I have two books in front of me, each with the same title, What Is the Gospel?. A quick search on Amazon shows LOTS of books with similar titles! So, apparently others are a bit confused about this.
As Christians, isn’t the gospel the main thing we are all about? Yet, in informal conversations, many Christians struggle to be able to succinctly explain the gospel. Early results from my survey, show that a lot of people who profess to be Christians have trouble here, too. Hmmm.
A fascinating document, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration,” is an attempt by many well-known theologians to try to come to unity on the essentials. It’s seven pages of explaining. I love this line from the Preamble:
As much as I love that line, I struggle with it. I must not be as smart as the small children the document references. And I’m glad to be in good company.
So, what is the Gospel? Yes, it’s “Good News.” It’s even the Best News Ever. If we Christians believe this, why don’t we understand it and talk of it more?
Please tell me where I’m wrong. If you have a clear and succinct summary of the Gospel, please share!
How do you carry business cards?
This is a serious question!
In our casual world, where we don’t wear suits or jackets, where do you carry business cards? How do you carry them in so they don’t get all bent or worn?
Maybe I complicate things too much. I like to carry a few of my business cards, along with a few of my “personal” cards. Plus I like to have cards of some of the companies I’m most associated with. So at any given time, I want to carry a minimum of about 20 cards, and if I had room for 50 I’d use it. But I’ve already got enough stuff in my pockets! And pockets are not a good place to keep anything neat and clean.
I guess I need to just go ahead and use something like this. Gee that seems bulky. As usual, I seem to be unique in my problems.
Is there a better answer?
Stray thoughts, and how we got from there to here. Back in the day …
For the first 50, or 60, or more, years of automobile tires, tires had inner tubes. The tire had the shape, but the inner tube held the air.
If you got a nail in a tire, you generally went to a service station, they took the tire off the wheel, put a patch on the inner tube, put it all back together, and you were good to go. It just took time. Interestingly, you really didn’t have to “patch” the hole in the tire. Just the inner tube.
Fast forward a bit. Tubeless tires came along. In the early days, when you caught a nail, you still took the tire off, put a patch on the inside of the tire, probably rebalanced, and you were good to go. A little faster than the earlier repair, but not much, and one less component involved.
Then some smart guys came up with the idea of “plugging” a hole. This could be done from the outside, without even having to take the wheel off the car! For quite a while, “professional tire people” didn’t like plugs. They were bad, unsafe, “they’ll never catch on,” etc.
Fast forward again. Now, patches are rare. But they do still exist … I just did an Amazon search and they’re widely available. Almost all current day tire repairs use plugs.
But sometimes, you get a nail in the side of a tire. Per those same professionals, you can’t plug a tire in the side. You have to get a new tire.
Just a wild thought. If you have a nail-hole in the side of the tire, what not go back old-school and put an inner tube in it? Why pitch an otherwise good tire?
I’m sure there’s a good reason why this is a crazy idea.
Across the years, I’ve encountered so many “time management” courses. And learned a ton. And simultaneously struggled with it. My net take-away: you cannot manage time.
You don’t manage time. You don’t manage your calendar. You manage priorities.
(Do you agree?)
Alan Lakein’s, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life. I believe it was this book that first presented the “crazy” idea for the time that his family did not own a TV! How would that be reapplied now to smart devices? I’m finding so much value in stepping away from my smart phone for many hours a day. What would it look like to step away for a full day, or more?
You control priorities, not time, not your schedule. “Prioritizing your schedule” is a misnomer
“The most important habit is choosing the right habit to work on.”
— James Clear
CHOOSE how to spend your time.
Start with Values, then Priorities
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
— Roy E Disney
If you haven’t articulated your values, what a great exercise.
Manage your calendar. Nope — put my priorities onto my calendar. Fist!
Know what matters, then focus on it. If you’re focusing on a dozen things, well, then you’re not!
Some of the hardest work I’ve ever done is to decide what matters most. It is also the most valuable work I’ve ever done.
Do you know anyone who seems to have a well managed life who doesn’t know their priorities?
Is it possible other denominations are right? Can we accept “also right?”
What if all that theology I learned is not what scripture was intending? Can scripture be right and my theology be wrong? How confident are you in your theology? Can you reconstruct it from scripture?
Question, largely for myself, does scripture reinforce my theology in multiple places, or do I have a few verses, out of context, that I rely on?
There seems to be an irony, and I’d love to be wrong here. Those who know the least scripture tend to be the most firm in their theology.
Is it possible, just maybe, that we have so many denominations not because some are right and some are wrong, but because people are so different and we need different communities, even in our belief systems?
Another thought. Maybe only a few denominations are extremely wrong and the rest of us are only a little wrong. Nobody is 100% right, right? Or, are we almost all mostly wrong, and that’s why we so need God’s grace?
Somewhat related, R. C. Sproul about “will he see Billy Graham in heaven?”
“How our differences are meant to strengthen faith.”