Three More Ways to Love Your Neighbor through Social Media | BJU Chapel Sermon No. 2

by Dec 25, 2021Piety, Tech, Theology, Worldview0 comments

Turn to Matthew 22 please. We’re going to read Jesus’ love commands like we did yesterday: love God and neighbor. If you can’t find this passage, you probably have the Political Partisan Study Bible. You might have to look on with your neighbor.

Now as you turn, guest speakers aren’t supposed to do this, but I see a problem with the decor in this building, and I need to fix it. In fact, I’m going to kill six birds with three stones. I’m going to sum up several books I wrote for BJU, I’m going to fix this problem in the FMA decor, and I’m going to introduce my chapel sermon. Three stones will fly. Six birds will gently fall to the ground and, I’m sure, will go to bird heaven. Don’t worry about them.

Here I placed an arrow on top of the arrow on the graphic on the chapel platform.

There: that is much better. I’m not criticizing whoever made this graphic; there are definitely times when the arrow needs to point down, when your reason needs to overrule your feelings.

But you may have encountered one of the books I’ve written for BJU Press, such as Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption. In these books I tried to show from Scripture that the arrow cannot point only one direction, biblically speaking. You cannot always trust your reason to tell your heart what is true: your reason is fallen like the rest of you. As Dr. Pettit said in his sermon a few weeks back, and I quote, “The mind has been completely enslaved to sin.” So sometimes—as when Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director assisted with an abortion and was overcome with a negative emotion she didn’t expect, leading her to become a pro-life activist—your emotions are telling truth to a head which has concocted expertly rationalized defenses against that truth, like intellectual barbed wire.

And the Bible does not finally separate head and heart anyway; it speaks of you as a unified whole. God doesn’t command your reason or your emotions; he commands you: heart, soul, mind, and strength. You—all of you! Look at it, Matthew 22 verse 37:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

If we’re refreshing this year, getting back to biblical basics, finding our brass tacks and arranging them carefully inside a neat row of ducks, then we need to let the Bible guide our thinking and our loving—and our thinking about our loving, and our thinking about our thinking, and our love for thinking.

If we’re going to love our neighbors as ourselves on social media, which is my topic for these two days in chapel, we’re going to have to reckon with the role that our loves play in our reason. And before I get to my three more ways to love your neighbor as yourself, I need to talk about love.

One of the charitable writers and thinkers I’ve followed for years, Alan Jacobs, wrote a book called How to Think, a book I highly recommend and that I asked the Campus Store to get extra copies of. If you like what you’re hearing in chapel in these two days and want more help, Jacobs has helped me a ton over the years—both as a teacher of charity and as a model. Please read How to Think!

One thing he said in that book is that it’s a pervasive misconception “that in order to think well, one must be strictly rational, [that] being rational requires the suppression of all feelings.” No: it is the opposite. If you don’t love your neighbor as yourself, with all the feeling that entails, you won’t be able to reason with him. Your reason will be twisted in the service of a love for yourself or for your tribe. You will only really and truly speak truth to your neighbor, in its full-orbed sense, if you love your neighbor. I don’t know that’s it’s possible to speak truth without love. I find that neighbors know if you love them or not. They sniff it out, one way or the other.

Just as a reminder, look at verse 39:

And the second [greatest commandment] is like unto [the first one]: love your neighbor as yourself.

Now I’ve got to tackle a bad idea about this passage before we can understand and apply it well. I assume that you have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, that ἀγάπη love, Christian love, is a rational, volitional choice to do what is best for someone else regardless of how you feel. And ἀγάπη is indeed the Greek root Jesus used here in Matthew 22. Again: I assume that many of you have heard that ἀγάπη love is independent of feeling. Scholars say it; preachers say it; Christian internet memes say it; I’ve heard a secular Jewish psychologist say it. But I say unto you that the love Christ commands for God is one that necessarily includes your emotions: heart, soul, mind and strength. Do you see this in the text? Love your neighbor like you love yourself. You just can’t tell me that you love yourself with a cold, dispassionate, rational non-feeling.

The Bible does not teach that your head ought to rule over your heart, that your reason ought to dominate your feelings. The Bible just doesn’t split people into interior warring factions like that. The Bible addresses not your reason, not your emotions, but you. You: love your God with your whole heart; you: love your neighbor as yourself.

