Readers have asked why I use so many footnotes to house my biblical references, especially in 12 Ways. Without shame I’m a footnote guy. I also drop 90% of my biblical reference citations into the footnotes, using parenthetical verse references in the main text only for the passages I quote verbatim.
My thinking is less driven by the footnote/endnote debate, or page design preferences, and more driven by my concession to audiobooks. Many of my “readers” will be “listeners,” so dropping as much content into the footnotes allows me to script the text in a way that is just that — a script . . . a readable script.
You will notice that missing from the list of qualifications of elders and deacons is an “inner call”. It’s just not there. So why then do we add extra-biblical qualifications? I wonder if what we are really asking with this “inner call” is whether or not somebody wants to do it. Do you feel compelled into this ministry? Do you desire the work of an elder? But that makes us uncomfortable so we’ve sanctified our language a bit. It’s sounds so much better to say, “God is calling me into this ministry” rather than saying, “I’d really like to preach”. But the Bible speaks the way of the latter more than the former.
One danger is emotionalism, in which we allow our feelings to interpret our circumstances and form our thoughts about God. This is putting feelings before faith. The other danger is a kind of stoicism, where faith is rooted in theology but void of affection. This tendency removes feelings from faith altogether. While it is true that our emotions should not lead our theology, it is vital to our faith that theology lead to a deep experience of our triune God.
God loves us—despite our utterly miserable, unworthy, and unlovable state—and wants a relationship with us. And so, being the good, wise, and creative God He is, He worked out a tremendous act of heroism to save us and reconcile us to Himself. He sent His very Son, Jesus, to be our Savior. In the greatest act of love, Jesus Christ, the eternal, pre-existing Prince of heaven, left His throne and came to earth to redeem His people from their sin so that they may live eternally with Him.
Alex Duke chats with Barry and Stephen about making Luther.
Spiritual gifts can cause confusion. As a pastor in a charismatic church, I encounter it all the time. Some are worried whenever they hear talk of the gifts of the Holy Spirit—languages, prophecy, healing, miracles, and so forth—and others are worried whenever they hear talk of anything else. The second group risks turning a good thing into an ultimate thing; the first risks dismissing a good thing because it might frighten the horses.
A favorite from the archives:
When a goal is functioning the way it should, it helps reading stay fun. For me, the fun comes from the challenge—in my case, trying to read 104 books this year, or two books a week. This is pretty much in line with my goals from years past, which probably means I could increase it a little bit. I know how to plan for this. I know how to read this many books. But at the same time, the pace is one I enjoy. I don’t generally get bent out of shape about the number, because I’m working on the me being dumb about it thing.