Saturday, July 7, 2012

The "Sinner's Prayer"

David Platt, the young Southern Baptist wonder child, has a great article on 'The Sinner's Prayer.' Well, it's actually got a lot longer name, but I didn't want to use that much space in this blog. Though I do want to quote a little just to tease you. It's worth a read:
 Let us beware the danger of spiritual deception. Verse 23—"Many trusted in his name." Verse 24—"Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them."
Many trusted. Many people in John 2 believed in Jesus, but Jesus did not believe them. Many people in John 2 accepted Jesus, but Jesus did not accept them. Clearly, from the beginning of the gospel of John—this gospel that revolves around the necessity and centrality of belief in Christ—John makes clear to us that there is a kind of belief, a kind of faith, that does not save.
Read more here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Contemplative Life

Just got back from a 2 1/2 day planning retreat with 12 church leaders (sounds almost biblical). It was held at the Saint Andrews Spirituality Center in Marathon, Wisconsin.

What an amazing place. A labyrinth of corridors and tunnels I'd like to explore at leisure sometime.

Ours was not like the previous group  there--which said not a word to each other in eight days, even at meals!

Reminds me of a man, Sylvester, who joined a religious order in which silence was strictly maintained. Only once every two years could the ordinands say anything, and then it was only two words to the Abbot.

Two years passed and Sylvester had his first interview. "Bed hard!" he said.
Another two years passed and he went in for his second interview. "Food Terrible!" he said.
After he'd been there six years, it was time for his third interview. "I quit!" he said in a loud voice.
"That doesn't surprise me in the least," said the abbot who suddenly lost his cool and forgot about the two word rule. "Ever since you've arrived you've done nothing but complain!"

Well, I have to say that at St Andrews, the food was superb and the bed was soft. Without airconditioning in our rooms, however, it was incredibly hot at night. Guess who was in the last group to bed each night--enjoying the a.c. in our meeting room and learning how to play Farkel?

I think I'd like to go back there sometime. To explore and to reflect, to be silent and to pray.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).