Created with Sketch.
Holy Joys Podcast
35 minutes | 21 days ago
Being a Church that Helps Others in Distress
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and Dr. Andrew Graham discuss helping others in distress.Quotes from Graham:The best way to assess whether or not someone is in distress is to look at any changes in their mood, affect, behavior habits—eating, sleeping—and how these changes affect their functioning.There are people who are in distress while not yet disordered or dysfunctional or diagnosable.One detrimental mistake is to automatically assume that a distressed person has a spiritual problem.We can too quickly over-spiritualize distress or we can too quickly under-spiritualize distress.In addictions counseling, a frequently used adage is: Your past may explain your behavior, but it doesn’t justify it.Do not assume you know when someone is in distress or that you know the best way out.There is no situation beyond God’s power to redeem and restore for His glory and our edification.We can’t look at somebody and say that because they’re limping in the way that I limp, or because they’re going through a situation I went through, that means God is providing for them the same way out that He provided for me. We’re all called to come alongside those who are in distress.We need to support one another through relationship—through connection.How connected are you to the body of Christ? That is an important component to moving on and moving through times of distress.One of my passions is to help equip the church to provide soul care. There are situations where basic counseling skills can be used by laypeople—people who are not even naturally equipped in this way—to where they can impact their own church community and beyond.Quotes from Arnold:Sometimes in our churches, we’ve created a culture where we feel like we need to have it all together, so it’s easy to hide our distress.Helping someone else can help the whole body. When one part of your body is hurt, it draws energy and strength from the rest of the body until it is healed. That’s one of the reasons why I think maybe we avoid this. It can be costly and messy to get involved in somebody’s life and walk with them through the distress that they’re facing.If my wife is in distress, I know it. I don't have to guess, because I live my life with her. Maybe the problem is that we’re disconnected in our Western model of church—we're consumer-minded, we come to get what we want and then go. Maybe we have a little clique, two or three people that we talk to every service, but we don't really have a community. We don't know when others are going through distress or how to help them because we don't really even know them. They’re not a part of our life. What if the church looked like Acts 2—breaking bread together and living life together?Creating a healthy church may be one of the first steps towards being better at helping people in distress.
39 minutes | a month ago
The Pulpit Ministry of the Pastor-Theologian
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry continue discussing the pastor as theologian.Quotes from Fry:I want to challenge all of us to recommit ourselves to pulpit ministry—the preaching ministry of the shepherd. We are to feed our congregation with the truth of God.We are not going to grow personally, spiritually, or theologically by putting in the minimum study time—giving attention to everything else and just squeezing out the time we ought to be growing.Pastors, we must be growing ourselves if we expect our church to be maturing in Christ.The maturation we are after is opposed to get-big-quick schemes and methods. It requires long, slow, steady growth. It doesn't guarantee that we're going to go from a church of 50 to 500 in three to five years. But it does guarantee that we are going to shepherd people who are growing and in turn will shepherd others.We need to allow Christ to build his church his way rather than our own way. There are a lot of innovative ways to increase numbers, and it doesn't take a lot of skill to do those things, but it does take dedication and study to help people grow spiritually and mature in their Christian faith. As pastors, we cannot get sucked into this mentality of being a CEO who is tasked by our shareholders to grow as quickly as we can.Theologizing isn't just bringing up old dead people and reciting what they said. It is, this is why it matters to us who are alive today—this is what it means in what we actually face day in and day out.We need to be preaching about modesty because it is an opportunity to address a very important cultural issue from a deeply biblical and theological framework.The teenagers at our church really latch on to the theological rationale. They're convinced that immodesty is a serious issue. They cannot allow themselves to be immodest lest they live cross-way to what they believe about Christ, sin, and atonement.We need to know why we're doing what we're doing. Doing and believing is a connection that pastor-theologians must help people to make.Quotes from Arnold:Pastors probably need to read the Bible more than they do. I know your practice is to read the entire Bible every 100 days. But we also need better reading habits. If we're not equipped with how to read the Bible, we'll have a tendency to skim until we find the verse that we're already familiar with or that "stands out to us." We must invest in our exegetical abilities, read the best commentaries, and take advantage of historical theology—read the Bible with the communion of the saints.If someone sits under our pulpit ministry for 15 years, what are they going to know? I think that answer is pretty embarrassing sometimes. In Bible college, I heard things like, "Bible college is a place where you can learn why you believe what you believe." I thought that was the church. What is a pastor even doing?Pastors ought to be modeling how to think through challenging questions.Someone recently asked me why it's important to dress modestly. What am I going to do in this moment? I'm going to give him a biblical theology of modesty. And when I was theologizing in that moment, I was pastoring.I want people to walk away from a conversation about an issue like modesty—not thinking about the standards of a particular faith tradition, or about me, or about John Wesley, or about what we've always done, or even about our culture and how bad it is—but first and foremost about Jesus. I want them to think, clothing is about Christ. Because it is. If we start there, that's a very healthy context for discussing the particulars.We have incredible opportunities to bridge from the cultural issues that people are facing to Jesus and the gospel—to give a theologically robust, Christ-centered, beautiful response that can bring great health to the church.
