According to the New Testament, the first, most-basic quality of a church elder is simple: he must be trustworthy. In the words of the text, the ideal pastor is above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2) and blameless (Titus 1:5). He leads an honorable life, reeks of integrity, has a rock-solid reputation.
Speaking of our fifth President, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson once said, "Monroe was so honest that if you turned his soul inside out there would not be a spot on it." That's the idea.
As I read The Ten-Year Century by Tom Hayes and Michael S. Malone, it made me think that as the pace of change continues to snowball, the quality of trustworthiness will, if anything, become even more important. Aren't you thankful for those people you can count on to do their best to do what's right?
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The genre of short story isn't dead. But it ain't what it used to be either. The Valetudinarian, a story by Joshua Ferris recently published in the New Yorker magazine, is a step in the right direction. It's about a grouchy old widower who thinks he's dying before he decides to live. This one will likely entertain more guys than girls. Either way, it's one fine piece of fiction. Read any good short stories lately?
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I recently finished Antony Flew's much-talked-about book, There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. People who are up on recent debates about the existence of God, or on the recent history of the Churches of Christ, might remember that in his atheist days Flew participated in a four-night debate with the late Thomas B. Warren. To see what Flew says about that, see this post.
And what would Karl Barth say about Flew's "conversion" to Theism, but not Christianity? A lot. For the skinny, you can check out three previous posts:
Natural Theology: Is it Christian?
Karl Barth's Rejection of Natural Theology, 1
Karl Barth's Rejection of Natural Theology, 2