flickr: Gary Soup
In our previous post, we looked at a story that has often been used as analogy for the way that Christians can use secular wisdom in gospel mission and ministry. This is the account of the Israelites, plundering the gold of the Egyptians as God rescued them from slavery (Exodus 3:19-22). The analogy works because at least some of the Egyptian gold probably ended up being used to worship God (Exodus 25:1-8). But keen readers will notice that there’s another place the Egyptian gold ended up too:
Rock performances. Accounting textbooks. Voice coaching sessions. Self-help books. Leadership seminars. Adult education techniques. Sociological surveys. Jazz piano lessons. Child safety courses. Food safety courses. Statistical surveys. Statistics lectures. Corporate management textbooks. Primers on psychology. Magazine articles on cosmology. Blogs on modern communication techniques. Tips on writing style. (more…)
Apparently you have the option to choose the hill you are going to die on.
What I know about military strategy can be written on the round bit of one of those metal thingies that come out the long bit you point at other people when using a rifle.
In the first part of this article (in our last Briefing), we looked at the pluses and minuses of pragmatism. We saw that ‘doing what works’ is a quite legitimate path to follow in one sense, because God has created an orderly world. Yet pragmatism has its limitations, as a result of the complex and flawed nature both of the world and of ourselves. We ultimately need a revelation, a word from outside, to guide us.
But how does the Word guide us? In our last article, we looked at one approach, the so-called ‘Hooker Principle’. Let us begin Part II, by looking at a related but much more recent way of using the Bible.
In this first part of a two part article, we ask how you can know whether your life and ministry are genuinely biblical. Is it method? Is it results? Is it some kind of warm feeling of assurance? Do we in fact need to look to the Bible to work out how to conduct ministry, or is it an area where pragmatic thinking is our best tool?