C. Michael Patton on the discussions that ensued when a young man brought his priest to tackle the issue of whether as a member of the EO church, the young man could work at Credo House, a Protestant Evangelical organization:
Today, Tim Kimberley and I had the privilege of meeting with an Eastern Orthodox priest here at the Credo House in Edmond, OK. The meeting was called because there is a young man who desires to work as an “under-monk” (barista) at the Credo House. While we are a Protestant Evangelical organization, we often call ourselves Evangelical “on the last notch of the belt.” In other words, in the spirit of Evangelicalism, we don’t want to unnecessarily divide over non-essential issues. While devoted to his Eastern Orthodox church, this prospective employee loves the Credo House and what we stand for. As discussions went on behind the scenes about whether or not I wanted to deal with the PR of explaining to everyone why we had an Eastern Orthodox employee (along with all the charges of postmodern doctrinal relativism, etc.), as well as the laborious discovery of whether this guy was truly an Eastern Orthodox or an Evangelical attending an Eastern Orthodox church, Carrie set up a meeting between this young man, his priest, Tim, and me.
Mark Coppenger on how a heated exchange between Apostles Peter & Paul’s informs the way we should understand disagreements:
Discord is inevitable when finite, fallen creatures join together in larger tasks. All Christians are spiritual works-in-progress; they’re being sanctified right along, but none is perfect, and most are far from it. Along with their gains in beneficence, courage, and winsomeness, they have episodes of selfishness, cowardice, and petulance. And despite their advance in wisdom and knowledge, they’re often just confused. (As a young pastor, I photocopied a quote and put it in my study desk – something along the lines of “Don’t attribute to malice what can be explained in terms of ignorance.”) In fact, a measure of confusion and sub-Christian moodiness can be at play in all the parties concerned. It’s not always black and white, and often each disputant could use a little rebuke and clarification. (Proverbs 27:17 says as much: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”)
Steve Cornell with some insights on marriage, along with a checklist of questions and thoughts to consider. Here are some nuggets of wisdom:
…The pastor who married us gave me only one line of advice: “The graces you used to win her love, use to keep her love.”
…A wise marriage counselor once suggested that, “the secret to lifelong love and companionship is an iron-willed determination to make it work” (James Dobson).
…I find that many people want too much from marriage. They have unrealistic ideas of marital bliss. They’re in love with the idea of being in love until they learn that loving another person requires effort.
…When sinners say, “I do” we cannot expect perfection! There are risks involved because there are sinners involved. You will probably get hurt but what you do with the hurt is the important part.
When juxtaposed with Romans 8, one of the major differences is the mentioning (or lack thereof) of the Holy Spirit. Like Stephen Altrogge in this post, as well as John Stott in his Romans commentary, I tend to agree that Romans 7 is about the pious Jew living in the old order of things, that is, trying to obey the laws. That said, I think Stott put it best when noting there are still many things to be gleaned from this chapter:
When we are seeking a legitimate application of Romans 7 to ourselves today, we are likely to find verses 4-6 to be crucial. For these verses set the two orders or ages and convenants or testaments over against each other in sharp antithesis as the old way and the new way. Both are called ‘service’, but the old was characterized by ‘letter’ (a written code), while the new is characterized by ‘Spirit’ (his indwelling presence) […] God’s purpose is not that we should be OT Christians, regenerate indeed, but living in slavery to the law and in bondage to indwelling sin. It is rather that we should be NT Christians who, having died and risen with Christ, are living in the freedom of the indwelling Spirit.
Obviously there’s a part of me that wonders whether the people are staged actors, but I think the point of the commercial still gets across clearly and powerfully.