The Chair and the Desk, 10/4/15

From the chair:

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

-Titus 3:1-7

This summer, I thought a lot about my typical defensive mechanism for entering into new and unfamiliar theological and philosophical conversations. I have commitments I don’t want to lose sight of. However, afraid that I will, my natural response is to puff up my chest and say, “well at least I’m brave enough to believe ______; I’m glad I have to courage to say _______.” As this text from Titus reveals, that kind of ungodly arrogance is an inappropriate way to try to grasp after godly faith. Our hope is not in ourselves, but in “the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior.”

From the desk:

“The fundamental requirement of the Christian leader is not a knowledge of where the stream of popular opinion is flowing but a knowledge of where the stream of God’s truth lies.

-David Wells, No Place for Truth, 1993 ed., p.215

This afternoon, I went back through my notes from Wells’ book, because his reflection on theological institutions has been a crucial grounding influence for me over the past year. I love this reminder that one can never quite achieve “well-read” status, and that delaying the search for God himself, for truth, until one arrives there simply assures one never will.

“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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