Let me spend one more nerdy exegetical second on ἀγάπη love before I get into some more application of the love commands to social media. My brothers in Christ who insist that love is merely a choice are getting after something true: namely, you need to uphold your commitments even when you don’t feel like it. You need to obey God outwardly even when your heart isn’t in it. Pray, read your Bible, go to church, stay married to your spouse. That’s the truth that a lot of talk about “ἀγάπη love” is getting after. But I add: you cannot reduce God’s love commands to outward obedience. Part of obedience is to feel godly feelings. God knows when people honor him with their lips, when they say the creed and learn their memory verses for Bible doctrines, but their hearts are far from him. Wives know it, too, let me tell you. And if you want to get super nerdy, as some of you gifted Greek students should do, use your copy of Logos Bible Software to look at all the ways the verb form of ἀγάπη gets used in the Greek New Testament. Make a list. It’s used for righteous loves and for wicked ones, like the Pharisees who have “agape love” for the best seat in the synagogue and greetings in the marketplaces; and like Demas, who had “agape love” for this present world; and like all people who have “agape love” for darkness rather than light. The best translation of ἀγάπη is just “love.” Just like the English word “love”, ἀγάπη is flexible. It doesn’t name a special kind of love every time it appears. And if you want to know more about this, email me.

Here’s the upshot of a long discussion: love is what drives all you do. The question is not whether you love or how you love, whatever that even means, but what you love. Where is your love directed? Jesus says: direct your love toward God first and neighbor second.

And if you do, you will be salt to some people on social media and light to others. You will be distinctive, and you will be sharing truth. Yesterday I gave three ways you can love your neighbor through social media:

  1. Always use the hermeneutic of love: interpret people as charitably as you can.
  2. Mind your own affairs—really mind them; love your neighbors, the ones God has given you.
  3. Pick the best representatives of the other side in any debate. Represent your opponents at their best.

Those are just three of countless valid applications of this text in Matthew. Look at the final verse of the paragraph we’ve been looking at, verse 40. Jesus says that the whole of the Old Testament—“the law and the prophets”—hangs on the two love commands: love God, love neighbor. In a very real way, then, literally everything the Bible says is an application of these commands. Paul said in Romans 13 that love fulfills the law; if you really love people, you’ll end up doing the things God’s law commands. So these love commands have an incredibly wide range of application. And I want to give you today three more ways you can love your neighbor through the God-given tool of social media.

1. Work in love to hone your persuasion skills.

You guys know the class English 102, right? I’m curious: if you’ve taken that class or are taking it, raise your neighbor’s left hand. Naw, just kidding. When I was in grad school I had multiple friends who taught the poor hapless freshmen in English 102. Some of them were totally hapless. Not a single hap was seen among those students. And one of their teachers told me with deep feeling what maybe Dr. St. John or the venerable, late Dr. Horton said about it. She said, “We’re wasting such good material on some of these students, who just don’t see how valuable this stuff is.” I remember being young and just knowing that this was true of me; I wasn’t getting all that my teachers were trying to give me at BJU. My English teacher friend told me, “I’m learning more than my students are.”

If you struggle with EN102, if you wonder in all caps, “WHY DO I HAVE TO LEARN THIS STUFF?!” Then let me point you to the Christian loves that should be motivating you. Those logical fallacies you have to memorize are absolute gold, some of the purest gold to spend on loving your social media neighbor. You need to trust that the skills of organizing your thoughts into a coherent whole, of proper use of sources, of keeping commas far away from places where they don’t belong, are all massively important tools for taking dominion over the portion of the world God has allotted to your care. They are essential tools for loving your neighbor.

So work in love to hone your persuasion skills. When you use glittering generalities, ad hominem argumentation, and insufficient sampling, your opponents in argument won’t always know exactly what you’re doing, but they will smell a rat, and they will feel in your words some hatred for them. I am perfectly serious. They will know somehow that you are cheating. And they will often lash right back.

This may be the only time in your life in which you will have a competent person repeatedly telling you how exactly your thinking has gone wrong. That’s what an English teacher is. And this is the best way to really improve your skills. Take it from someone who is an editor and who has had the privilege of writing with the help of editors for nearly all of my adult life. I hate not having an editor. I want them to catch weaknesses and fallacies.

Precisely because I love my neighbor as myself, I work to discover and use arguments and appeals that they will be conscience-bound to see as fair, even if they ultimately disagree.