37 minutes | 2 months ago
The Pastor as Theologian
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry discuss the lost vision of the pastor as theologian.Quotes from Fry:Theology has been for generations separated in some ways—some formal ways, even—from the life of the local church. We need to bring those two together again.As we study God, we study all things in right relationship to him.As pastors, our task is to bridge the horizon of biblical truth with where our culture is. Pastors stand between Scripture and culture and we have to try to bridge that gap by informing culture with the truths of God and relating the truths of God to culture so that we are shaping culture as well.Being a theologian as a pastor is not an option—that's not even the question—the question is whether or not we're going to be a good theologian or a bad one. And that depends on our own willingness to know God, to study his Word, and to be increasingly better communicators of the truth about God and the world in relationship to God.Many pastors are heavily involved in many aspects of the church's business, administration, marketing, and graphic design—all of these various hats that pastors often put on that actually take us out of intentional, prolonged study of God's word, and even affect our prayer lives. They take our mind away from dwelling upon God and how we can make God known to our people.I have had people tell me that I am the CEO of the church. No. That's not how I view myself. Certainly, I have administrative responsibilities. But we need to change the way we think about the ekklesia. The church is not a business corporation. We are the flock of God. The pastor's role as a guide is about being a shepherd after God's heart.We are to give theological guidance that will help a person bridge the truth of Scripture with the facts of culture and life. A pastor-theologian is one who brings theology to bear on the daily life of the local church. It's making theology meaningful to the people not only when they are sitting in their pews but also when they go to work on Monday morning.Pastors have to get back to seeing ourselves first as guides in Christian faith. That means doctrine—explicating what Christian doctrine is, what it means, and connecting it to real life. That takes time, study, and focus—not being drawn into every other thing that we could be doing.Quotes from Arnold:Some people think that to be a theologian is to be up in an ivory tower, separated from the practical stuff of real-life ministry.People are faced with many complicated issues—this has been amplified by social media—and they need someone to shepherd them through the questions they are wrestling with. This is why theology is right at the heart of what it means to be a pastor.Pastors are called to provide a certain kind of comfort—a substantive comfort. We are to help the flock become grounded in the deeper truths of God through their suffering.Pastors are constantly addressing questions, whether from the pulpit or around the dinner table, and the issue is not whether or not we are going to give a theological answer, it's whether or not our theological answer is going to be substantive and meaningful or if it's going to be shallow.I know so many pastors who eat up guys like John Maxwell for breakfast. They want to get a Leadership and Administration degree. But when you talk to them about theology, they say, "Well, theology is important, but...."Pastors who are neglecting theological study are not equipped to navigate the questions of culture, so they begin to fall back on programs and other means to see "results" instead of growing the church organically and theologically. This leads to a lot of the anemia that we are seeing.
