The “essentials” of the gospel

The question of which spiritual matters are more important than others, needless to say, is a complicated matter. We would all agree that some matters that involve our walk with Christ are matters of judgment and others are matters of doctrine. Distinguishing the one from the other is often complicated. A proper treatment of this…

“A classic — something that everybody wants to have read and no one wants to read”

My podcast listeners will remember I made reference recently to a collection of quotations from Mark Twain, perhaps the most beloved of all American writers.  Although he was a masterful storyteller and social critic, he is perhaps best known for his quippy one-liners and witticisms.  He knew better than most that truth gets through hard skulls better when accompanied by a bit of humor.  We all (well, most of us) instinctively are inclined to laugh at ourselves; when we give ourselves a chance, we may motivate ourselves to grow.

Short cuts

It’s time for another report from the Facebook links.  Really, one of these days I will quit watching these things.  But then again, if I did, where would I get ideas for this column?

Anyway, in this particular instance a woman was being interviewed by a TV reporter because she had difficulties while dropping her children off at school.  She was running late, so she decided to cut through an elementary school parking lot to get to another school in the neighborhood, driving around two traffic cones while doing so.  One schoolteacher was so upset at her actions that he literally threw himself onto the hood of her car.

A few words about authority

In this space last week, I made you aware of my brief exchange with Bro. Jesse Winn, whose website article entitled “The Church of Christ: Some Thoughts on Change” has gotten a bit of play lately.  The article features 30 statements, each of then beginning with “I believe.”  They represent his current thinking on a variety of subjects ranging from church music to congregational oversight to the resurrection.  I do not have the inclination to respond fully to any of these points, let alone all of them. But I would like to address the tone of the article as a whole, and perhaps touch on a few specific points along the way.

 

A few words about “change”

A Facebook “preachers” group that I somehow became attached to (you social media types know how easily that can happen) brought a preacher in Tuscumbia, Alabama, named Jesse Winn to my attention. After e-mailing Bro. Winn and exchanging a few thoughts and pleasantries, I decided (with his permission) to include his name and a link to the article in question. You can find the article here. I encourage you to read his article with the same prayer, spirit and consideration I ask when you read mine. The gist of his article was this (his emphasis):

I believe that, generally speaking, as a movement, we (the churches of Christ) need to be less afraid of change when necessary and more willing to question things.

Know

Mathematician David Hilbert had inscribed on his tombstone, “Wir mussen wissen. Wir warden wissen.”  He was German, in case you thought this was going to be a note about typographical errors made in granite.

“We must know.  We will know.”  That’s the translation, and a powerful commentary on mankind’s need — mandate, even — to advance the boundaries of knowledge.