I saw this meme on Facebook, and immediately liked it and disliked it!Continue reading Is the “Internal Struggle” an Exemption from Responsibility for How We Treat Others?
Category Archives: Decoupling
Working the Bible Puzzle
It can take quite some time to learn how to work the Bible puzzle—and for many of us, one of the first steps seems to be coming to the realization that it is, indeed, a puzzle at all! I remember taking offense when I heard a certain author call it that sometime in the early 2000s. My view of it at the time went something like this:
- We’ve been “given everything we need” in the Bible, so it’s all in there.
- If we were just faithful and diligent, it would all make perfect sense. It’s very “clear”.
- The Spirit helps us understand it, so what’s to puzzle over? (The way I understand it, therefore, must be pretty close to being right.)
The Greatest Thing a Sheep Can Do
Some of the sheep say
That the greatest thing
A sheep can do is
Camaraderie of the Quagmire
Always be prepared
For the fools to protest
That your wrestling them free
From the muck of stupidity
Is not love.
What Should I Tolerate?
This is such a tough principle to navigate! How much should we “stand our ground”, and how much should we simply let people be the people they are, even if it steps on our toes?
I think this is one of the greatest philosophical questions we face as humans, and how we face it says a great deal about what kind of people we are. (And I don’t think I understand it all myself—just that it’s of huge importance.)Continue reading What Should I Tolerate?
To Do But Not To Be
How curious that a man
Can be willing to do a thing
And yet not be willing to be it—
That he will commit to it outwardly
And even for impressive periods of time
And yet not love it with all his inner being—
And live on for years divided about it in his spirit!
Filling The Empty Young Man
We will take the empty young man
Who knows nothing and has no wisdom
And we will fill him up
To bursting with pompousness
With the vacuous ideas
That since we have put him up front
That must mean that he is
Knowledgeable and wise after all
And that God himself has ordained it.
An Inclination Deeper than Words, Thoughts, and Feelings?
I’m going to do my best to keep this short, as I just want to put a couple of thoughts out there without composing the volumes of supporting ideas that should eventually go with it. So here’s my main point: I think that in our complicated selves—somewhere amid that thing—or groups of things—that we sometimes refer to with words such as mind, heart, soul, spirit, or being, there’s an important part that underlies the parts of which we are more often aware. The parts we more commonly “see” in action—that we are more routinely aware of—have to do with mental functions or features like thoughts, words, actions, feelings, plans, decisions, and actions. Though probably none of us are fully aware of all of these things when they happen, most of us are at least generally aware that such things are indeed doing on inside our selves. That underlying part is what I will (today) call “the will”; it’s our set of desires (wants, wishes, inclinations)—and the important feature of it that I’d like to draw attention to in this post is that not all of the desires that reside there are pointing in the same direction; sometimes they are at odds with one another. And when this happens, it can sometimes make us miserable. I’ve lately taken to describing this misery by use of the metaphor of a horse having a burr under its saddle.Continue reading An Inclination Deeper than Words, Thoughts, and Feelings?
My church may not be perfect—
It may have its shortcomings and flaws—
It may have its errors and bad habits
And its imperfect leaders—
And even some of its sins
Swept under the carpet—