I was just catching up on comments left by Mr. Enloe in response to my blog (comments that do not use names, but refer to me anyway, as if that somehow allows him to fulfill his commitment to not address me, while accusing me of every kind of sin under the sun anyway….wait, you aren’t supposed to do that, are you?). It was sorta depressing, since the real issues were being ignored yet again, and the importance of honoring the Word of God by handling it with respect and the dignity it demands (i.e., doing meaningful exegesis) was being drug through the mud. But then I came across a clear-headed, well-written comment by someone identified as “BrianBerean.” I honestly have no idea who Brian is. I know some Brians, but I don’t think I know this one. Anyway, I appreciated what he had to say, and was motivated by one of his comments to quickly throw this on the blog. He said he wished I would acknowledge the validity of some of TGE’s points, and I would like to know which points he is referring to. Since I can’t seem to get Mr. Enloe to engage me on the centrality and practice of exegesis to Christian theology, I would really be interested in knowing which points Brian feels I have ignored. Is it true that church history is important? Of course. It is true that we are influenced in our thinking and application by our social context, which likewise was formed over time, and influenced by many movements of the past. So I’m uncertain what points I have “missed,” and would like to know.
I will say this, however: one of the most constant false accusations Mr. Enloe seemingly cannot rid himself of is that I do not believe that what I do in life is “spiritual.” He has said I made a comment at some point about having to clean my pool (I have not been able to locate it in my logs), and that this somehow was illustrative of how I separate out secular life from the “spiritual” work of writing or teaching or researching. I may well have at one point complained that I was not going to be able to finish a project on time, or was going to have to put other things off, since I was having a pool problem (warning to all moving to Phoenix: yes, they look nice, but they are a never ending job, and a black hole of money; unless you are a fish, DON’T DO IT!). But noting in passing a desire to finish a project (to the glory of God) does not mean that I do not, or cannot, see all of my life as under the Lordship of Christ, nor that I cannot clean my pool to the glory of God.
I have told my kids this story a number of times. In my sophomore year of high school I became very serious about studying the Bible and walking with the Lord. I was on the tennis team, and since we were a very small, new high school, we were often up against much larger, much better high schools. I was almost always #2 on the team, and I had never once beaten the #1 player named Chris. Well, I began memorizing the Scriptures and really seeking to apply my faith in all of my life, and I came to the conclusion that I should play tennis to the glory of God as well. That meant to my young mind “leaving it all on the court,” giving every effort I could, tracking down every shot, concentrating on doing my best. So in the next challenge match I had against Chris, I did just that. I didn’t give up on any shot. I served with all my might. The coach came down and started to watch. Soon others gathered around. I was hitting the ball with every bit of my strength, concentrating on form and strategy. And I won. In fact, it wasn’t overly close. I will never forget that day. Have I been consistent in doing that in every aspect of my life? Has anyone? But I do know it is vitally important, and personally, I am grieved that a man who I used to call a friend, a man that I have often said is very bright and intelligent, seems to feel he can constantly slander an elder in the church with the repeated false accusation that I think otherwise.
I have much more to say about this issue, and I want to find time to comment on the Pinnock/Sanders/Open Theists amongst the Mormons stuff that has developed lately, but I have an article to finish and two debates to prepare, and, I need to go lift weights….all to the glory of God. Hopefully post more later. 🙂