56 minutes | 2 months ago
Wisdom and Holiness in the New Testament
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and Philip Brown continue to discuss the relationship between wisdom and holiness.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
Heaven, Bodily Resurrection, and the 2020 Election
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry continue to discuss the church's happy anticipation of heaven and how it shapes our life in this world.Quotes from Fry:In the end, heaven is a place on earth. Earth doesn't comprehend earth, but heaven comprehends earth.Simply put, heaven is the dwelling place of God.We have so separated heaven and earth that it leads us to a view that we can trash earth before God trashes it. That is not at all an orientation that God allows us to have towards the earth. And that's very dangerous. Christians need to recover a better ecology.My male body will be resurrected. We will be male or female eternally. We are not going to become angels. Jesus told us that there will be a particular way that we will be like angels, but that's not one of them.Anticipating the loss of the things that we take pleasure in now seems more like hell than heaven. The popular visions of heaven and hell are reversed—where hell is the place where you party and have all of the best of human experiences that we can experience now, and heaven is a place where you lose all of those things. But heaven is not the loss of all these things, it is the fulfillment of them.Whatever we have to say about heaven—as we study God's word and how Christian thinkers have reflected on it—we cannot leave out the importance of the resurrected, physical body of Christ which is the foundation of our faith. That's our starting point for thinking about things eternal, and that's a physical reality. That's where our physical theology has to start. But so many of our thoughts about heaven are spiritualized and disconnected and have really become more like fairytales than real, physical realities.Prolonging life at any cost actually takes away from the sanctity of the passing of a saint. That approach is grounded in the lack of belief in a physical resurrection. We go to an extreme to preserve bodily life as if we've given up hope of a bodily resurrection.In our great effort to prolong life, we actually end up making death worse than it is—more despairing.We are pilgrims and exiles or strangers. We are passing through this age. Kings come and kings go. And that's not to say that these things have no importance. But the basic Christian confession that "Jesus is Lord" ought to run through all of our public faith. It ought to dictate everything we do—from voting to living under authorities that perhaps we didn't vote for.Our thinking about heaven must translate into how we live in this world—a public faith that reflects careful, holy living and a passion for being creatures who are made in the image of God, conveying godliness. That has to be our guiding passion for thinking on these things.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
The Forgotten Kingdom in the Gospel of the Kingdom
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and Darrell Stetler II discuss the kingdom of God as one of the most important yet misunderstood themes in Scripture.Highlights from Darrell Stetler II:The kingdom is a mega-theme in Scripture.We tend to zoom in on particular elements of salvation, such as justification by faith, but forget the context of the kingdom.Our understanding of the kingdom is sometimes conflated with our understanding of heaven as though the kingdom of God is only what is going to happen at the end.What is the kingdom of God? It is the saving reign of God—that when God rules and reigns, he reigns in a saving way. It rescues us from all that is not holy, all that is broken, all that ends in futility. It rescues us to a safe and established kingdom that is a place of peace.When we start to see the kingdom in its beauty and comprehensiveness, we begin to see that it affects everything.To explain the gospel without the kingdom is like reading your favorite novel but only reading the top half of the page.The gospel of the kingdom—the good news that Jesus and the apostles proclaimed—is that the saving reign of God has come through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son Jesus for our sins and in our place.The theme of the kingdom makes heaven so much more exciting and glad. Heaven is not just a city with streets of gold or floating on the clouds in an eternal church service.Sometimes when the kingdom comes, it looks different than what we would have expected.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
A Happy Anticipation of Heaven on Earth
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry discuss why the church has lost its happy anticipation of heaven and how a robust theology of new creation can help to recover this vital anticipation.Quotes from Fry:An experience that led me to preach a series on heaven was sitting through a funeral service in which almost everything that was said about heaven had to do with the material descriptions that Scripture gives us—streets of gold and gates of pearl—and there was nothing said about beholding the beauty of God. I began to realize that we really lack almost any understanding of the beatific vision that calls Christians to a happy anticipation of heaven.People have a hard time looking forward to heaven when they have bought into—or have been sold—a fairytale idea of what heaven is like. On a nice Fall day, I'd rather walk through the woods than walk through a massive city with streets of God.We need a biblically-based concept of what heaven really is in order for us to have a happy anticipation of it.People latch onto the biblical images and take one verse, one little element, and try to build a whole world based on that element, and make it something other than what it actually is.I have heard preachers say, 'We all want to go to heaven, but we don't want to go tonight,' and that's terrible. That is not the attitude of the New