Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Potpourri

A Pretty Day in the Texas Panhandle

It's going to get hot in Amarillo this afternoon. But the forecast says it won't quite reach 100 degrees. There are lots of light clouds in the sky, and the air feels like it's got a little moisture. Best of all, it's calm. A beautiful summer day.

Jerome-n-Stone on the Sweets of Hebrew

Every once in a while, I push the study of biblical languages here, especially Hebrew which, compared to Greek, is sort of like The Beatles compared to the Dave Clark Five. Mind you, the DC5 were great. Anyway, for those who need a little extra inspiration, a couple of quotes:

What efforts I spent on that task (i.e., learning Hebrew), what difficulties I had to face, how often I despaired, how often I gave up and then in my eagerness to learn began again … I thank the Lord that from a bitter seed of learning I am now plucking sweet fruit! -- St. Jerome, Epistula 125.12.

. . . a Prussian doctor, a Jew of great learning, came to Lexington, and proposed to teach the Hebrew language in a short time. A class was soon made up of a motley mixture of preachers, lawyers, and others. He taught by lectures; and in a very short time we understood the language so as with ease to read, and translate by the assistance of a Lexicon. This was a desideratum with me, and was of advantage ever after in reading and understanding the Scriptures.

--Barton W. Stone, The Biography of Eld. Barton Warren Stone, p. 69.

Time for a New Motto?

Like the subtitle of a book, the motto or tag line of a church often gives off more accurate information than does the congregational name.

One church I visited years ago carried the tag line: The Bible is Right; Somebody is Wrong. True enough. But what that said to me was, We're not the ones who are wrong, so if you're not one of us, come on in and be corrected!

Another church currently announces the motto, Let Us Think Souls, Not Bodies. I've lived around that mentality long enough to know that it promotes a mindset that says, We're not here to help you; we're just here to get you into heaven when you die, or when Jesus appears, whichever comes first.

Because the bifurcation of body and soul is a lie; because it is not the case that we have bodies but rather that we are bodies (among other things), the anthropology behind this church motto cannot be consistently applied. And who would want to?

Got a good alternative for these two? What's the best church motto you ever heard?


Adam Gonnerman said...

"Let Us Think Souls, Not Bodies"?!!!! Gees, how could one church have so fully embraced gnostic thought without realizing it? Yuck!

I have no idea what would make a good motto. I like the one in Latin on my blog's header "et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos" (and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free), but I think for a congregation that would give the same negative impression as that "the bible is right" motto you mentioned.


Jim Martin said...

I appreciate your encouragement regarding the languages. This really is important--especially for one who would teach and preach.

Anonymous said...

how about
"only ones going to heaven??...heck, we're not even sure we are gonna make it!"

okay, i actually didn't see that one but made it up.


Anonymous said...

One of ours is "Christianity: Real Joy for Real People". Another is "Christianity: The Real Team Sport"