Neutrality is a lie

There is no neutrality in Education because there is no neutrality in anything. No aspect of human existence allows us to be both the servant of God and the servant of Satan. The servant of self and the servant of God.

Double minded, double tongued men who are tossed about by every wind of an idea are abhorrent to God.

John Frame, “Christians think differently from non-Christians; and when they don’t, they should. In describing the difference between Christian and non-Christian thinking, Van Til argued that the two groups of people hold different presuppositions. A presupposition, for Van Til, was the most fundamental commitment of the heart, a commitment that governed human life. Some people are committed to Jesus Christ and seek to “take every thought captive” to him (2 Cor. 10:5). The rest are committed to something else, either another religion, a philosophy, a political movement, or their own reason. There is no neutrality. To paraphrase bob Dylan, “you gotta serve somebody.” Our presupposition always commitments govern all our life decisions, indeed all our thinking. And in the end there are only two presuppositions: the supremacy of God and the supremacy of something in creation, which scripture calls idolatry.”[1]

The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of Knowledge.

1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

“Knowledge” and “wisdom” are closely tied together in Proverbs: “knowledge” tends to focus on correct understanding of the world and oneself as creatures of the magnificent and loving God, while “wisdom” is the acquired skill of applying that knowledge rightly, or “skill in the art of godly living.”[2]
Continue reading “Neutrality is a lie”

The Crown of Wife

In Genesis God states that it was not good that man was alone. Adam, upon meeting his wife spoke the first recorded words of man, and in Hebrew, it is a poem.

Adam said, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Essentially, this woman is me. 

It’s better that you are married. But we have to understand that marriage is not the reward for responsible men – marriage is the means that God uses to make responsible men. Without your wife you were incomplete. And your response to her should be poetic praise. 

That completeness isn’t like icing on the cake. It’s not about having a cook or a housecleaner or extra income or something pretty clinging to your arm as you go about impressing everyone. 

Your wife completes you because she brings into your life all of the glorious qualities that make men higher beings than the animals. She softens you into creatures that are images of Christ. 

Marriage is a long obedience in the same direction and God uses it to shape men into little Christs. 

Gentleness, Patience, kindness, self-control – all the things you need to handle the weaker vessel. And the weaker vessel is the weaker vessel like gold is the softer metal. Gold is soft so that it is malleable –able to be shaped, molded and altered by the forces applied to into adorning objects of Beauty.  

You are that force.  Continue reading “The Crown of Wife”

Your Wife and Lady Wisdom

…husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…(1 Peter 3:7)

Many of us do not understand our women because we do not understand wisdom. We do not understand wisdom because we do not treat her like a woman. Throughout the book of Proverbs – a book teaching wisdom to young men – wisdom appears as a woman. Wisdom is personified as a noble lady whom one should pursue: 1:20–33; 3:13–20; 8:1–36; 9:1–18.

Lady Wisdom is contrasted with Lady folly and the whole book leads to a description of wisdom ultimately as a wife (Proverbs 31). Not all the aspects of Lady Wisdom are applicable directly to a man’s wife, but many are.

For example, Lady wisdom is an instructor, a schoolmarm ready to rap our knuckles (Prov. 1:20-25) reproaching us for tracking mud in the house, for our foul language and course manners. Lady wisdom instructs boys in how to be men; how take the initiative and bear responsibility. The man who pursues wisdom should learn to sit up straight and use his inside voice. Wisdom is pursued in humility.

Furthermore, Lady Wisdom is a wealthy patroness who invites us to a feast. Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table (Proverbs 9:1–2). A man who pursues wisdom ought to act like he was invited to a banquet at the palace of a fine lady. He should respond to the invitation properly, not eat like he was raised in a barn, but rejoice in what is served while rejoicing in the wisdom that comes alongside bread and wine. Wisdom is pursued with gladness and joy; wisdom is gained with a fork and knife.

The remaining features of feminine wisdom are more directly relevant to the man who wants to pursue wisdom as a means of learning how to live with his wife in an understanding way.

Lady Wisdom is a sexually attractive woman (Prov. 7:4) and should be sought as any sensible suitor would court a beautiful and intelligent woman. The name sister in this context should be taken the same way it is taken in the S.O.S. (Song 5:1).

The man who eagerly pursues wisdom is protected in the next verse from the “strange woman,” who flatters with her words. When wisdom is pursued and courted, seduction ceases to allure us. When Lady Wisdom is courted a man is protected from very real tramps, seductresses and harlots. The appeal for easy women is driven from us when we diligently court Lady Wisdom. When we come to see how beautiful Lady Wisdom is and we seek to win her hand, we are protected from sexual sin.

A man is instructed by Solomon to pursue and marry this woman and is instructed to be faithful to her. She is a precious treasure, never to be forsaken. “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you” (Proverbs 4:5–6). is a description of marriage.

