Reductio Ad Absurdum

Ah, the old reductio ad absurdum ploy. What? You don’t know what that is either. Hold on a minute and let me Google it. I’m back. It is Latin for “reduction to the ridiculous.” It is an argument that takes a line of thought and displays it within a scenario that is designed to make the whole think look absurd. Here is an example of one that is used on me somewhat frequently: You say God is a loving God right? Continue reading

Mother Dilemma

Mothers; good mothers; have to make difficult decisions. I think this is always true, but there are varying degrees of difficulty. One year, when my family and I were on a mission trip in Honduras we visited an orphanage for special needs children. In this area, it was the first of its kind. We listened in horror as the director of the orphanage told us the stories of these precious children. These children, because they were born with special needs had been abandoned. Wait! Before we become all indignant, we may need to walk a mile and all that. The families are poor, barely existing. They already have five or six children and along comes another one who has needs that you cannot pay for. Continue reading

Image Bearers

If I bring up the subject of taxes does it fill you with warm positive feelings? Maybe you can feel good knowing that all of your taxes are being used for good things; things you can really get behind; things you would have contributed to anyway. Yeah right! We are adults here. We know that some of our tax money is used for evil. It was no different in Jesus’ day. Continue reading

Sharecroppers

My grandpa was a sharecropper near New Madrid, Missouri. Since that is not a common thing anymore, maybe I should explain what that means. He did not own the land. He was allowed to live and raise a crop on the land. His particular crop was cotton. The owner of the land received a portion of the harvest as rent. I don’t know the exact arrangement my grandpa had. But sometimes what was owed was not a percentage. Continue reading

Sharecroppers

My grandpa was a sharecropper near New Madrid, Missouri. Since that is not a common thing anymore, maybe I should explain what that means. He did not own the land. He was allowed to live and raise a crop on the land. His particular crop was cotton. The owner of the land received a portion of the harvest as rent. I don’t know the exact arrangement my grandpa had. But sometimes what was owed was not a percentage. Continue reading

Fear and Awe in Jerusalem

Some things lose a sense of awe through familiarity. I think this is true of Easter. It is a conundrum. I mean, we want to be familiar with the resurrection of Jesus. It permeates everything. The Lord’s Supper breathes the story. We sing it; we pray it; we celebrate it. And once a year there is this bigger focus on the story. And it seems that every year there will be some program all chuck full of experts to talk on and on about whether the story is real. I heard one expert expertly proclaim that the Greek word soma used by the gospel writers never refers to a corpse. His theory was that Jesus was not actually dead and the gospel writers knew this and used the appropriate word. Continue reading

Authority

Who died and made you king? Remember that one? It was something we said when I was a kid, so you would have to be pretty old. One of your friends is getting a tad bossy and you have had enough. It is a basic wondering of where this authority to give you orders came from. Did somebody knight them? Did they inherit the right to strut around in bossy pants? Did the one with the authority die and bequeath the right to them? Maybe a woman in a lake handed them a sword. Our problem is that we find ourselves doing this question of authority thing with God. Who put you in charge God? Hmm. That seems risky to me.

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Be the Rabble

Okay, along comes this person who says and does things that is contrary to what you believe; what you have accepted your whole life. And the people love him; the people listen with rapt attention to everything that comes out of his mouth. His words and actions stomp all over your traditions. And maybe, there is also a loss of power. The people used to come to you for answers. No longer. It is an undermining of all your authority. Continue reading

Kingly Authority

What are your thoughts about a charity that is actually a front for bilking people out of their money? There is something here that angers us, isn’t there? More so, than when a for profit company that is caught cheating. Both are wrong, to be sure. But it feels different when people are giving money to help others only to be cheated than when someone is buying a product and finds themselves duped. So, lets say that you buy what is supposed to be a family sized pool for a hundred dollars only to find out that only one child, if he is small, can enjoy the cool water. Continue reading