The Chair and the Desk, 10/27/15

From the chair:

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

-Romans 8:6

Last night, I was intent on ordering Annie’s chai without caffeine that I accidentally ordered myself a full bore cappuccino. Four hours later, laying in bed, very awake, I thought to myself: Whoops.

I would often resort to a novel or a detective story in this situation. In fact, I had both sitting on my nightstand. However, about half the time, that leaves me more awake and more stressed that I’m more awake, which makes me, of course, more stressed (and more awake). This could be a while, I thought. What would I be glad I did, even if this is…a WHILE.

A few years ago, while serving at Crossroads Bible Church, one of my coworkers encouraged me to memorize Romans 8, and it was a very beneficial undertaking. However, as I lay there last night, I couldn’t get through the second verse. So, I flipped on my Kindle, opened up the ESV, and tried to see how hard it would be to re-memorize.

I’m not sure how hard it will be to re-memorize this chapter, but it was one single verse that really stood out to me as I was falling asleep; it ran through my mind again as I got up and got ready this morning: “to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Oh, how badly I want peace. Why do I set my mind, for so much of the day, on everything other than the Spirit who brings it?


From the desk:

“As I look back upon my course, I seem to myself as one who, ascending the dark staircase of a church tower and trying to steady himself reached for the banister, but got hold of the bell rope instead. To his horror, he had then to listen to what the great bell had sounded over him and not over him alone.”

-Karl Barth, Die christliche Dogmatik im Entwurf: Die Lehre vom Worte Gottes (1927), ix

The fact that this quote is new to me probably betrays the fact that I’m new to Karl Barth. Nonetheless, Dr. Hunsinger shared this quote in class today, and I’m glad she did, because it was a good reminder for me that Barth himself would probably be troubled by the great amount of energy sometimes spent trying to defend the inerrancy of Karl Barth. Soli Deo gloria!

For the citation, I’m depending on a blog comment from SPU professor Steve Perisho, here.


“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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