I’m going to give two touchy illustrations, because I just don’t see the point of Christian love if it doesn’t get me through disputes. But I’m going to try still to not take sides.

  1. I have seen many 35-year-old Christian moms on social media who sell products for multi-level marketing companies. I am glad they can make some extra income, and I have known some of them who were very careful not to abuse their friendships to make money. That can be a problem with MLMs. But in that world I see another common problem, a logical fallacy that I know some of them were warned again in English 102. It’s the one I mentioned a moment ago: insufficient sampling. Maybe essential oils are miracle cures; I honestly do not know—I’m not that kind of doctor, a useful doctor. My training is in New Testament exegesis. But women who are selling essential oils online frequently say something like, “Don’t trust medical doctors, because they’re just out to make a buck for the pharmaceutical companies who pay them bonuses. But trust me, because I’m just a mom and I can tell you that this oil of aardvark cured my son’s cold in just fifteen days!” And I’m thinking: Ok, it is possible that the pharmaceutical companies are lying and that their cold remedies are total bunk. But it’s also possible that they’ve done massive, scientifically rigorous studies—and it’s impossible that this woman has done that. She has a sample of one: her own kid. That’s insufficient sampling. The only way to know what effects a given substance will be likely to have on me if I ingest it is if lots of other people have done the same thing and their responses have been observed and tallied. This is English 102. And this is rigorous thinking driven by love, love for neighbor and love for truth. Maybe that essential oil really is great, and I insist that I’m not taking sides against essential oils here! But if you claim more for it than you can really say in Christian honesty, you are not going to be persuasive. You are going to cause distrust. And you are failing at one of the tasks of neighbor-love.
  2. Let me get even touchier, still without taking sides. Logical fallacies aren’t a super big deal when it comes to essential oils; I don’t know that essential oils are a life and death matter. But a lot of serious people believe that vaccines are life and death matters. It seems to me, no matter what side you’re on, that a very, very important question is how many vaccinated people are dying of COVID. What percentage of people hospitalized with COVID are vaccinated versus unvaccinated? If it’s 50/50, as my barber said to me last week, that’s a powerful argument against vaccines. But—and I’m not taking sides here!—as evidence she cited some nurses whose hair she’d cut. That is valid as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far at all. The experience of four nurses in the Skagit Valley of Washington is important, but it is insufficient sampling. Those nurses may happen to be in a place where, for reasons God only knows, the ratio is off compared to the rest of the world. Maybe it’s not 50/50 in the rest of the world but 95/5, with 95% of deaths being vaccinated individuals. Maybe it’s 5/95, with 5% of deaths being among the vaccinated. Christians have Bible reasons to love life and to love liberty. Careful thinking about statistics will help you weigh those loves when they are in tension. You are being given the privilege, college students, of learning how to love your neighbors through clear thinking and persuasive speech. Don’t waste it, my brothers and sisters! Let love drive you to make the clearest, bestest, most persuasive arguments for truth that you by God’s power can!

Learn to see who’s responsible and careful. When much of our country was in lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, I saw people totally freaking out in both directions, both for and against lockdowns. The truth isn’t always in the middle; it’s possible one side was right. But I looked for and found some careful, accredited voices on both sides. And I listened to them. They were such a huge help to me. Their love for neighbors they’d never met was evident, because they had let it motivate them to do careful work without logical fallacies.

2. Seek restoration.

Jesus’ goal is the restoration of the cosmos to its created intent. He will rule until all enemies are put under his feet, the Bible says. Nothing will be allowed to rebel. I don’t have Christ’s power; I can’t make that happen. But I want to have the same goal. And I do. I want my sinning neighbors to be restored. Galatians 6 says that if someone is overtaken in a fault, those who are spiritual should restore him or her. If neighbor love means wrapping up my neighbor’s good in mine, letting my love extend to him or her, then what is the “good” I seek for those I disagree with? It is restoration to the good, repentance from whatever sin is making them wrong—if indeed it is sin and not just human finiteness, which I also try to consider.

I wanted to give all positive illustrations of these truths, but I have to give a negative one here. It’s a story, actually.

Now—I am an alumni of Bob Jones University. And before you judgmental English majors roll your eyes, I remind you that I myself am a professional editor and the most prolific redheaded biblical studies writer in Mount Vernon, Washington. I am the author of a regular Word Nerd magazine column. I know “alumni” is plural. But I don’t just have one degree from Bob Jones; I have three. I am an alumni.

