Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So, hows that workin out for ya?

One of the things I appreciate in Phillip Jensen's preaching is his tenacity in challenging the smug idea that ignoring God 'works' better than obeying God. Phillip is always finding new research that shows the downsides of ignoring the scriptures, individually and socially.

Last week I was preaching on Haggai 2, where Haggai (and YHWH) call for close attention to how obedience and disobedience 'worked out' for the people.
Now, while we are no longer under the covenant of Deuteronomy, and can't 'read' disaster and hardship the way it could be in the Old Covenant, ie as a sign of God's displeasure. (indeed, since we follow a Messiah who suffered outside the camp, perhaps we should be reading a lack of hardship as a sign of our disobedience). Still, there is a place for asking those who ignore God
' How's that working out for you?' . To give people the opportunity to stop and think.
Evangelism Explosion, with its new XEE, has a similar question 'on a scale of 1-10, how fullfilled would you say your life is right now? Would having God in your life make that number lower or higher?

In another tip of the hat to Dean Jensen, I wanted to centre my sermon around one word in the Hebrew, (roughly 'how was it for you'), but found the NIV didn't really translate that word at all. (to be fair there are some textual issues with the vowels, but 'how was it for you' is what BHS goes with). