Monday, February 25, 2008

Larry Norman home with the Lord

From his last written words...

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home. ...

Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


Website here.

Songlist from Only Visiting This Planet
(This is what I listened to as a young Christian.)

Side 1

  1. "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus"
  2. "The Outlaw"
  3. "I've Got To Learn To Live Without You"
  4. "Without Love You Are Nothing"
  5. "I Wish We'd All Been Ready"

Side 2

  1. "Six O'clock News"
  2. "The Great American Novel"
  3. "Pardon Me"
  4. "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music"
  5. "Reader's Digest"
  6. "Oh, How I Love You" (Not listed)

Friday, February 22, 2008

1 Corinthians 3

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. (1 Corinthians 3:1-8 ESV)

I find myself at times being envious of other people's gifts and talents. (Why don't I have such abilities?) At other times I almost idolize certain teachers and leaders (Why don't I have such abilities?) Envy and strife, along with over-the-top admiration for human leaders both come from the same source.

Both are symptoms of a carnal mindset which refuses to see that God has given gifts as he sees fit, and placed people so that we all have something to contribute, but nobody contributes everything. All are needed. We don't need "Christian American Idols", and we need not look down on any gift or role we -- or somebody else -- might have. We're all part of the same glorious plan of God. Each has something to do. Each will receive reward.

  • Who am I likely to idolize?
  • Who am I likely to look down on?
btw, check out the NET Bible and the text notes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

gospel + Spirit is enough?

It seems to me one of the main points in 1 Corinthians 2 is that 1) the simple gospel of Christ crucified and 2) the ministry of the Holy Spirit in giving inner wisdom are the main components of successful ministry. In other words, with the gospel + the Spirit I can effectively do ministry because this is where God's power is demonstrated.

1 Corinthians 2:2-5 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

It seems our ministry should be built upon and shaped by this premise that in the work of Christ (crucified and risen) and in the work of the Holy Spirit to make this real to us (the convicting & illuminating work).

  • What should this look like in our ministry today? What are some of the ways we might clutter up this simplicity?

Other questions:

  • Do we make still make the distinction between spiritual and natural persons (2:14, 15) in our ministries today ?
  • How do we tell where a person stands in this?
  • What does "wisdom" look like (2:7, 8, 12, 13)? Compare this with James' description in James 3:17, 18.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the cross emptied of its power?

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

I don't think that it is possible to negate Christ's work on the cross. The apostle means here that he does not want anything of his wisdom, knowledge, cleverness, power, gifts, or attractiveness to get in the way of his presentation of the gospel.

He wants people to see Christ's atonement not Paul's accomplishments.

What things in us can come in the way of people seeing the power of the cross??

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On 1 Corinthians 1

Think about your calling...

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus...

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

What can we learn from these verses about our "calling" as Christians?