Mapping Out the Zealot vs. the Tax Collector


How do we apply the fact that Jesus made room in the Twelve for both Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector? Certainly, it must remind us that Jesus’ invitation was to a wide and deep mercy in God. Simon, who was ready to take down the institutionalized, status quo, Roman occupation is at one end of the spectrum. On the other, Matthew earned his bread and maintained a social status feeding off of the very institution Simon was seeking to destroy. Both of them need salvation found in Christ alone.

So are these political opposites, with the application being Jesus calls neo-socialists as well as fascists? Democrats and Republicans? Or does Rome function more as an icon of the passing-away-world, and not politics per se? In this case, Simon is the ascetic, jihadist, fundamentalist; Matthew the cosmopolitan, worldly promoter of any/every zeitgeist. Or is there some other taxonomy that these two disciples map on to?

Don’t Search Google for Theology

Shane Lems of Reformed Reader has some great insights into how to utilize the internet for finding good theology:

Finally, I’d recommending using Google as little as possible when doing biblical/theological research. Google’s methodology in finding websites might be helpful in some areas, but not theology. Google works with clicks and cash; good theology isn’t determined by popularity or money, but by Scripture as read and interpreted in and with the historic Christian church. The top search results on Google are not necessarily the best sources for research and study. Rather than Google, email your pastor, elder, or another wise/mature Christian and ask them where they would recommend getting reading material on a certain subject. Or, look for information on websites whose authors are accountable to elders, creeds/confessions, and/or denominational standards. Continue reading

Oh! Why should the spirit of mortal be proud

Last Sunday, I concluded Genesis 25:1 – 11 reflecting on Abraham’s death entitled “End of the Pilgrimage Road.” By common grace, many have reflected beautifully on the unfaltering march of time, and our mortal coil. A favorite poem of Abraham Lincoln, Knox’s words capture the spirit of “all flesh is grass,” but it lacks the hope of “but the Word of the Lord remains.” Nevertheless, his words capture a peculiar beauty, and a message that our death-ignoring would do well to remember.


by: William Knox (1789-1825)

OH! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high
Shall molder to dust and together shall lie.

The infant a mother attended and loved;
The mother that infant’s affection who proved;
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,–
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure,–her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised
Are alike from the minds of the living erased. Continue reading

Classic, Snarky, Ships Passing in the Night


David Lose: [One viewpoint is that] the passages may or may not refer to homosexuality as we know it, but they – and all of Scripture – are conditioned by the cultural and historical realities of the authors and so offer an incomplete and insufficient understanding of creation and nature and so cannot be used to prohibit homosexual practice today. Rather, one needs to read the larger biblical witness to discern God’s hopes for caring, mutually-supportive relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

PastorDaddy82: Classic speaking to the word without letting the Word speak to you…

LoveAndPeace: That comment is judgmental and indicates lack of value and respect for individual interpretation by all God centered people. Maybe the Word is not speaking to the author of the comment….? That statement cuts both ways.

Me: Dear LoveAndPeace,

Please stop being so judgmental and intolerant of PastorDaddy82′s comment.

You would have more value and respect for his comment if you understood that Bible verses may or may not refer to Internet comments as we know them today, but they – and all of Scripture – are conditioned by the cultural and historical realities of the authors and so offer an incomplete and insufficient understanding of creation and nature and so cannot be used to prohibit anybody from saying anything on a blog/message board today.

Thank you in advance for not judging my comment to you, but recognizing that is in fact correct, as nature itself reveals.