Anyways, on one of my three graduation days, I was celebrating with my family, taking pictures in my cap and gown. My kind and godly brother-in-law was holding my little niece, and he suddenly looked off into the distance. My eyes naturally followed, and there I saw some protestors off campus with a very large sign that was critical of BJU. If you go to BJU, one day you will run into someone who shares this critical perspective.

I will once again be vague, not tackling the actual issues; I’m not sure I know them all, to be honest. But I will say that I actually tried listening to the critics who were behind this protest. I did treat them as sincere as long as I could, which is something I’ll talk about in my next point. I came to feel that they scored a few genuine points against me and revealed some errors in my thinking. BJU has always been full of fallen and finite people. The Bible tells me so, and BJU itself taught me this! Surely that is good reason for constructive suggestions to be appreciated here. One of my proudest days as a BJU graduate was when the institution apologized for one of its past public sins. But the more I tried to listen to these particular protestors, the more I saw them do underhanded things online and treat people I love with open malice and mockery, the more something became apparent. I ultimately came to realize that I couldn’t listen to them because I couldn’t trust them—and I couldn’t trust them because they didn’t love me or BJU. I looked, but I never saw any evidence that they would be glad if we repented of any sins we’d committed. They didn’t seem to have any plan, or any thought for, what a restored or redeemed BJU would look like. They were like Jonah sitting on Paris Mountain hoping that God would rain down fire on BJU and being kind of mad when he didn’t.

There are some institutions that are so wicked that I want them completely destroyed: the American abortion industry, prostitution, Neo-Nazism. But you’re learning about a biblical worldview here. A Biblical, creation-fall-redemption worldview never sees anyone or anything except Satan as ultimately unredeemable. That would be to limit the power of Christ’s blood and the reach of his great scepter. Even people you find frustrating and impossible are made in God’s image. And if you are capable of being redeemed, so are they. My negative illustration boils down to: don’t be Jonah. Hold onto hope for the restoration of sinning people you disagree with. 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, says that love “believeth all things and hopeth all things”; it always trusts and hopes; it “endureth all things,” too. It hangs on even when people don’t give it much reason to hope. If you have to criticize other Christians or Christian institutions in public—and that’s kind of a big if—love should maintain hope inside you that they can be restored.

And finally, a third way to love your neighbor through social media:

3. Regard your opponents as sincere as long as you charitably can.

I’m going to get personal here. I believe I am called by God to try to rescue brothers who are overtaken in a doctrinal fault, one commonly called KJV-Onlyism. To be clear, as I was yesterday, I am not opposed to the King James Version. I love the KJV; I’m preaching from one now, the biggest KJV ever to appear in chapel. But the Bible does not teach that we should use or trust only one Bible translation, and BJU has never held that position. I have gotten great benefit over 20 years doing what I was taught to do by my BJU Bible professors and reading and checking other good Bible translations. I want to see the church using and not rejecting our embarrassment of riches in English Bibles, and I am working toward that end. This means a lot of interactions with KJV-Only brothers online, especially in my YouTube channel comments. I love these brothers, and I want that love to be genuine and visible in every interaction I have with them, even and especially when we disagree.

And yet I simply cannot tell you how many KJV-Only Christians hear what I have to say about the difficult and archaic words in the King James Version and respond with a one-word argument: “Liar!” Somehow, they’ve read one headline from one video of mine, and they’ve watched 1.8 minutes of my YouTube content explaining an archaic word, and they’re already certain that not only am I telling an untruth but I know I’m telling an untruth. That’s what a liar is, someone who says what they know to be false.

But my dad taught me many years ago, when I was a teenager, a lesson I’ve thought about seventy times seven times: he said it’s wrong to act as if our political opponents are secretly rubbing their hands with glee as they self-consciously adopt economic and other policies that they full well know will ruin the country. You have to start—Christlike love says you have to start—with an attempt to believe that your opponents are sincere. I think this is especially true if they are brothers or sisters in Christ. I’m not saying you have to be gullible; I’m not saying you have to believe in someone’s sincerity forever. Proverbs names some people as fools; it says that there are times when you don’t answer fools according to their folly. And it has to be okay to conclude that that’s the category someone fits in. I’m just saying that love starts by believing the best.

