Topic: “maturity”

Posts I Haven’t Written Yet

The business of the last six months has prevented me — or rather, I have let it prevent me — from writing many of the posts I’ve had ideas for. I thought it might be interesting to toss out a few of the basic theses I’ve been bouncing around in my head, and perhaps they’ll gel into actual posts sometime in the nearish future. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Encouragement and Critique: A Resolution

Courtesy of our sin, it is always easier to criticize than to encourage. I was forcefully reminded of this recently when I had a friend look over the draft of a writing project I was working on. He rightly noted that it came off as angry, attacking the same old targets in evangelicalism that have been hammered for years. I scrapped that draft and I’m working on a new one.

I was reminded in another way when Jaimie and I visited my family in Colorado last weekend. I was having a conversation with my youngest sister about her church, and I disagreed with some of the approaches they take. (If you’re curious, this piece on Pillar on the Rock will about sum it up.) As I’ve slowly been learning in my relationship with Jaimie, though, it’s easy to overload people in that sort of discussion – especially when it comes across as attacking our church, an institution rightly near and dear to our hearts. (At least, hopefully our local church is dear to our hearts!)

When we see things amiss in the world – especially things that involve the people or institutions we love most – it is easy to simply jump into a critical mode and assume that people will understand where we’re coming from. This is particularly true when the issue is significant and clear in Scripture. Because we see it clearly, and recognize its importance, we can assume others will be quick to understand the point as well. Read on, intrepid explorer →

The shape of a full-throated laugh

A couple weeks ago, Dan Darling posted an interview with Matthew Lee Anderson. (You should read the whole thing; it’s worth your time.) One of his points particularly caught my attention:

I think when the default mode of cultural engagement is that our parents were wrong and we’re out to fix it, we risk inoculating ourselves against any form of self-criticism. Myopia breeds only more myopia: if we don’t have the vision to see both the good and the bad of what we’ve inherited, we’ll never learn to truly see both the good and the bad of what we’re contributing. Chesterton once wrote something to the effect that love is blind–it’s bound, and because it’s bound, it sees more clearly than anything else. I think the same sort of thing is true of our cultural engagement: if we recognize the ways in which our lives our bound up in our parents, for both good and ill, we’ll see ourselves and the world more clearly and act more effectively in it.

Matt’s comment here is on point for at least three reasons, each of which bears elaboration. Read on, intrepid explorer →

What do you feel about…?

Sometimes, the questions we ask indicate as much about us as our response to the answers we receive. For example, I was discussing a controversial theological point with someone recently, and at one point in the conversation, she quite innocuously asked a question starting, “But do you feel that…”

The phrasing caught my attention. It is common enough, at least in the circles I run in. People often speak of what they feel to be true in a given area. In one sense, the phrase is harmless enough: people really mean, “This is what I believe.” In another sense, though, it should give us pause Read on, intrepid explorer →