Testament believers, and it's certainly not the attitude of the saints throughout the ages.Who wants to be strapped to a rocket and thrown into outer space where there's nothing but space and spend eternity there? From a very young age, we are teaching our kids of a very nebulous idea of an ungrounded heaven, and for some reason we don't make the connection in our adult minds that there's a problem with that.We have been thinking unbiblically about this other-worldly heaven, and we need to think more in terms of the redemption of this earth, and what God's plan is for actually wedding heaven and earth together, which is the great image of the end of the Book of Revelation.One of the last stanzas of "O For a Thousand Tongues" says, "Anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven."In Revelation 21, the dwelling of God is with us—not our dwelling goes to be with God. God is coming to us. That is the final image in the final chapters of Scripture.We are earthly creatures, and we were created to be earthly creatures. The creation story conveys to us a pure, holy place called the garden, in which God dwelled with Adam and Eve. That's a real, earthly place—not something beyond the blue. And so we have to ground our salvation in earthiness.Peter uses imagery that refers to the redemption of this earth, not God throwing something away and starting with something different. Once we have that as our framework for understanding heaven, it revolutionizes our thinking.If God plans to trash this earth, then don't let the meek know that. Because Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth. If he means that, then he is talking about the earth that they know.There is more continuity between this earth and heaven—this age and the next—than there is discontinuity. Certainly, there is some discontinuity, but there's a hope that heaven is not a fairytale. It's real.To see the completion of God's vision for humanity or the world, we see that in Christ. We don't go back to the first Adam, we go to the Second Adam.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Thankfulness as the Key to Spiritual Health
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and Timothy Cooley Sr. discuss the central place of gratitude in the Christian life and in God's redemptive plan.Quotes from Timothy Cooley Sr.:In Romans 1, before the giant steps downward, verse 21 points out that "when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful," and that alerted me to the possibility of unthankfulness being a first step away from God.True thankfulness should be the key to spiritual health.If I can help motivate my own thankfulness and other people's thankfulness, it's going to bring a lot of other spiritual values up.Make it a practice to begin each prayer with systematic expressions of thanks. Make it a basic pattern of life—I always start out thanking.When you are praying for someone else audibly, in their presence, a great way to start off is by giving thanks for them.We don't motivate people very much by scolding them. The inner kind of living growth that we're after, it's hard to motivate it by scolding.It's easy for us to think we can motivate someone else more by challenging them, scolding them, urging them, and that expressing thanks or compliments is the stuff that they don't need very much. But they do need it.Thankfulness is always good for relationships—both with God and others.Growing my relationship of love with God has to do with my thanking him and praising him—not that I have to motivate him to love me, but that my relationship grows through thankfulness.Sincere thankfulness tends to demonstrate that we value one another, which is so key in growing a whole, healthy church.As soon as I develop an attitude of suspicion towards somebody else, I will misinterpret all kinds of signals from them.The way we can thank God for all things is that he promised to work good out of it for us somehow. We're not thankful for an evil thing, but we're thankful that God has committed to work something good out of it.The Greek word for godliness has to do with regarding God in every part of life and knowing that all of life is under my Father's eye. Nothing happens that separates me from thinking about God. Where is God in all this? Where is God in this tragedy? I can't even explain it, but I know that's he's here. I know that he's with me. And I know that he's committed. This is not my imagining some cosmic teddy bear who makes me feel how I want to feel. This is what God revealed. This is what he says. This is the kind of God I am. Involving God in an underlying, constant awareness in everything we do—that's my way of thinking about godliness, and that connects very closely to thankfulness.There are people all around us who have not had the pleasure of someone saying "Thank you" in a sincere way that gives them the deep-down feeling that, "I can do this. I can do something. I do something that draws gratitude."
59 minutes | 3 months ago
Navigating Crisis Times in the Local Church
In this episode, Darrell Stetler II and Johnathan Arnold discuss leading the church through crisis times and the coronavirus pandemic.Flexibility and a can-do attitude is essential in the leadership of a church.I want to be the kind of leader who is a "Yes, and..." leader, not a "Yes, but..." leader.The paralysis of analysis is a real thing—where you get frozen trying to find the "right path." But in many cases, it's not about doing the "right thing," it's about doing something. A car is much easier to steer when it's moving.The biggest mistake that pastors can make in times of crisis is to not take any care of themselves—their own spiritual, physical, and emotional life. You're best equipped to help someone else in crisis if you have your foot on something solid.A huge mistake that pastors can make in times of crisis is to surrender to negative emotion—pride, anger, bitterness, or impatience.Don't quit in the middle of crisis. It's a huge abdication of leadership and responsibility. Running away when the wolf is coming is not a good plan.
