With the political primary season in full gear (at least for one party), I thought it would be appropriate to use the primary process to make a point or two regarding core values and the comparative dangers and benefits of adaptation. (Check out last week’s article if you missed it.) Since then we have had…
We all love the story of Naaman from 2 Kings 5. We may even get a chuckle or two out of the great Aramean general’s assumptions about how God’s prophet would cleanse him of leprosy, and how he appeared willing to go home in a huff rather than reconsider his preconceptions. “Behold, I thought” — it has made for many a sermon title over the years, including one or two from me.
But are we that much better than Naaman?
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.
During a search for activities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that might not appeal to my mother-in-law (just joking, Ginny!), I stumbled across the website of the Museum for Biblical Art. I like art, and I love the Bible. So I figured checking it out for free might convince me to spend $15 to see it in person. Verdict: probably, assuming Tracie can be convinced.
One part I found a bit perplexing, though, is an outdoor exhibit called “The Spirit of Abstraction.”
In heaven you will find holiness; in hell you will find wickedness and impurity (Revelation 22:14-15).
In heaven you will find those who obeyed the gospel; in hell you will find those who did not (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
In heaven you will find Jesus (John 14:3); in hell you will find the devil and his agents (2 Peter 2:4).
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.
The famous Gallup polling company recently did some research as to why people attend church assemblies. The biggest two reasons: sermons that teach about Scripture, and sermons that help relate Scripture to everyday life. The smallest response came with regard to “a good choir, praise band, or other spiritual music.” Interesting.
Drinking cranberry juice is good for urinary tract infections. You’ve heard that, right? Because, like, science. Or your neighbor told you. Or some guy on the internet whose first name is Doctor said so.