It’s taken me years, but I finally understand that nothing about my womanhood is at odds with my mind. If anything, being female lends me a unique perspective that my male intellectual counterparts lack. My parenting, too, has shifted with these concerns in mind. A few weeks ago, I observed as my ten-year-old son took a battery of achievement and IQ testing. When the proctor finally met with me, he confirmed that, yes, just like his mother, my son will probably always analyze everything. I couldn’t help but wonder how his experience of his own intelligence will be different from mine. Will his giftedness open doors for him in ways it hadn’t for me as a girl? Will I be tempted to parent him differently than I parent my daughter, who also excels academically?
In other news, water is wet.
I need correction and admonition as much as any brother or sister in Christ. My role as a pastor does not make me less in need of instruction, but more.
My choice of words when preaching either reveals this awareness or reveals my lack of that same. If, as the old saying goes, the ground is level at the foot of the cross, I should not seek an acclivity from which to preach down on the gathered crowd.
When you became a Christian, the history of Christianity became yours. You became a citizen of Christ’s kingdom and gained its past in all its glory and shame. The early church is your early church. The Church Fathers are your church fathers. The Reformation is your Reformation. The rise of Evangelicalism is your rise of Evangelicalism. On a less positive note, the religious wars and persecutions are yours, as are the advocacy of slavery and the apathy toward abuse within the church. You are right to feel pride over the church’s accomplishments as she has stood fast in the face of trial and error, carrying out the Great Commission given to her. You are right to make these accomplishments known and to attempt to ensure there are many more like them. Likewise, you are right to feel sorrow and even shame over the church’s transgressions and to work equally hard to ensure she never succumbs to such sins again.
I often think about that baking stone when I consider our pursuit of sanctification. Our minds are to be like baking stones seasoned by the promises of God in the Bible. The daily exposure to the Scriptures should seep into everything we do. Throughout our days, we are to retain the flavor of who God is, what he has done, and what he has promised.
My greatest passion in life is to teach profound biblical truth simply; to take the deepest theological doctrines and explain them in a way that a child could understand. That’s what constantly motivates and shapes my preaching and teaching. It probably adds about 2-3 hours of work to every sermon I preach as I struggle mightily to simplify, simplify, simplify.
A favorite from the archives:
Y’know, one of the things I’m looking forward to about the new creation is the opportunity to ask a whole lot of questions. And I don’t mean that in the “When I get to heaven, I’m gonna have a word with Jesus” way, either, because while that’s cute and all… no.
Seriously though, I have a ton of questions I would love to have answers to eventually. They’re not questions which affect my faith all that much. They’re the curiosity ones about events in history, the background of certain books of the Bible, and how Jesus really feels about King James Only-ism… (Kidding. I’m pretty sure I already know that last one.) But of those, there are three that, at this moment anyway, I’d love to have an answer to eventually.