Listening: Our first duty to God and Neighbor

Two ears and one mouth, many have rightly observed that this innately places listening before speaking. We are to be hearers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life Together captures the first duty of human beings to God and neighbor as an act of the ear. “The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship […]

Rethinking Weakness

Strength is the American ideal. The statue on the right is called the “Self Made Man.” He is chiseling himself out of stone, making himself—with his own hands and strength. The self-made man embodies what our culture values. The ability of an individual to go from strength to strength, overcoming all adversity and chiseling out […]

What is a Man?

Templates are important. New experiences are often stressful and tiring, mainly because we are doing the hard work of creating a template. Once the template is created and we run it through a few times we relax. This is true for a new job, for marriage, for parenting, for a new hobby, for traveling to […]

Own It

Repentance is ownership. We own our sin. We own our failure before God. We own our rebellion. We own our iniquity. We own our transgression. We agree with God, we have fallen short of his glory. We take full responsibility. Repentance was the launching point of Luther’s 95 Theses. Thesis 1: “When our Lord and […]

Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus was one of the early church fathers. Here are a few thoughts of his for your encouragement. We are not made for ourselves alone, we are made for the good of all our fellow creatures. I cannot think on the one without quickly being encircled by the splendor of the three; nor […]

Not One Hint of Darkness

God is spirit (Jn 4:24). God is one (Deut 6:4). God is love (1 Jn 4:8 ). God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13). God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). God is merciful (Deut 4:31). God is gracious (2 Chr 30:9). God is compassionate (2 Chr 30:9). God is judge (Ps 50:6). God is….these character […]

The Sweeping Call to Honor

Honor all. Two words, a command and the object of the command (1 Pet 2:17). God’s word through Peter is an imperative (τιμήσατε) to all Christians: HONOR. The object of the command (πάντας) is sweeping: ALL. In the context, ruling authorities and human institutions are in mind. However, the “all” broadens it out to include human […]

Wisdom from Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer shares a nugget of wisdom in his Papers and Letters from Prison. The proper way to view other human beings is through a particular lens colored by humility, self-awareness and compassion. See what he has to see about the matter. The man who despises another will never be able to make anything of him. Nothing […]