Politics make for strange bedfellows, but what about your witness?

politicswitnessAt some point in history, the direction and motive of the church in the world changed. As described by John Howard Yoder, there was a “Constantinian Shift.” Suddenly the power and ability for the church to exercise dominion became embodied and carried out through political and military force. Sounds eerily similar to the 1st Century Temple and Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day doesn’t it?

The Politics of Witness: The Character of the Church in the World is another entry into the Areopagus Series from Energion Publications. This book, along with the others in the series, is aimed at expounding upon topics of universal interest to the Christian Church in an irenic tone. Alan Bevere, the author ventures to expound upon a difficult topic within a short sixty-two page limit.  Continue reading Politics make for strange bedfellows, but what about your witness?

Peace in a greeting, peace for eternal life

Matthew 10:12-13 As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.

When you visit someone, do you greet them or bless them?

What unworthiness would necessitate the withdrawal of a blessing? The immediate context appears to be hospitality or households refusing to take in the disciples (Mat 10:9-10), provide sustenance for them, and give tribute worthy of their meat (Mat 10:11). But what ministry from these messengers cause them to be worthy of the gift of meat?

Note, the phrase peace to you in the scriptures as a greeting, come from the Lord after he has been resurrected (Luke 24:26, John 20:19-21, and John 20:26). But curiously,  peace to you occurs only once in the Old Testament from the mouth of a servant to Joseph’s household, “Peace be to you, fear not…” (Gen 43:23). Without promoting a false understanding of prosperity, health, and riches, and the subsequent security that comes from financial provision, one can see plainly the provision God has given to the children of Jacob through the hand of Joseph, by means of Egypt, which is an interesting provision for Hebrews indeed. Continue reading Peace in a greeting, peace for eternal life

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 5

This is the fifth entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. How do you interpret 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 5

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 4

This is the fourth entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. How does Social Work interface with Christianity? Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 4

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 3

prayerThis is the third entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. In what ways, if any, has your study of the mind shaped your faith?

A. I suppose that saying social work is a studying of the mind would be mislabeling what social work actually is. The difference between a social worker and a psychologist or psychiatrist, in short: is that the social worker seeks to empower the individual to utilize, develop, and understand the tools they possess in order to manage their lives. The field of social work is in fact so diverse that it would be difficult to limit the social worker’s role to any one single spectrum. The above explanation is broad and universal in most social work roles.

I will have to admit that the beginning of my study in social work was met with great trepidation. I was fearful that I would have to embrace theories and practices that contradict my faith and beliefs. But, the biggest hindrance I experienced was that I approached all methods of therapy from a nouthetic approach. I feared that I would no longer be willing or able to help people without compromising my belief system. Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 3