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“On the human side, I assume that [the Bible] was produced and preserved by competent human beings who were at least as intelligent and devout as we are today. I assume that they were quite capable of accurately interpreting their own experience and of objectively presenting what they heard and experienced in the language of their historical community, which we today can understand with due diligence.
¶ On the divine side, I assume that God has been willing and competent to arrange for the Bible, including its record of Jesus, to emerge and be preserved in ways that will secure his purposes for it among human beings worldwide. Those who actually believe in God will be untroubled by this. I assume that he did not and would not leave his message to humankind in a form that can only be understood by a handful of late-twentieth-century professional scholars, who cannot even agree among themselves on the theories that they assume to determine what the message is.
¶ The Bible is, after all, God’s gift to the world through the Church, not to the scholars. It comes through the life of his people and nourishes that life. Its purpose is practical, not academic. An intelligent, careful, intensive but straightforward reading — that is, one not governed by obscure and faddish theories or by a mindless orthodoxy — is what it requires to direct us into life in God’s kingdom. Any other approach is to the Bible, I believe, conflicts with the picture of the God that, all agree, emerges from Jesus and his tradition. To what extent this belief of mine is or is not harmfully circular, I leave the philosophically minded reader to ponder.” -DALLAS WILLARD
read a good blog post on emotionally healthy preaching today
The first two points especially stood out to me:
1. This is not about us or our validation. It is not about people moving towards us but towards Jesus.
2. We must preach out of deep place of prayer as foundational to our preparation.
The first point made me wonder, how much when I speak – is it about me & my validation? It always is a turn off when I perceive that in another. I am sure it is the same when people perceive that in me.
Am I pointing people in the right direction? (hint: that pointing should not be directed towards me)
Also, a deep place of prayer (& dependence on the Spirit I would add) … really challenged me.
I think I linked to this article before, but I wanted to post it here again – as I re-read it & it struck me freshly – how important this is – to develop leaders…
“About six years ago the German football team was at a crossroads. They were playing what many people thought was a boring brand of the beautiful game. They were a defensive team and while they could sometimes win on the counter when it came to winning a game with their own strategy they really struggled. Losing Euro 2004 was the final disaster and the German Federation did some thinking. They changed leadership and philosophy but MOST IMPORTANTLY they changed their approach to developing players.
Jurgen Klinsman was brought in as a manager with new ideas. Klinsman had recently been a player so he was more of a practitioner instead of a theoretician. Also, he had played a couple of seasons in the English premier League which is undoubtedly the most watched football competition in the world and is known for its attacking flair. Ironic when you consider the way they played in this years World Cup in South Africa.
At this years World Cup the Germans have been inspirational. A young team. Fearless and the only team who has consistently found a way to score goals – lots of goals against different opponents. They planned six years ago for what is happening now. They deliberately found a way to develop the players they needed to lead the world again in the game of football.
We all bemoan the fact that it is proving hard to identify and prepare the catalytic leaders we need to sustain planting movements in our country. But what have we actually been doing? We have been training pastor-teachers. This is important too. But if we want a planting movement we have to find and develop fearless young leaders who will pay any price to do evangelism and disciple-making. My guess is they won’t go to our present training institutions because they simply don’t want to be pastor-teachers.
To find these catalytic leaders we must change they way we talk about mission; then we must change the way we relate to the young catalytic but difficult to manage young men and women in and around our churches; then we must change the way we train them and above all we must change the way we support them in an ongoing manner.”
…so Matt & I went to see a great movie a couple of weeks ago — Get Low.
I liked it so much I was going to post the trailer for it, but forgot until I saw it on another blog today.
(disclaimer – love, love anything by Bill Murray)
from Rotten Tomatoes:
A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party… while he was still alive.
Subtle to a fault, this perfectly cast ensemble drama is lifted by typically sharp performances from Robert Duvall and Bill Murray