Meeting Fellow Bloggers and Ministers and Some Random Thoughts

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Today was an excellent day. I was blessed to spend the better part of the day meeting some men I have become acquainted with through blogging and a few other men I knew of but never met. We had a ministers meeting in Mt. Dora and it was a HUGE blessing. I got to meet Bob Bliss, Joe Roberts, Steve Puckett, Bill Williams, Eddie Randolph (who doesn’t have a blog…yet), and Randal Myers. I am not sure how often I will be able to spend time with these brothers but I do know that I will value every minute I do. Iron was certainly sharpened. Two things…I had thought Bob reminded me of Taylor Hicks…I didn’t know just how true that was until today. My bet is Bob can dance better than Taylor. What I didn’t realize is that Bill kind of reminds of Philip Seymor Hoffman. That is a little more of a stretch. If any of you guys are reading this I wanted to say thanks for today.

I want to toss some random thoughts out there today that came to mind as we were talking today:

1) Can you imagine if you only ate 1 hour a week…how much energy would you have? How hungry would you be? How often do people try to get their spiritual nourishment for the week in just one hour?

2) Who are we? In the Church of Christ we used to be known as “the only ones going to heaven.” I must say that was not a very fair title or thing to be known by and I have never actually heard anyone make that statement but we were known for it. Today it seems like many churches and Christians have let go of that but have not latched onto anything else – who are we? What is our message? How are we to redefine ourselves? I would push the concept of what this blog is entitled as the answer – we need to proclaim the Kingdom. What would you say we need to do to redefine ourselves rather than just treading water?

3) I love the verse in Proverbs 27:17 about iron sharpening iron and how when we interact with each other we grow and mature. Have you ever thought about what happens when iron hits iron? In order for it to be sharpened something has to give, tension often occurs, friction happens and the iron comes out on the other side sharper and harder than before…better able to be used for its purpose. How has your iron been sharpened this week?

4) Randal Myers reviewed the book Total Forgiveness by Kendall. It reminded me of the old saying, “Withholding forgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” What lessons have you learned about forgiveness?

5) N.T. Wright is everywhere, writing about everything so well that he is changing some long standing views on the gospel, heaven, Jewish culture, etc. We will look back to see him as the most influential theologian for the foreseeable future. Will Ben Witherington surpass him? So the commentary question is, “Socio-” or “For Everyone” which do you prefer?

0 Responses

  1. I also wish I could have been there too, Matt. Said the same thing over at Bob’s Blog and Blather. Glad you all had a great time.

    About 2: You raise some very important points and questions for the Churches of Christ. I don’t know the answers. The positions of this group and its reason for being have been so closely tied to one another. I don’t see how it can let go of the first and hold onto the second. Some biblical and downright Christian ways of re-interpreting our anti-traditional tradition are in order.

    About 5: Witherinton and Wright are both such great thinkers and writers. I suspect that Wright will wind up being the more influential. About the two series: Witherington’s commentaries tend to be huge (though certainly not tedious). Wright’s “for Everyone” series, on the other hand, effectively replaces the old Daily Study Bible done by William Barclay (which certainly should have been replaced). My guess is that more sermons and Bible class lessons will be taken from Wright than Witherington.

  2. Matt, eating once a week was the problem that Willow Creek discovered in their people. Unfortunately it’s a plague that most churches suffer from. Our folks come for Bible classes and sermons but probably do little else to feed themselves.

    #2 – we should get back to “Christians Only.” We should focus on what the Canon says and not on what we make of the Canon. In other words, focus on what the Bible says about salvation without trying to determine who has made it into the kingdom.

    #5 – Isn’t “socio” connected with social and wouldn’t that imply “for everyone?” Just trying to be humorous. I think that Wright has already surpassed Witherington in terms of name recognition. They are on different sides of the fence when it comes to Paul. Witherington remains reformed.

    It was good to meet you face to face. Look forward to more opportunities. Will you be coming to the Spiritual Growth Workshop?

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