Changing The World

“Changing the world sounds grand, until you consider how poorly we do even at changing our own little lives. On a daily basis we break our promises, indulge our addictions and rehearse old fantasies and grudges that even we know we’d be better off without. We have changed less about ourselves than we would like to admit. Who are we to charge off to change the world?”

— Andy Crouch, Culture Making

Posted with LifeCast

Civil Yet Firm

I agree with Madeleine Albright on the importance of learning more about Islam (see The Mighty and the Almighty). From an individual Christian’s perspective, the challenge is how to remain committed to one’s faith without being discourteous or uncivil to another person’s faith, and yet remain firm on matters of honest disagreement and not compromise one’s duty to evangelize. The danger of extremism is real, as Albright points out:

It does not take much to lead groups of people with extreme views to believe their faith is under attack and that their duty is to defend it by every available means.

Homer and Paul on Anger

Homer in The Iliad (Lattimore translation) has Achilleus setting aside his anger with these words:

Still, we will let all this be a thing of the past, though it hurts us, and beat down by constraint the anger that rises inside us. Now I am making an end of my anger. It does not become me unrelentingly to rage on.

I am reminded here of the Pauline injunction not to let the sun go down on one’s anger (Eph. 4:26). There are times when anger may be the appropriate response, but generally speaking “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). It does not become a Christian to be a characteristically angry man.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Col. 3:8-10)

Podcasts Gone

Switchpod, which hosts my podcasts for free, seems to have signed off for good. That means many of the podcasts I’ve posted on this blog are gone, so don’t be surprised when you find many broken links while clicking on a song or sermon of mine. Anyway, I still have some of my songs and sermons on the following websites: attycortessongs.tumblr.com and attycortessermons.tumblr.com.

Something Good

‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.’ When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence…. ‘The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.’ Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear

Back!

We had a great Easter Sunday yesterday. Pastor Wade Allen preached a heart searching sermon on what it means to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. Then, the church had breakfast together.

Of course, I spent the holy week mostly reading: Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society. I love vacations. I get to read a lot more than I usually do.

Oshek

The Hebrew term for oppressing workers, oshek, means ‘taking advantage of a worker.’ The Bible generally assumed that workers were relatively powerless and easily intimidated.

Oshek means not paying people what they deserve or not paying the going rate for a particular job or not paying someone on time. The Torah teaches, ‘You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets…’ (Deut.14:15).

(Jeffrey K. Salkin, Being God’s Partner)