Monday, October 6, 2014

When I Don't Know What to Say About My Singleness

Sometimes the only thing worse than being single is thinking about singleness. Or talking about singleness. Or reading about singleness.

Or writing about singleness.

For the past three years, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to write for a Christian relationship service. I’ve learned so much about myself and about relationships through the process. I’ve read more articles than I can ever count, and my already overcrowded bookshelves have been overwhelmed by the additional volumes on dating, courtship, engagement, and marriage perspectives. I have tirelessly studied this topic.

In my love life, I have tried to apply all the principles the experts suggest. When something hasn’t worked, I have adjusted my methods. I have been strict, and I have been relaxed. I have ignored my heart, and I have been guided by it. I have prayed for marriage, and I have let the topic rest.

Sometimes I’ve taken breaks from thinking about relationships at all. I have wondered if being called to singleness wouldn’t be so bad—at least I could cancel my dating service subscriptions, throw away my relationship books, and pretend to be fulfilled in every way.

But the reality is, I’m not fulfilled...

Read more at Single Roots.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yesterday's Injustices Tomorrow?

From my class reading in Stassen and Gushee's Kingdom Ethics:

A holistic character ethics needs to develop a self-critical understanding of how we perceive authority, change, threat and truthfulness in our society. Without that, Christians will not understand how to act effectively to "seek the shalom of the city where you dwell" (Jer. 29:7). They will emigrate inwardly into small enclaves of self-fulfillment. Their ethics will ignore powerful influences in the society that shape people's character and will lack the antidotes with which to correct secular ideologies. They will not know how to share in God's compassion for he mistreated. They will naively support an unjust status quo. They will have an ethics that focuses only on philosophical or theological generalities, or only on individualistic virtues, and act as if God is Lord only of theological doctrines, or of the private, individual life and not of the power structures and struggles for justice. Those who do not understand the causative forces in society are condemned to repeat yesterday's injustices tomorrow. (75-76)


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reading the Beatitudes in Context

I started seminary this week. After years of  prayer and months of planning, I'm finally here, studying for online classes through Fuller Theological Seminary. I've dreamed about this for so long, at times it still doesn't feel real. How is it that I am so blessed?

I'm taking two classes this fall -- Church and Mission in Global Contexts, as well as Christian Ethics. Both classes have already sparked much thought, but it is the latter that prompted this post.

As a part of my reading for Christian Ethics, I have begun to work my way through Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context, by Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee. During the second chapter, titled "Virtues of Kingdom People," the authors hone in on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount as a framework for Christian Ethics. As part of their discussion, Stassen and Gushee present a paraphrase of the beatitudes that seeks to illuminate what Jesus words would have meant in their original context. While this paraphrase is reminiscent of the words so familiar to many of us, the suggested connotations to Jesus' statements are profound.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

N.T. Wright on Redefining Marriage

N.T. Wright explains the dangers of redefining marriage. As always, he is gracious and well spoken.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Hurt Someone This Week



There is a big difference between hurt and harm. We all hurt sometimes in facing hard truths, but it makes us grow. It can be the source of huge growth. That is not harmful. Harm is when you damage someone. Facing reality is usually not a damaging experience, even though it can hurt. ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

A family member posted this quote on Facebook this week. I've read it before, in one of Henry Cloud's books, though the precise title has escaped me. It's a truth I've often remembered when confronted with the dilemma:

1. Tell the truth and hurt someone.
2. Stay quiet and harm someone.

You would think the choice is an easy one, but it isn't. For some of us, it can feel like the most difficult choice in the world.