Recipe for one parenting book
Take one favourite and fashionable parenting philosophy.
Add 10 sets of 10 steps, five guarantees and six dire warnings.
I’ve often been intrigued by James 3:1. Here is a rather literal translation of the verse from the New King James version:
Gordon’s stirring and encouraging piece on Spurgeon finished with a typically Chengian twist of the knife: do we work hard enough these days in ministry? Has the pendulum swung too far towards stress-relief and self-maintenance? Do we worry too much about ‘overdoing it’, and thus fail to take up opportunities that come to hand?
One of the reasons I so much like Colin Buchanan’s kid’s music is that he clearly agrees with me that no-one is ever too young to grasp the doctrine of the Trinity. My oldest daughter, now nine, is a bit past Colin these days, but my five-year-old and seven-year-old love listening to him. So the other day when our eldest was sick at home, I had the other two in the car and put on Colin’s Follow the Saviour. Track 15 says:
Mark, how did you come to Christ?
I first heard the gospel in a Sunday School class at the local Baptist Church. However, my faith was nurtured by an ISCF group at high school, during a period when none of my family went to church at all. In the year of my HSC, I began to attend the local Anglican church, and the adventure took off from there.
Thanks to everyone who contributed comments in answer to the question that I raised in my previous post about Paul and his fellow apostles in 1 Corinthians 4 and the woman described in Proverbs 31. The particular, concrete detail that I zeroed in on was the contrast between how they dress (“poorly dressed” versus “fine linen and purple”), but I also had in mind the broader contrast between how they live and how they are seen by others (“held in disrepute” versus “praised in the gates”).
Standing on the 5th tee at St Michael’s in Sydney’s East, the golfer experiences a mixture of nervousness and dread. Here (with some translational notes for non-golfers) is what it’s like.
Here at Matthias Media, we read and recommend the English Standard Version Bible (ESV) as a superior English translation of both Old and New Testaments. So it was with interest and some nervousness that I heard that there is coming, just around the corner now, a new ESV Bible: the ESV Study Bible. It was with interest because, well, it’s interesting; nervousness because Study Bibles, no matter how terrific they are, are the bane of every Bible study leader’s life. When you ask “What does the text say?”, there will always always be one nerdy member of the group who will say, “Well, it says here in the explanatory notes that …”. The faint thumping sound you hear next is me hitting myself upside of the head prior to saying, “Yes, that’s great, and thank you, but WHAT DOES THE TEXT SAY?!?!?”, veins bulging on my neck and eyes popping out of my head. My Bible studies, at least, can be intense affairs.
“We are poorly dressed … Be imitators of me.” (1 Cor 4:11, 16)
“All her household are clothed in scarlet… her clothing is fine linen and purple.” (Prov 31:21-22)
Christians and soldiers have a lot in common, or at least they should (2 Tim 2:3-4). Firstly they both know that submission equals survival. The wise infantry man always awaits the order to advance—especially when the machine gunner next to him is laying down cover fire.
It’s been interesting to follow the comments on Tony’s post about the ethics of everyday evangelism. Tony makes a helpful point: rather than getting caught up with the question of whether we must evangelize, it’s far more useful to ask how we can encourage, inspire and equip more Christians to talk about Jesus with their friends.
To keep the detail of my memory fresh as possible, I got home from church a couple of Sundays ago and headed straight to the computer to update my blog. Here, then, is my quick and dirty summary and quote from Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, answering a question he was asked at my church about how he became a Christian as a teenager at the 1959 Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. If you click through, you will see that the very first thing he chose to speak about was the judgement of God!
I have to admit to a growing confusion. I often read these days about how the future—particularly a perceived continuity between the present and the new creation—ought to shape our Christian lives. Now at the risk of being told “Silly boy, go and sit in the corner of the class”, I’m not sure that I buy it.