The man who fails to honor his wife shows that he has no honor for Lady Wisdom and is therefore, a fool.

Furthermore, we read that Lady Wisdom is a mother, “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it” (Proverbs 8:32–33). But viewing wisdom as a mother enables a man to see his wife as a mother also, recognizing her high and holy calling.

This attitude toward wisdom – treating her as a woman – collides sharply with the approach of our age which sees wisdom as a pile of matter to be sorted, counted and organized into smaller piles by color, size and weight. The world teaches us that wisdom is a matter of brute facts as cold and unfeeling as an Allen wrench factory.

The bible says wisdom is a woman to be approached with a rose, a sonnet or both. If we want to obey Peter and live with our wives with understanding, we have to think biblically. Modern men have a false conception of wisdom that leads to little understanding about the world in which we live. No wonder we don’t understand our wives.

*This post was a men’s group message which is a rewritten paraphrase of Ch. 1 “Wisdom of women,” from How to Exasperate your wife by D. Wilson. DW gets all the props.

 

Disciples of the Bridegroom

Mark 1:16–20 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. 

The men are busy with their own plans, their own lives, vocations and families. The men are occupied.

But they are called out of their plans. I think the wives in our midst might have a better understanding of this

Many of you ladies had aspirations, plans and lives before you met your husbands. Your husbands proposed that you follow them and that meant leaving your families, your occupations and plans to fulfill a high and holy calling to be your husband’s helpmate and the mother of his children.

Yes, I think you ladies might comprehend the radical nature and costliness of being called in this way, better than the men do.

Most men are not called out of their lives; their professions, families, etc. in quite the same way. It isn’t as holistic, and it is largely metaphorical. Most men do not consider their calling to leave everything to become a Christian in quite the same way as a lady is to become a wife.

A good wife is an example of the realities of discipleship. The radical alteration of self that comes with becoming a bride is something that we all need to consider more deeply when contemplating what Christian discipleship is all about.

A Christian’s response to Christ is to be humble, self-sacrificing, submissive and missional.

The call to be a wife reshapes her familial relationships, vocations, personal aspirations, etc.

But the focus is what the lady is becoming. Not what she was but what she is becoming; a bride.

That is what the beauty of a wedding day is all about. What the lady is becoming. The bone of His bone and the flesh of His flesh.

I think this is instructive for us. We are the bide of Christ and collectively it’s important to explore this metaphor to inform our understanding of the Christian life.

Jesus calls four men. Two sets of brothers. He is rebuilding a new family from an old family. Jesus is forming a new Israel out of the Old Israel. Jesus is calling individual men to become His eternal bride – the church.

And what does he call them to? V. 17 “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Jesus is calling them to follow Him and Jesus will remake them.

Again, the truly fascinating elements are what Mark leaves out. The response of the four men are non-verbal. They don’t say the sinner’s prayer. They make no formal, public, verbal declaration.

The men respond to Jesus’ call by action. They obey. They don’t talk; they act.

And the action is a response to Jesus’ declaration that he will remake them. What they will be, is the reason they act.

What Jesus is doing is the reason for their doing.

Discipleship is about what we are becoming. And what we are becoming is the reason for our doing.

Jesus is not interested in words, here. He is interested in obedience.

These four men form the inner circle, the nucleus of the Church, the new Israel, the bride of Christ.

And this betrothal is about fruitfulness. Jesus says He will make them fishers of men. They will cast nets and bring men from darkness to light, from Satan to God, from death to life.

They will bear fruit. They will produce. They will be fruitful and fill the earth as the faithful bride of the Lord Jesus.

I am not talking about the individual men. Applying the bride of Christ metaphor to individual Christians is creepy bad exegesis.

The bride of Christ, a feminine personage, is the collective, the assembly, the congregation. Here in v. 16-20, there is not one man, but four. The first assembly of the new congregation, the new people, the new Israel.

They leave their occupation and their father, just like a bride, to follow their head on His mission.

Their identity is not who they were as individuals when they were called. Their identity is not what they were doing when they were called. Their identity is not the family or worldly possessions they had when they were called. Their identity is found now in what they are becoming. What Christ is making them. Who they are in relation to Jesus.

Their identity is oriented toward the Head of the Church, the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus.

This is a radical departure from the concepts of discipleship we are often given. Most definitions of discipleship sound like something out of a comparative religion course.

But the uniqueness of the Christian Gospel is that Discipleship isn’t about what you are doing, but what you are becoming. Who you are in relation to Jesus. What He is doing is the cause of our doing. And our doing must be fruitful.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a high and holy calling. It is as radical an alteration as a single lady becoming a bride. Meditate on that.

The church is the bride of Christ who submits to Christ, whom He washes with the word, provides for, nurtures and protects.