The Limits of Our Free Will

We can choose our actions but not their consequences.

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Who’s in the library?

In one of my college classes a visiting speaker mentioned that Karl Marx was in a library when he developed the ideas that became the basis of communism and socialism.  Marx’s ideas have led to deadly consequences.

He went on to ask the question, “Who is in the library now?”

Who is reading, studying, thinking, wrestling, doing the hard work necessary to create a culture-shaping movement?

I want to be part of a generation of Christians willing to “be in the library.”  I want to love God with my whole being, including my mind.  I want to think about how the Gospel speaks to our culture.  I want to be prepared to offer a defense of my faith.  I want to think about how the church should impact or even create culture.

What would be the results if this generation of Christians was as committed to King Jesus as Marx and his followers were to communism?

No Pockets

Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;
for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.
Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper—
he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life.
A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

(Psalm 49:16–20, NIV84)

This is Black Friday, a day that many celebrate by demonstrating unmitigated greed.  The verses quoted above remind us that material possessions will not last beyond this life.  “He will take nothing with him when he dies.”

The early Christians had an expression, “There’s no pockets on a shroud.”  A shroud was a linen burial cloth, and that saying reminded them that you can’t take your stuff with you after death.

An updated version of that statement could be, “You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.”

Reformation Day

500 years ago today an Augustinian monk nailed a document to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.  That action ignited what has come to be known as the Protestant Reformation, and the date came to be referred to as Reformation Day.  One of my favorite quotes from Luther is:

“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it?  For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf.  His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”
(Martin Luther)