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Wisdom and Holiness (Part 2)
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold continues discussing the relationship between wisdom and holiness with Dr. Philip Brown.Highlights from Philip Brown:To fear Yahweh is to do two things: to obey him by turning aside from evil and doing what is right, and secondly, to worship him.The word righteous in the Book of Proverbs refers to someone who is both in right relationship with God and living in accordance with his will.There is no part of life—from human sexuality, to finances, to interpersonal relationships, to the use of the tongue, to the interior life, to government—that Yahweh's way of thinking does not touch, and so Proverbs branches out like the many-branching roots of a tree into "every good path" to give God's people direction in how to live life God's way.Any time that Scripture talks about how we ought to live so that we are like God, it's talking about holiness. There is no part of Scripture that addresses human moral obligation that is not talking about holiness, though it often doesn't use that language. So the book of Proverbs is actually a manual on holiness on the mind, first, and then holiness of life, second.It is the interior life—the life of the mind—that is the ultimate location of battle.Many Old Testament theologians seem to think that a Christian reading of the Old Testament is an imposition of an alien thought framework. And sadly, that has been pretty characteristic of evangelical Old Testament scholarship. I believe that such an approach is flatly wrong. It's missing the way in which the New Testament, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, appropriates and reads the Old Testament.When we appropriate Proverbs as believers, we are following the direction of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament by reading Proverbs as directly addressing God's children at any age or stage of life.The contrast between the righteous and the wicked is not a contrast between the especially good and the especially bad, but between those who are in harmony with God's word and those who are not in harmony with God's word.Within the broad category of wicked, there is a gradation from the naive to the fool to the scoffer or scorner.The essential feature of the simple is that they are not able to perceive what lies below the surface of things. They are not able to penetrate beyond appearances. They tend, therefore, to operate on the moment and how they feel.The heart of folly is self-centeredness. Folly is bound up in the heart of every child, and I would identify that folly as what is essentially wrong with us. We're own-way people.Many people who have learned to live by rules—they can check all the boxes—but they have not learned to think like Yahweh, to think like Jesus.We tend to have clouded perception when we suffer. Suffering tends to turn us in-ward rather than God-ward, because of our fallenness.Everything that I have comes from God, is on loan from God, and God can take away and not be doing me wrong in any sense.The questions you ask yourself determine your focus. If we're asking, "Why this? Why me? Why now?" we're asking the wrong questions. But if we're asking, "God, what good are you planning? God, how can I reflect who you are in the midst of my suffering?" then we are focusing where God wants us to.You're not supposed to be looking for permanence in this life as a means fo judging meaning and significance, because there's nothing permanent in this life. Even when we work for God in the kingdom, we're not looking at permanence as the ground of our significance. This is a profoundly counter-cultural way of thinking.You will not find meaning or satisfaction in any of life's components, but only in life's Creator.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
Spiritual Formation and the Deeper Life (Part 1)
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and Michael Avery discuss holiness, spiritual formation, and the deeper life.Highlights:"Spiritual formation is very simply a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others." (Avery)"Behavior modification basically rests on your own human energy–what you can put into it or what someone else can threaten you to put into it. But spiritual formation comes from a very different approach. It is Spirit-enabled. We can only be formed into the image of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit as we partner with the grace of God." (Avery)"Justification is by faith and faith alone. It's not performance-based, it's not what we can do or can't do. It is strictly by faith." (Avery)"Sanctification is a process. We engage it. Paul said, 'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.' We are partnering with God's grace, but we are truly partnering. We are initiating effort on behalf of being conformed into the image of Christ." (Avery)"Even in the ways that we initiative growth in sanctification, that itself is a response to what God has already initiated by saving us." (Arnold)"We pursue holiness because of what God has done for us. It's a responsive love, not a burden." (Arnold)"Justification is not an isolated work alone. It is coupled with adoption and regeneration or initial sanctification. Born into the heart of every truly justified believer is a desire to be thoroughly good. They don't even know what to call it, maybe, but planted in our hearts through faith is this desire to be all that God wants us to be." (Avery)"Growing out the new appetite that God has given us in the new birth is the quest and hunger and pursuit to live a holy life." (Avery)"Union with Christ includes communion with Christ: that intimate relationship we have with Christ when we have experienced the new birth." (Avery)"All of the spiritual energy that I have flows from him and through him and by him as I am united with him." (Avery)"Spiritual formation is the natural outworking and outflowing of Christ in us. We can hinder or help the growth by getting involved and cooperating with the Holy Spirit." (Arnold)"Ceasing from sin is not a matter of me screwing up my courage and saying, 'This is gonna stop' in my own energy, because it won't happen. The only way to break deep, sinful habits in our life is through the power of the Holy Spirit." (Avery)"Through the power of the Holy Spirit in me, he can help me to be victorious over anything he doesn't want in my life." (Avery)"Because our context is increasingly similar to the one in which Paul wrote, we need to be increasingly sensitive to the way Paul frames moral issues." (Arnold)"If we jump from Romans 1 to Romans 12 and don't understand the 'therefore,' we're calling people to present their bodies a living sacrifice and to be transformed without a foundation." (Arnold)"Paul brings his converts to a deep understanding of who Jesus is and what it means to be united to him, and then there's a big therefore." (Arnold)"We want people to obey out of a motive of love for what God has had and what he's doing in my life." (Avery)"The concept of the 'higher life' or the 'deeper life'—those are old terms that have been tossed around for a long time, they are just broad terms used to describe those who actively embrace an aggressive sanctification process." (Avery)"Ultimately everything is of grace and by grace. But I also believe, as Dallas Willard coined the phrase, 'Grace is not opposed to effort; it's opposed to earning.'" (Avery)"We can either cooperate with the grace of God or we can resist it. And I believe cooperating's the best way to go." (Avery)
30 minutes | 4 months ago
Wisdom and Holiness (Part 1)
In this first episode of the Holy Joys Podcast, Johnathan Arnold and Philip Brown discuss the relationship between wisdom and holiness.Highlights from Philip Brown:Wisdom is a lot like light. It can be broken into many different colors. Knowledge, understanding, discretion, prudence, and insight are all colors of wisdom.Wisdom is the skill of perceiving and navigating life in harmony with Yahweh's design. Wisdom is the way Yahweh thinks. It originates with Yahweh and he is the source of all wisdom.In humans, wisdom is the skill of seeing life the way God does. Wisdom's sight penetrates beyond appearances to the real nature of things and its choices reflect such penetrating sight.The fear of the Lord is the compass for wisdom. It guides, directs, and orients all of its perceptions and choices. If you don't have your compass oriented correctly, no matter how carefully you make your decisions, they are going to be taking you the wrong way.At the root of wisdom is the word skill. Anything that is skillfully done can be called wise in its most basic sense. There are skillful sinners, there are skillful cheats. That is the wisdom which is from below. But Proverbs says that there is no knowledge or counsel against Yahweh. So no matter how skilfully a person contrives their sinful plans, Yahweh's reality and plan will always triumph ultimately and thus their so-called wisdom will turn out to be folly.Holiness, like wisdom, is complex and multifaceted. In Scripture, it may refer to a person's status, behavior, or in the case of God—and I think humans as well—it can refer to a person's nature. In one word, holiness is separateness or set-apart-ness. Separateness always entails both a from and a to.When Yahweh says he is holy, he means that he is so superior to all other beings that he is separated from them.Holiness is first a status. It is a position or a condition that is the consequence of being set apart to God.We are to be excellent in our likeness to God to the degree and extent that he empowers us to be.God's glory is the unique excellence of his character and being. It is very closely related to holiness because holiness is God's transcendent separateness due to the unique excellence of his character and being. Wisdom is certainly a dimension of God's unique excellence. There's no wisdom that transcends or even compares with his wisdom.When you are skilled in thinking the way Yahweh does, that's holiness of mind, but it's also beautiful.When we see how all that God is is ultimately good for us and glorifying to him, what other response is there but amazed and awe-struck worship as we see that beauty?So many people who label themselves as "holiness" and want to talk about holiness and make it the flag that they wave, their lives are not beautiful—in terms of their attitudes, the way in which they present themselves and their opinions on social media or in public, and in their interactions.The mainstream of Old Testament scholarship would be to identify five books as wisdom literature: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. But on the basis of Deuteronomy 4:6–8, where God describes the Torah, the instruction that he has given to Israel, as wisdom and making them a wise people, I'm not sure that the Old Testament recognizes a wisdom genre. I am inclined to argue that the Old Testament sees all genres as subsets of wisdom. You get narrative wisdom, legal wisdom, poetic wisdom, proverbial wisdom, prophetic wisdom, and so on.What is typically designated as the wisdom literature reflects the heart, not the periphery, of the Old Testament understanding of right relationship with Yahweh. If law provides framework and guidance, wisdom literature is the beating heart—the passions, the affections, that live within the framework of instruction.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2020