For me, on my channel, everybody gets at least one chance, and usually a lot more than that. I will answer almost everyone, by God’s grace, no matter what they say, with patience. A very few of them blow it on their first go; I draw the line at sexually dirty comments, and I get those about once a month. Those get trashed. Jesus said, “Cast not your pearls before swine,” and the best hint I have as to who counts as swine is what Jesus said next: it’s the people who “turn again and rend you,” the KJV says, the commenters who turn on you and try to tear you to pieces. But I’ll absorb all kinds of abuse, up to and including being called a liar, without returning reviling for reviling.

So many people today say, “If we show love to our opponents, if we give them an inch, they’re going to walk all over us.” And I believe that is precisely what the Lamb by sinners slain, who before his shearers opened not his mouth, asks of us at times. Love is not easily provoked, 1 Cor 13 says. But people will try. I don’t think sin that’s deeply rooted in a given group usually gets uprooted without suffering. KJV-Onlyism has brought Christians to my internet doorstep who call me all sorts of nasty names just for trying to do what Tyndale did, to give the Bible to the plow boy in his own English. And yet Paul said, in words I beg you to listen to, and listen hard:

The servant of the Lord must not strive [this is another “false friend” in the KJV; it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try hard. In our English, we’d say that the servant of the Lord must not quarrel]; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach [which in 1611 meant “able to teach”], patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure [that is, perhaps] will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:24–25 KJV)

I pray and work hard to live by these words. And when I respond to abuse with patience, people see this and they know it. It is one of the tools God uses to give them repentance.

The Bible doesn’t forbid me to give tart answers, even sarcastic and withering ones. Elijah mocked the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel; Isaiah eviscerated idol worship in wickedly funny words; Jesus verbally ripped the skin off the Pharisees in Matthew 23; Paul wished the Judaizers afflicting the Galatians would emasculate themselves. But I tend to think that those responses targeted people who had lots of opportunities to know better and who were actively leading others astray.

This is not most of KJV-Onlyism, and, frankly, it isn’t most of the people who disagree with you over masking or church closures or vaccines. I am more willing to be direct and critical, to name names and point out sins, when it comes to leaders. James 3:1 says that they will be judged by a stricter judgment.

But I never, ever call someone a liar unless I have positive evidence that they know that what they’re saying is untrue, and they’re saying it anyway. And how often do you think that has happened? Zero-point-zero times. God only knows why he allows Christians to be sincerely wrong, and why, peradventure, he hasn’t granted repentance to some of them; but if I am to love my neighbor as myself I am going to work very hard to believe, in love, that he is indeed sincere. Sometimes I do need to kind of get my brain to tell my heart this; it’s so hard to believe sometimes that a given person isn’t just lying. But mostly I find that if I really love my neighbor, even when he’s wrong, I don’t have to preach to myself, “He’s sincere, he’s sincere.” Love makes it my default position, and people do appreciate this.

Conclusion

I want to end with a positive illustration. This gets a little personal, but here we go. Back to the debate I’ve given a lot of my life to in the last four years: the King James Only debate. I know immediately in debate when I’m talking to a leader of the opposition, someone who has real intellectual gifts.

I ran into one a while back in an online forum for discussing New Testament textual criticism, and it became quickly apparent not only that he was very intelligent and capable but that he was what sociologists who study the internet call a “jerk.” All I’m saying in video after video is that there are some archaic words in the KJV that people today don’t realize they’re misunderstanding. And yet this man, a pastor, called my work “trash” and called me “an actual snake.” He was turning again and rending me, and too often when people do this, our temptation is to rend right back, even though God explicitly says to leave vengeance in his hands. I did not do this. I still hoped for his restoration, but when I could no longer honestly believe in his sincere goodwill, I sadly decided to avoid interaction with him. No more pearls cast before him.

But over the course of many months, his comments kept popping up on my YouTube channel. And that’s a public forum where I rarely delete comments. He was weirdly fascinated with my work, but he seemed literally incapable of understanding what I was saying; when he would respond back to me, I was like, “I’m not sure you watched the same video I remember making.” But, strangely, he started to give some hints that he grudgingly found some value in my work.

And then one day, something clicked in place inside him somewhere, and his comments changed on a dime. Suddenly, though he still disagreed, he was courteous. And suddenly, he wanted to have a private email exchange with me. I was wary. I put him off. But he persisted, and I finally relented. I started our conversation by saying, “Brother, I have aught against you. We cannot have a conversation until you apologize for calling me childish names.” He immediately and completely apologized with no excuses. He said he’d realized that social media brought out sin in him, and he had gotten off it. I fully and freely forgave him, and we began a truly enjoyable and lengthy correspondence.

