Brevity is next to Godliness

I found this today – it is “old” in on sense, from 1839, but it was pretty fresh to me:

“Why, then, is Jesus, the Son of God, called The Anointed?

Because to his manhood were imparted without measure all the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and so he possesses in the highest degree the knowledge of a prophet; the holiness of a high priest; and the power of a king.”

Longer Catechism, Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church, 1839, quoted in Basic Christian Doctrines, Ed. Carl F. H. Henry; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; NY, 1962

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Keep it Simple

Billy Graham used to say that you have to work hard to make it simple.  This is the challenge to a pastor who wants to be aware of scholarhsip, do serious study, and at the same time, communicate to regular people meaning and connections to life.  Our success rate in this vaires from week to week. The dangers are

  • Lost in Abstraction
  • Too many Obscurities
  • Disconnect of book and life
  • Riding an irrelevant hobby horse
  • Using jargon instead of English
  • or, on the other hand, joining the Know-Nothing party
Here is my work at explaining Prophet, Priest and King theology

“People need the Lord” says a worship song,  but they may come to him by differing paths.  For example:

  • Because they are Lost
  • Because they are Guilty
  • Because they are Overpowered.

Jesus provides all that is needed in each case.

  • The Lost find the Light because Jesus is a Prophet.
  • The Guilty find forgiveness because Jesus is a Priest
  • The Overpowered find power because Jesus is the King.

On the soapbox –

I was tempted to count.  We were in a place of prayer, and what was offered were metaphors.  Lots of them.

On the Radio, someone concerned for the church, what I heard was a string of metaphors. I did not count.

Metaphors and at the same time rote, repeated and shopworn, and I have to say disconnected from reality.

And there were too many to count.

Words can have power – for example, God said, “Let there be light.”

Words can be meaningless piling on.

Perhaps I should have thought of this:

“Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God,

God is in heaven, 

and you are on earth,

so let your words be few”

Ecclesiastes 5:2 NIV-84