Search

Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master

Category

joe reed

What’s up with the “Silly, Weak Women”?

For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 2Tim. 3:6-7

Paul must have hated women. Either that, or he was so entrenched in the unenlightened, oppressive, chauvinistic culture of the day he can be entirely disregarded as an irrelevant misogynist. Or so the ultra-tolerant and hyper-diverse entirely non-judgmental thinking of our era might say.

Why did he have to pick on the ladies, though? “Weak women weighed down with sins” isn’t very loving, especially coming from the guy who commanded women to keep silent in the church, submit to their husbands, and cover their heads. The translators in the employ of King James had the audacity to render this text “silly women,” so no extra points for flattery there.

So what’s the deal with these silly, weak, or gullible (NKJV) women? Continue reading “What’s up with the “Silly, Weak Women”?”

Choosing Better, pt.7: It is Better to Attend a Funeral than a Party

It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 

Here is a seemingly morbid portion of Scripture, and hardly a common piece of advice: Better to go to a funeral than a party.

My Dad, who is far more gifted with acronyms and alliteration than I could ever be, summarizes the book of Ecclesiastes this way: ITIA –“I Tried It All.”

It’s good to read books, because in a matter of hours or a few days you can absorb material it took the author perhaps years to learn. It’s good to talk to elderly people, because if you’re willing to listen and learn, in a matter of a few conversations you can take graduate level courses from the school of their hard knocks and keep the bumps off your own head. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.7: It is Better to Attend a Funeral than a Party”

How does my theology affect my understanding of salvation?

Last summer while teaching through 1 John, I wrote the following chart to help understand how some of the most popular broad theological categories understand some of the various aspects of salvation, particularly in regards to Assurance of Salvation.

I wrote this assuming genuine believers by faith alone in Christ alone in each of the three representative categories, so my aim here was not to demonstrate how one type of theology cannot result in genuine conversion, but rather to demonstrate how each system of thought affects how believers understand and relate to their salvation. Continue reading “How does my theology affect my understanding of salvation?”

The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.4

…these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
– 1John 1:4

I always (well, as a low-level hoarder I should say sometimes) like to ask the question: do I really need this? What is cake, and what is frosting? Here I’m asking the question in a church context: Do I really need brothers and sisters in Christ? I have Jesus, at the end of the day, aren’t other believers just icing on my spiritual cake? John wrote his first epistle not just for the sake of those to whom he was writing, but in order that the effect of the letter would grant to him a kind of joy he could only find in other believers: “These things we write that our joy may be made complete.” Continue reading “The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.4”

The Deceptive Allure of Predictable Parenting

We live in a cause-effect mechanical world. Insert coin, press button, can of pop falls into the tray. Turn key, press accelerator, car goes. Search, shop, click, and in two days a box shows up on your doorstep. This is the world we live in. It’s built on predictability. It is a mechanical age. Actually, it’s a mechanical world, but modern man has begun to figure out how to predictably manipulate the creation, which is governed by unbreakable natural laws, in order to set in motion a series of controlled events in order to produce a desired outcome.

If that sounds too complicated, here it is more simply: If one understands something about the properties of concrete, steel, and bedrock, he can engineer a mighty bridge and know before it’s built how far it can span and the weight it can carry.  The predictability of the elements of the bridge make the final product less-than-surprising to the one who engineered it, at least if done properly.

Imagine trying to build a house without some certainty that the lumber will behave fairly predictably – it won’t turn into linguini at a random moment for no reason, leaving a house looking like a beached jellyfish – all flesh and no bones. Or imagine if electricity was suddenly conducted by plastic, causing essentially all buildings to burst into an instant conflagration. Imagine the stress of flying in a jet without the certainty that the laws of physics that govern the burning of fuel and principles of thrust will remain operative throughout your flight. Continue reading “The Deceptive Allure of Predictable Parenting”

The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.3

…these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. – 1John 1:4

John rather surprisingly writes that he pens his first epistle for the purpose of completing the joy of his companions and himself. The implications were discussed in part 1, and now we are in the midst of trying to see what kind of thinking leads to such an almost bizarre statement, and to discover that, we are looking at three propositions I believe are undergirding the mind of John. The first proposition was this: Union with Jesus can never be divorced from union with brothers.

The second proposition I want to make is this:

Love for Jesus can never be divorced from love for brothers.

Or we could say it this way: Love for Jesus is equal and proportional to to love for my brother. Continue reading “The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.3”

The Completing Joy Of Fellowship, pt.2

…these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
-1John 1:4

What sort of things must shape the mind and thinking of John to write things such as “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another,” instead of the seemingly more “appropriate” way to say it, “if we walk in the Light… we have fellowship with Him”? Continue reading “The Completing Joy Of Fellowship, pt.2”

The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.1

These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
– 1 John 1:4

When we study the Bible, we become rather quickly aware that with the exception of the book of Romans and some other scattered portions of other books, the Bible is not strictly a theological treatise. The Bible is a collection of history, poetry, of communications from God to specific men or a specific people, (think Old Testament Prophets) and written correspondence between persons, rather ordinary save for the fact that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Examples of this are the writings of Paul or the letters of John.

So in that sense, the Bible is not written first-hand personally to you or me, nor is it written as an encyclopedia of theological positions or propositional doctrinal statements. It’s written by men of God inspired by the Spirit of God who are going about their business of helping their fellow countrymen or brothers in Christ, recording history for the sake of future generations, or in the case of the Psalms, expressing in a poetic way their thoughts and emotions in their given situation.

This means that when we study the Bible in order to construct a good and true understanding of God, self, and the world around us, in a sense we have to reverse engineer the mindset and worldview of those writing the Bible, and distill propositional, doctrinal truth out of the things they say. This tells us something of the genius of God who used this method to write a book whose meaning would be understandable in all languages and cultures over the past 3,500 years, so that all men could read, understand, and be delivered from Divine judgment. By making the Bible sound nothing like a systematic theology, we can look at inspired truth in a variety of situations and settings and systematize the truths explicitly or implicitly stated. Continue reading “The Completing Joy of Fellowship, pt.1”

I am of Flesh, pt1

I am of Flesh”
– Paul, Romans 7:14

Calvin famously opens his Institutes this way:

Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.

Much has been written expounding the boundless glories which necessarily rise when pondering what God has revealed to us concerning Himself. But I find it fascinating that Calvin should assert that true and solid wisdom consists not only in knowledge of God, but also in knowledge of ourselves. Continue reading “I am of Flesh, pt1”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