Those who follow my blog might notice that I’m still reading a book I started back in July, when I made some posts about the book then. Unfortunately, I haven’t spent a lot of time in the book since then. When August rolled around, I was busy getting ready to teach, and once the school year started, I was done reading anything other than my Bible and a few commentaries as I prepared for sermons on Sunday.
But things have opened up a bit in the last few weeks, and I’ve found quite a bit of time to start reading again. When I read a great book, I don’t want to fly through it, but to read slowly, think about what the author is saying, and even take notes as I read. This is how I read through Calvin’s Institutes so many years ago while at seminary. I was taking an independent study course with Dr. John Hannah with the expressed purpose of reading slowly through the Institutes. It took me a full year to finish reading it. At the end of the course, Dr. Hannah asked, “so what grade to you think you deserve?” I had to think about it for a minute. I gave myself a B+ and he was satisfied.
I was speaking with a fellow teacher recently about creation in Genesis 1. Given that I taught science to 5th graders, I love to talk about creation and our origins. I made it clear that my position on creation was that God created everything as Genesis presents it: in a span of 6-24 hour days.
Given that this view of creation is so frowned upon in academic and erudite circles, she quickly let me know that she did not believe in a 6-day creation model. I asked her why, and she said, “how do we really know what (Genesis 1) means?”
Why is it that when I hear such remarks, I’m rendered speechless by just how thoughtless such a statement is? I did respond by saying, “what does the text say?“
To which, she responded again, “how do we really know what those words meant or mean? We just can’t know.“
For those who don’t know, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently put forth a statement on biblical marriage called the Nashville Statement. Many are treating this like an act of the church, on par with the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the Apostles’ Creed. But there are many problems with this. Tony Arsenal points out that the main problem is that CBMW is not the church, and does not have the authority to speak for the church.
Already, my mind is spinning. I got the idea to write this post because I was thinking how helpful it would be if each congregation had 25 songs that they knew so well, they could sing the songs a cappella if necessary. This would be truly helpful for smaller congregations, in the event that they lose their accompaniment. Larger churches could also do this and I imagine would greatly benefit from singing a few of these songs a cappella but alas, most larger churches have musicians itching to play as it is.