The Chair and the Desk, 10/23/15

From the chair:

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

-1 Timothy 1:5

When I moved away from Crossroads Bible Church to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, one of my students inadvertently wished me “good luck at cemetery.” Thankfully, as far as I’m aware, GCTS wasn’t a “faith cemetery” for my friends and colleagues; despite engaging critical scholarship and thinking philosophically about faith, most of us walked away more sure of what we believe–or at least that we believe.

That being said, learning can sometimes create faith crises; we find that the world is different than we thought it was, and that causes us to question if God exists and what he could be like. In the midst of all that, I found this verse particularly helpful. Two years ago, as I started the MDiv program, I regularly stopped to consider these four phrases, and they kept me grounded in vital truth: no matter what I learn about God, Scripture, faith, or ministry, “the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

From the desk:

A View From the Library

“Why be a poet, Hölderlin asked, in these non-lyrical times? Why, we might ask of H. Richard Niebuhr, be a theologian in our utterly untheological times? I think he would have made short shrift of that question. He would have asserted, I believe, that our responsibility to affirm the glory of the Lord, and his glory alone, has not been altered one whit, and that this remains our duty in propitious or unpropitious times.”

-Hans Frei, “H. Richard Niebuhr on History, Church, and Nation” in Theology and Narrative, eds. George Hunsinger and William C. Placher, Oxford: Oxford, 1993, p.231

I was reminded of this truth by two things this afternoon: the view and the quote, both above. Soli Deo gloria.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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