack-down, vi

John Chrysostom, in reflecting on Paul’s approach to ministry says this:

"For Paul’s work found its source in power, mighty power, power that surpassed mere human diligence. For Paul brought three qualifications to the preaching of the word:

  • a fervent and adventurous zeal,
  • a soul ready to undergo any possible hardship
  • and the combination of knowledge and wisdom.

Even with Paul’s love of the difficult task, his blameless life would have accomplished little had he not also received the power of the Spirit.

Examine the matter from Paul’s own words: “That our ministry not be blamed” And again “For our exhortation is not founded on deceit, nor uncleanness, nor guile nor hidden under a cloak of covetousness.” Thus you have seen his blamelessness. And again “For we aim at what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of human beings.”

Without this Paul’s work would have been impossible. People were not converted by Paul’s miracles; no it was not the miracles that produced faith, nor did Paul base his high calling upon the miraculous but upon other grounds:

  • a man must be irreproachable in conduct,
  • prudent and
  • discreet in his dealings with others, regardless of the dangers involved, and
  • apt to teach.

These were the qualifications that enabled Paul to reach his goal." (Homilies on Ephesians 6). (HT: Ben Witherington)

Wrong questions – right questions Dr. Roger Parrott, Belhaven College in Jackson, MS., was speaking at the Wesley Biblical Seminary chapel last week. He said that those in higher education are notorious for asking the wrong questions.

Wrong – What is your major?

Right – What is your passion?

Wrong – What do you want to be when you graduate?

Right – How are you gifted?

Wrong – What would you be if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Right – If you could be exactly what God wanted you to be – why wouldn’t you be?

These questions, he says, set you on a quantum leap above what the world will be able to offer you.

Ouch! – on a couple of different levels "A man is castrated in order to make him a singer who can take higher notes than any normal man can take. And so with these preachers: from a Christian point of view they are castrati, are deprived of their real manhood which is 'the existential' - but they can take notes higher and more fascinating than any true Christian." (Soren Kierkegaard)

Wesley said, they did: “You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore, spend and be spent in the work.” Spend themselves, they did! “Of the first 737 members of the Conferences to die [up to 1847], nearly half died before they were thirty years old, [and] two-thirds died before they had been able to render twelve years of service.” Says Robert Coleman, “No insurance company would ever have given them a ‘preferred risk’ policy.” (Coleman, Nothing to Do But to Save Souls)

Word study... from Dennis Kinlaw: “I recently pulled down a dictionary to trace the etymology of the English word, true. It comes from an old Indo-European word, treow, which meant “tree.” …I asked myself, How are those trees like truth? It suddenly dawned on me. Never have I gone to bed wondering where one of those trees would be the next morning. In all the years we’ve lived at that house, neither of those trees has moved. They don’t budge. That’s the way truth is. That’s the way God is. You can count on Him. He doesn’t change. Faithfulness and truth come together in Almighty God.

“In Hebrew, the word for ‘believe’ and the word for ‘faith’ come from the same linguistic root, which is also the source of the Hebrew word for ‘truth.’ That Hebrew root word is amen, which we use at the end of our prayers to mean, ‘Let is be so. Let it be true. Let it be unchangeable. Let it be established.’ The Hebrew word for ‘truth is emmenet, though it also appears in the contracted form, ement. It comes from that root word, Amen. In other words, the ancient Hebrews knew that truth does not change. It is something we can count on.” (Kinlaw, We Live as Christ)



At 5:15 PM, Blogger antonio said...

excellent points on the questions we ask. we could take this futher outside of school and to everyday life.


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