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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Wednesday, March 9 2005
Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Finding the right

Monday's thoughts brought us back to our favorite topic in this forum, theoretical thinking, analytical, critical thinking, or what is often referred to as "thinking through." My childhood quest for right thinking set the stage for my adult life of theoretical thinking as an editorial writer, author, columnist, critic, and director of a university-based study center or "think tank" for almost 15 years. "Make sure you're right, then go ahead," as Davy Crocket allegedly lived by, may be good advice or just a hollow bromide; but how do you know the difference between deep truths and simplistic sloganeering? How do you know you're right? Just follow your heart? "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure," the Prophet Jeremiah warns. I'll jump ahead and answer: "no, not your heart; your God."

But that can be deceptive, too. Who is your God, really? Is it a God of your own creation, a pop-culture concoction, a new-age formula, or is it your own Creator and the Creator of the universe? How to find out? Is it a conception of "the ultimate" that you're comfortable with and therefore ready to "follow," or should it be a hard task master, more akin to a drill instructor, who makes you squirm and makes you work and drives to your knees in submission? My quest for answers to such difficult questions goes through some tough exercises and tests. My self-test questions are along these lines:

Can I claim to have arrived at the truth if I haven't read the Bible? Have I missed anything that's in it? If I have to choose between the spiritual insight of my pals and that of Moses, who do I trust? If I have to choose between the wisdom of my university professors/the New York Times editors/the anthropology textbooks, versus Jesus and the Apostles, who do I trust? Yes, there are varied interpretations of Moses and Jesus, so though this line of questioning may seem like fundamentalist simple-mindedness, it isn't simple. It's rigorous.

I administer my self-tests and take them in increments. What have I learned thus far? How can I be sure I know what I think I know? How can I be certain about my certitude? If the anthropology textbook says there's no Creator, is there anyone whose word is more reliable than that? By what standard of measuring "reliability"? Does 5000 years of "biblical history" add up to a conclusion that it hasn't proven anything yet and therefore isn't likely to do so, or is it the best evidence you could hope for that God is, that He works in history, He answers prayers, and He cares?

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).

The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God (Psalm 14:2).

Don't follow your heart. Follow your LORD.

How do you do that? If "...you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

Irish jokes

Two Irishmen had filled a cart with hay and were driving it out of the field onto a narrow road and into the path of an oncoming car. The car driver jammed on his brakes just in time and swerved into the field they had just left. "Thank the Lord," said one Irishman to the other. "We only just got out of that field in time."

Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

Christian one-liners:
If the church wants a better pastor, it needs only to pray for the one it has.

Sent by Carl Essex   

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