Monday, May 18, 2009

Dali Bibles

John Frye has posted a rather scathing assessment of Bible reading among Christians in the United States. Here's a sample:
Bibles might be best sellers, but they aren’t read much. They lie limp on the bedroom dresser or backseat of the car waiting until next Sunday. What is sturdy reading for USAmerican Christians? Lucado? McArthur? Piper? Our Daily Bread? Oswald Chambers? Joyce Meyer? Beth Moore? I have nothing against these fine people, just like I have nothing against taking vitamins. The Bible is the wholesome meal; all other writers are mere vitamins, even N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight. And these two men would agree.

John Wycliffe died for putting the Bible into English and into the hands of the common man and woman, even the plough boy. For all the rants against the “Catholics” in past eras because they couldn’t read the Bible for themselves, we USAmerican evangelicals now have our Protestant “popes” filling the pulpits telling us that we are not trained well enough to get at the wonderful “systems” hidden within the messy, messy stories of the Bible. . . .

Lazy Christians run around crying, “Feed me! Feed me! My pastor is supposed to feed me.” And there is a kind of pastor who is suckered right into this whining because it gives him or her a sense of value and a place in the lives of those needy folk.
And what's the deal with the Dali reference? Read John's whole article if you care to find out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the best thing the american churches can do is to take out the STUPID pews.

round tables with chairs in a gym would be better.


do i need to start my own church or what? now, that would be a doozie of a meeting! hahaha!

3:19 PM, May 18, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree about the pews. As for whether or not you should start a church? Well, please forgive the quibbling, but Christ has already started one; the challenge is to find a local branch, so to speak. Peace.

10:15 AM, May 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you say i need to go hang out on a branch!?

i agree, Christ has already started the church...and it is good to gather with local believers...whatever it is called really does not matter to me anymore.

it is still fun to think about making changes to the design of seating and space of a meeting place.

5:58 PM, May 19, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Hang out on a branch? I like that question.

I see that in my quibbling, I didn't really address your original question about starting a church. In all seriousness, that's a good question. There certainly are situations when it's time to start a new congregation of Christians.

The challenge, of course, is not to set up a church just so we get to do things our way. One of the real benefits of being in a local congregation, I think, is the discipline of not always getting our way. On the other hand, there are situations where the churches in a given area may not be giving glory to God, and so it's time to start another one.

Bottom line: there's a time and a place to start a new congregation, but I don't pretend to have much wisdom in discerning when and where those situations are.

9:51 PM, May 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, it is much more important to learn about accepting one another and getting along with each other and giving Glory to God, then to have our way in a gathering of believers.

that is why i have pretty much quit talking about a lot of the issues like the stupid pews, the stage, the denominiaional differences, the nit picking, the lack of Love in others and myself, and all the other things that i can easily find that are wrong with gatherings and communities of believers...and just get along with what it is and try and be more understanding of our human ways, more forgiving, more patient, and be amazed at God's patience and Love for us all.

i should be thankful for the stupid pews and get over it.

it really is good for each of us to take on the reading of the scripture that we have been so graciously given. and to seek God in a more humble way.

thanks for your understanding and Love.

i do not have much wisdom in this either, and i am not sure that i want it. wisdom seems to come at a very high price. i think i will stick with faith for now.

12:28 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger nannykim said...

I agree and disagree --Ha! My hubby and kids have always read the Bible; usually everyday. But we have discovered a bit of weakness in our training of our kids (they are grown now). We read the word together after supper and we did some catecism with them too. But we did not ground them in the doctrines to the extent we thought that we were doing!

Thankfully we have been able to continue the teaching and talking and sharing and lending of books all to help them to grow in their understanding of doctrine and Bible application. The church we attended for most of their growing years was extremely weak in applying the word to every day life.(We have since changed churches) So there is a great value in books like Piper and others for applying and fleshing out things . God gave us teachers as spritual gifts to the church to help us be built up in the faith---so I see this as is extremely imprtant.

Also we can read through the Bible every year which really helps in laying the foundations..but we need to know what it means and how it is to be applied and how it all ties together. We need to know a bit about hermaneutics--how we interpret what is being said--how different books are poetic, prophetic, allegorical, historical etc and how this affects how we understand things. Also we need to know a bit of the culture and history of the time period--this gives more insight into the meaning--we need preachers to help since their main vocation is to equip us---many people do not have the time for this indepth study so praise God for those preachers and teachers that take the time to study and give what they learn to their congregations.

I actually like the pews--I find my focus is on worshipping God , not on people at the service. The fellowship comes in the study groups. The advantage of pews in the many churches is that there are kneelers (not sure of the spelling)---this is so helpful for praying....there is something that helps or aids my attitude when I kneel.

So to make a long comment shorter? ha!...Bible reading is very important, but so are the other things ;-)

2:03 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Nancy, sounds about right to me. Peace.

2:30 PM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Nannykim, thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree that serious study of the the Bible is critical for all believers. I also agree about kneeling, although it seems to be a neglected posture in the North American church today. Christians in the early church tended to pray standing with arms extended--another neglected posture.

2:34 PM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger nannykim said...

Milton--yes, on your comment on praying with hands extended--some of us tend to be self conscious...(I have a hard time doing that--but I feel my attitude is wrong)--when you look at videos that have been smuggled in from the underground churches in China they are not afraid to really get into worship with all of their being.

This video on youtube of some people responding when they fully understood the gospel made me cry--they broke out in dancing (I can't remember what country this was in)--but the missionary had been giving the foundation for the gospel for a great time period and when he finally told them the gospel it was a total outbreak in joy :

12:35 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the link. I'll go over and give it a look.

7:46 PM, May 24, 2009  

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