The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, Jim Whiddon
371. MARRIED TO CHRIST “Does the gospel leave you free to live in any way you choose? No! says Paul. You can be either married to the law, or married to Christ, but you cannot be unmarried.
What an incredible metaphor—we are married to Christ! To be a Christian is to fall in love with Jesus and to enter into a legal, yet personal, relationship as comprehensive as marriage.
When you get married, no part of your life goes unaffected. So though Christians are now not “under law,” they have every aspect of their lives changed by the coming of Jesus Christ. No area is untouched.
Being “married to Christ” is the final answer to the question: Can a Christian live as he or she chooses? No, because we are in love with Christ!
Marriage does entail a significant loss of freedom and independence. You cannot simply live as you choose. A single person can make decisions unilaterally but a married person cannot. There is duty and obligation. But, on the other hand, there is now the possibility of an experience of love, intimacy, acceptance and security that you could not have as a single person. Because of this love and intimacy, our loss of freedom is a joy, not a burden. In a good marriage, your whole life is affected and changed by the wishes and desires of the person you love. You get pleasure from giving pleasure. You seek to discover the wishes of your beloved and are happy to make changes in accord with those wishes.”
Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “Romans 1-7 For You.”
372. WHO CREATED WHOM? What’s wrong with your professor asking, “Did God create us or did we create God?” Considering the variety of completely incompatible religions in the world, I think it’s a pretty good question. You could say something like this:
“It’s interesting that you ask that question because my own faith tradition recognizes the fact of religious diversity just like you do. But our teacher Paul gave a different explanation. He explained that God created us and we “created” gods—false gods—because we don’t want to acknowledge the true one. In fact, the Christian idea is that the manufacture of false gods is still going on today. The only difference is that instead of having names like Zeus and Athena, today they have names like Sex, Getting Rich, My Inner Self, and Getting My Way.”
Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “Ask Me Anything.”
373. FAITH IN TECHNOLOGY “Our theology once shaped our understanding of technology, but now we wonder how technology may alter our theology.
From each [successful] tech company, we can deduce a creation narrative. They follow a similar path, from humble beginnings, when the founders were seen as foolhardy, to the early test launch when a few more believers came on board (as additional investors). Many continue to scoff at a small band of outsiders taking on an established system. How could they dare to take on such hierarchy and dominance? The narrative shifts when the scoffers are ultimately defeated by those they previously dismissed (think Apple versus Microsoft). The scrappy outsiders become esteemed insiders, establishing a new standard. They liberate the public from a life of dull servitude into greater clarity, purpose, and practice.
“Some will recognize the similarities to the biblical narrative, where a creator God aligns with a marginalized people to take on established kingdoms and principalities. Jesus undercuts the established practices of his time with an upside-down ethic that supports the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. Such a countercultural power rearrangement was bound to create resistance, but despite the appearance of defeat, Jesus and his band of devoted followers rise and overturn the dominant people and paradigm. The outsiders become the insiders, the powerless are given access and authority. It becomes easy to see how faith in technology becomes an alternative religion, a way to reverse the curse of the fall, to provide comfort to hurting people, to offer us a glimpse of eternity.
American optimism has morphed into faith in technology. The only problem—technology cannot save us.
Excerpt From: Detweiler, Craig. “iGods.”
374. HUMILITY “Without help from others, we’re often blind to what we do and why we do it. We learn wisdom in community. If we stand alone, we fall. That’s why humility looks for mirrors. The humble don’t just tolerate input; they seek it.”
Excerpt From: Harvey, Dave. “Rescuing Ambition.”
375. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
376. INDISPENSABLE “Graveyards are filled with indispensable people.”
377. COLLECTIVE COURAGE “Mountain climbers are roped together to keep the sane ones from going home.” — Unknown
378. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH “In the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers set forth their reasons for separating from England. The Declaration gives a detailed list of legal offenses that England had left unresolved, but the Founders saw these as more than isolated wrongs. Rather, our forefathers saw these wrongs as a part of a predetermined plan to take away their religious liberties and reestablish the Church of England to rule over their hearts and souls, thus enslaving the colonies. In that light, one better understands the power of Patrick Henry’s fiery words.”
Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”
379. SIN REMOVED! The psalmist promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Aren’t we glad he said the east from the west instead of the north from the south? The north and south have an end. There is the North Pole and the South Pole. However, the east and west know no end; they simply keep going. God removes our sin from us forever.
Excerpt From: O. S. Hawkins. “The Joshua Code.”
380. FIRST TEE “Each time a golfer steps to the first tee surrounded by this tantalizing fragrance, he stands at even par. We all own par on the first tee. Hope is eternal. It’s on the 18th green that one has to face the music. How similar to life!”
Excerpt From: David L. Cook. “Golf’s Sacred Journey.”
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