Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Capon, p. 26-27 - Trusting Jesus

Continuing our discussion on Capon, I am embeding pages 26 and 27 here. Comments?

Capon 26

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Kingdom in Parables

Joseph got me thinking about Robert F. Capon's The Parables of the Kingdom. I'd read it many years ago, but got it off my shelf and have started to revisit it. So, over the next coupla posts, I'd like to offer for your comments and reflections a paragraph/passage from Capon. Here's the first, from the first chapter "A Word About Parables":

"In the Bible, as a matter of fact, God does so many ungodly things--like not remembering our sins, erasing the quite correct handwriting against us, and becoming sin for us--that the only safe course [for studying the Bible] is to come to Scripture with as few stipulations as possible. God used his own style manual, not ours, in the promulgation of his Word.
"Openness, therefore, is the major requirement for approaching the Scriptures. And nowhere in the Bible is an un-made-up mind more called for than when reading the parables of Jesus. Indeed, if I were forced to give a short answer to the question 'What is the Bible as a whole about?' I think I would ignore all the subjects mentioned so far [it's about God, Morality, Religion, Spirituality, Salvation] and base my reply squarely on those parables. If they have a single subject at all, it is quite plainly the kingdom of God.. I would say that the Bible is about the mystery of the kingdom--a mystery that, by definition, is something well hidden and not at all likely to be grasped by plausibility-loving minds" (5).

Thursday, January 21, 2010


ok, getting kinda quiet in here. While we continue pondering the value of listening to those we desire to serve, go check out some of the new humor I have posted on my humor blog


I continue posting funny stuff (at least for me) and very occasionally Billy Long posts one of his gems. If you have any good material, send it along to me. It is amazing the power that good humor has for healing and restoration.

speaking of which, did you hear about the old Calvinist who fell down the steps? After he got up and dusted himself off, he said "I'm glad that is over with."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Listening

I'm also in the middle of Greg Mortenson's Stones Into Schools, which is the follow-up to his first book Three Cups of Tea. I recommend both highly! Permit me to provide some background before posing a question.

Mortenson, after a failed attempt at K2, the world's second tallest peak, became separated from his climbing partners and somehow managed to wander, half-dead, into the tiny Pakistani village of Korphe. While recovering, he noticed that the children of the village had no school building or supplies, and what little learning went on, went on outside. Partly in gratitude for their hospitality, and partly out of a desire to help, he pledged to build them a school building. Incredibly, despite unbelievable obstacles, he succeeded--and these efforts have grown into the Central Asian Institute, which has now built over 150 schools throughout rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What has really captured my attention is the way that Mortenson, a thoroughly "non-professional", has learned to listen to the people he seeks to serve. He is clear in his mission--to build school buildings, especially for girls, throughout Pak and Afg; no school is built unless the local elders guarantee that girls will be welcomed--but has also learned to ask questions and really listen to the answers people give.

End of introduction. The question/s: what have you learned from asking/listening to people whom you desire to see come to be followers of Jesus? What have you learned about how they see themselves, their circumstances, and "spiritual things"?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back to natural law for a minute...

I've been doing some more reading in natural law, specifically J. Budziszewski's Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law (IVP, 1997), which is a helpful primer on the topic. Here's my question: because Protestants have tended to see human reason as being thoroughly distorted, defaced and degraded by the Fall, has that caused them/us to be less able than our Catholic brethren to engage with neighbors on issues of public policy and the common good? Doesn't the concept of a natural law--that there are things that we simply can't not know--serve as a helpful way of finding common ground with our neighbors on public issues?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Gift of Friendship

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts a human being can receive. It is a bond beyond common goals, common interests, or common histories. It is a bond stronger than sexual union can create, deeper than a shared fate can solidify, and even more intimate than the bonds of marriage or community. Friendship is being with the other in joy and sorrow, even when we cannot increase the joy or decrease the sorrow. It is a unity of souls that gives nobility and sincerity to love. Friendship makes all of life shine brightly. Blessed are those who lay down their lives for their friends. (from Henri Nouwen)