I asked him what in the world changed in him. And he told me. It wasn’t his mind, his reasoning. It was his heart. He began to trust me as sincere, he said. I’d say that he’s a Christian, and the Spirit within him was producing the fruit of love. He began to love his neighbor—me—as himself. And what was so incredible to me was that, whereas before, he literally could not understand what I was saying—suddenly he did understand, and he showed it, even those he still ultimately disagreed. I’d call that major progress. There, the arrow was pointing from heart to head. His loves cleared up his reason.

At BJU Press, we said—and I wrote a dissertation to try to defend and elaborate this point—that affection drives cognition, that what is most fundamental about you is not what you think, however very important that is, but what you love. Whom you love. God and neighbor or just self and tribe. I believe this to be an essential aspect of a Christian worldview, and an essential aspect of Christian obedience. I would love to see a ton of neighbor-loving people graduate from Bob Jones University. “By this shall all men on social media know that ye are Jesus’ disciples: if ye have love one to another.” Love your neighbor as yourself.

Text I didn’t use in the sermon

  • I’ve had this happen to me repeatedly: people make arguments to me that are so transparently foolish, arguments that look like attempts to commit every single one of the logical fallacies we all learned in English 102, that I started to realize: they don’t actually love me enough to try to persuade me, to present ideas in a way that I might find enlightening. My most charitable explanation of their arguments is that they feel defensive and are just lashing out. But I can’t in all charity find any evidence that they love me as they love themselves.
  • To beat all, evangelicalism had a huge Twitter melee this year about empathy—empathy.
  • But it’s not the issues themselves that upset me; it’s not masks and lockdowns and vaccines and racism. Because, forgive me, but I’ve observed
  • Here’s the deal: I didn’t even know I was in a different tribe from certain of my fellow Christians until the American politics of the last five years or so intruded. Apparently, we differed before we even knew it. Where do I even start with fellow Christians when what divides us is not really the issues, but the webs of trust we built up long before those divisive issues came along? Before COVID, it didn’t matter so much. Most divisive political views could remain private if people wanted them to. Suddenly, however, at least in my state, you were wearing your political views on your face. And almost instantaneously, my pastors group on Facebook—800 pastors—is blowing up with pastors talking about the division in their congregations over masks. The memes proliferated. And I’m troubled—and pressed. I love my fellow believers in Christ, and I don’t see division as a good thing.
  • Russell Moore: “Some people even seemed bored by biblical or doctrinal or practical truths that couldn’t be marshaled in debates against others. This is the spirit of the age.”
  • I don’t dare say what my views are, and here I’m being serious: because when I stand in a pulpit I represent God, and I don’t have the authority to split God’s people over issues to which he hasn’t spoken clearly. Also, this is not my institution to split.
  • What I was actually asked by Dr. Pettit to talk about is technology. But he gave me lots of room to define this topic, and this is where I want to go—into, again, one talk/sermon/lecture on how to be charitable in disagreement and one on how to discern which voices to trust. What more pressing technological issues face the Christian community right now?
  • Roxane Gay, New York Times: “We have all become hammers in search of nails…. Lately, I’ve been thinking that what drives so much of the anger and antagonism online is our helplessness offline. Online we want to be good, to do good, but despite these lofty moral aspirations, there is little generosity or patience, let alone human kindness. There is a desperate yearning for emotional safety. There is a desperate hope that if we all become perfect enough and demand the same perfection from others, there will be no more harm or suffering.” This is reason number 100 why Christians can do so much good on social media: it’s because we know that none of us can become perfect enough to ensure the end of human suffering. Only the suffering of the perfect One, the one who is our desperate hope, the one who met all the demands of perfection, only his generosity and kindness—his grace—can save us all.
  • You have nothing good that you did not receive. Do you really believe that?

Read More 

A Jot of My Thoughts on My Dissertation, a Decade On

A Jot of My Thoughts on My Dissertation, a Decade On

I basically finished my dissertation a decade ago. Paul’s Positive Religious Affections. It’s available on Kindle and print-on-demand just in case anyone wants it. In it I basically argued that Paul is meant to be a model in his affections and not just in his theology...

Leave a comment.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply