As many of your know, my niece Ella, has Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a debilitating, genetic disease that attacks and limits the functionality of internal organs, especially the digestive system and the lungs. For people like Ella, CF means a daily struggle for proper nutrition and even to breathe. It means hours of treatment and dozens of pills every day.
In recent years there have been a number of break-throughs in medicines and treatments that can prolong and improve life and health for those who suffer with CF. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, those treatments and others that are still being developed can make life better, easier, and longer for many. The current median life expectancy for people living with CF is 36 years. We want it to be longer.
To that end, this year, I am leading a fundraising walk team for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides walk, which will take place on May 19th. If you know me and love me, would you please consider helping me to help my niece and others like her?
First, please watch this video. Learn a bit about Ella and the disease. Even better, please share this video with others to raise awareness.
Second, please consider donating to my walk team. You can follow this link for more details on how: www.cff.org/great_strides/krombein
Third, if you feel so inclined, join my team, help me to raise funds, and come out on May 19th, to walk with me and my family.
As far as number two goes, I know that money is tight, and we all give to a lot of different causes and support many things. If you decided to give, your gift does not have to be large. Anything will help. For those of you that can only afford a little, I propose that just this week instead of going out to lunch or buying yourself, a triple-grande, half-calf, extra-foam, extra-hot, one-and-a-half pump, light, soy, carmel mochachinocana, you instead forgo that paper cup of caffeinated heaven and give a little love to my niece instead.
B: “Daddy, The Fire Theft is a funny name.
Me: “I think it’s a good name. The lead singer is named Jeremy Enigk—he’s from Seattle. He used to be in a band called Sunny Day Real Estate.”
B: “That’s a funny name too.”
E: “We should invite him over for dinner.”
B: “Yeah Daddy, you should send him a text.”
Over the years people in my specific theological camp have used the idea of “closed hand” and “open hand” to talk about specific theologies. If something is so important that getting it wrong means getting salvation wrong, we put that in the closed hand. Some classic examples are the virgin birth and Jesus’ death burial and resurrection. In the open hand we put things that are more unique to our specific theological stream, but that do not raise the level of importance where the Gospel hangs on them. Some examples of open-hand issues are the age of the Earth, and exactly how we think the end times will play out.
The more that I study and pray and spend time in pastoral ministry though, the more convinced I am that we should have a lot less things in our open hand and a lot more things in our closed hand. How often do you really consider all off the details of you specific theological beliefs? Are there any loose threads? What happens if you start to pull? More often than not, I think you’ll find a more direct connection to salvation and a right understanding of God than you thought.
Tim Challies had this great article today about how Paul exposed some loose threads for the Corinthians. Some areas where I think modern Christians tend to have a lot of loose threads are: the issue of female eldership and the debate over egalitarianism/complementarianism, and the issue of the inerrancy, completeness, and authority of scripture.
What do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? What other theologies should we reconsider putting in the closed hand?
This month I turn 33. There are a few things that I have been wanting to do for awhile, but have been putting off. 1) Learn how to ride a motorcylce. 2) Learn how to shoot a gun.
Lest, my wife, my mother, or my mother-in-law be concerned, understand that I am not necessarily saying that I will purchase a gun or a motorcylce anytime time soon. But I believe that both are valuable skillsets and I would like to acquire them.
That said, I know a number of you how ride motorcycles and I know of number of you have weapons. Would any of you be willing to help me out?
Here’s some wise words from RC Sproul on the economy: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/whats-most-important-economic-lesson-americans-need-learn/
The point he makes reminds me of Doug Wilson’s assertion that Jesus wants you to be conservative: http://www.dougwils.com/N.T.-Wrights-and-Wrongs/jesus-and-conservatism.html
Both men, by the way, are absolutely right.
Here’s an interesting post from Carl Trueman: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2012/11/the-joy-of-sects.php
My take away, we need to worry less about what the mainstream culture thinks of Christianity. Too often we forget that the world in its sin isn’t going to understand the Church. By definition, Christianity is counter-cultural. Remember how we’re supposed to expect (and even welcome as blessing) opposition to living a life based in the gospel?
While it’s important to “engage” the culture around us, what each of us really means when we say “engage” is up for debate. Carl’s point though, is that just because world is asking certain questions and posing certain answers, that does not mean we need to limit our engagement to the way that the world expects.
Some logical conclusions extrapolated from Carl’s post: Don’t fear that taking a stand on a specific theological issue (like women in ministry) will make the world around you see Christianity as irrelevant—people already see Christianity as irrelevant. Instead, of trying to help the world answer questions about saving the rainforests or ending global warming, get the individual heart—how does your personal stewardship (or lack thereof), or greed, or desire for comfort, or laziness reflect the brokenness that you see in the world around you? The world may not want to answer those questions, but those are the ones we need to be asking. We need to be persuading the world that those question are important. (More on “persuading” in another post…)