Until then, there are several things I've had smoldering on back burners of my mind. Yes, I know, some of your smoke alarms are probably screaming right about now. (how's that for an extended metaphor!?) I thought I'd like to post first explaining how I think through issues and how you can expect me to present them. Pretty much everything I post on here is controversial (except maybe our travel adventures) in the sense that some group of people somewhere disagrees with it, be it a health topic, parenting, theological, or political. Even our traveling could be controversial, I guess, if someone felt strongly that we should spend more money on missions and less on it, or whether or not we should take our daughter with us, or whether the places we visit are appropriate or not... Anyway, you get my point.
When an issue comes up in my mind, the first things I do are gather as much information as I can on the topic-- articles, perspectives from leaders I trust, direct quotes, books on the topic, and of course asking Ryan, if he has an opinion on the matter. I try to form as complete a picture of the issue at hand as I can. Then the way I analyze all that data is to take it both backwards and forwards. I take it "backwards," meaning I try to discern its originating worldview- without assuming too much or making giant leaps. I try to line these basic underpinnings with what Scripture says, or for unclear issues, to what basic principles Scripture provides. Then, I take it "forwards" meaning I try to see where reasoning along the lines of the presented issue will take us. Again, I try to line these up with Scripture. Lastly, I put all the pieces together and present them on this blog.
I put "stuff" on here in order to both save and create work for my readers. I want to spark people to think for themselves. In a culture where we are bombarded with information at such alarming paces, it's difficult and totally counter-cultural to slow down and pick that information apart and test it. So I present my own reasoning in long-hand to allow anyone interested to see how and why I reached my conclusions. I love it when someone tells me that they found a post really helpful, even when they reach a different conclusion than I did! That's why I try to post a lot of links to my info sources, so that people can check it out for themselves. If someone reads what I wrote, thinks it through, and ends up agreeing with me 100%, great!! Of course I love convincing people!! But if someone else reads what I wrote, and as he thinks through it realizes exactly why he disagrees with me, then I am just as happy. I probably would continue to press that person, as I allowed them to press me-- but if in the end they are thoroughly convinced after thoughtful examination, I still consider my work done. :) That's why I had such rich fellowship with Presbyterians all throughout high school and college-- we knew exactly where and why we disagreed, teased each other about it at times, but never had to question our differences more than that.
I want to be clear: just because I lay my pre-suppositions out and reach a certain conclusion, I am not implying that the ONLY conclusion that could be reached from those suppositions is mine. I know that someone can start at the exact same place I do and end up 180 degrees different. Two examples: one friend of mine keeps her sanity by forcing herself to do a small load of laundry every day. I keep my sanity by forcing myself to do ONLY 2 large loads of laundry two days a week. Another, more serious one: in book club we once asked whether we'd send our children away in the hopes of keeping them safe during war, or keep them with us if we were unable to leave. One club member said "because I believe in the Sovereignty of God, and that He appointed me to be responsible for my children, I'd keep them with me, so that I could continue to love on them and teach them through the war." I busted out laughing, because my answer was: "because I believe in the Sovereignty of God, and that He appointed me to be responsible for my children, I'd send them away, and trust that God would provide for them, comfort them and teach them while I was praying for them at home." Same two starting points, totally opposite conclusions.
As CS Lewis envisioned a saint in glory one Day exclaiming,
“We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke! There is no need to go on pretending one was right. After that, we begin living.”
Come soon, Lord Jesus!
Come soon, Lord Jesus!