The Chair and the Desk, 11/30/15

From the chair:

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

-2 Peter 2:1

Second Peter 2 is the kind of chapter I would honestly rather read over. It’s the kind of passage I’m afraid to quote on my blog. “How exclusive. How judgmental.” Nonetheless, the commitment that gives me hope also obligates me to heed this warning: This is God’s Word. I don’t have an exhortation in light of it this afternoon, just a prayer.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Lord, protect us from ourselves. Please do not let me deny you or teach falsehood. Please keep me from the swift destruction I would bring upon myself without your Holy Spirit. I would rather not preach, not teach, not write, not graduate than deny you, my Master. Lord, have mercy.  

From the desk:

“Moderation in all things is good advice for drink, but not necessarily for doctrine. Moderation plays better to mass audiences, but martyrdom—bearing suffering witness to doctrinal truth—is the better part of our Christian inheritance.”

-Kevin Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine, pp.451-452

Not everything comes down to “balance.” Or, to put it another way, “balance” is not always a 50/50 mix. A hammer does not balance at a midway point between it’s two ends.

Theology, of all things, does not benefit from a primary commitment to balance or moderation–God is not a balance of good and evil, strong and weak, or real and false. God is often a combination of two things humans struggle to combine: just and gracious, everlasting and timely. That does not change the fact that our best hope for understanding and ethical living is not balance but throwing all our weight toward that which is God, of God, and for God, away from all that is not.

“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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