The One

The One

From childhood we’ve heard the stories of “the one who could”:

Cinderella—the one who could fit into the glass slipper
King Arthur—the one who could remove the sword from the stone
Prince Charming—the one who could wake Sleeping Beauty

Our primal stories all have a hero who fits the moment and arrives to save us as hope is expiring.

But long before belles of the ball fit slippers and swords were withdrawn from stones and kisses woke sleeping beauties, people were longing for the one who could. This is the quest of the human heart in Scripture.

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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:

“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.

—Revelation 2:1-7

We often laud critical thinking abilities, but they do have a dark side. When we are convinced that “we’re” right and “they’re” wrong, bad things can happen. People are ridiculed. Relationships have litmus tests. Sidewalks are scattered with eggshells. Ostracism becomes a sport, and words become weapons rather than gifts. And something dangerous happens. In pursuing the art of being right, we lose our love.

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When Hope Sinks

When Hope Sinks

“Don’t get your hopes up.”

That’s what we say to each other as a warning against inflationary expectation. The higher our hopes climb, the harder they fall. It’s dangerous to risk a fall of Humpty Dumpty proportions. Few people specialize in putting shattered hope back together again.

Have you ever heard someone predict the second coming of Jesus? Have you ever read a book that connected the dots between world events and the biblical text of the Revelation of Jesus to John? I suggest that people who interpret the Book of the Revelation as a time line of the end are manipulating our hopes. They tell us:

  • the Antichrist is here
  • the blocks of the new Temple are already cut
  • Armageddon is just around the corner
  • the mark of the beast is a computer chip installed under our skin

They speak of these things as warnings to the unprepared and good news to the ready-to-be-raptured. Yet, for the life of me, these predictions don’t get my hopes up anymore. I guess I’m old enough now to know some history. I know about the failed predictions of the end-of-the-world in the years 999, 1843, 1988, and 2012.

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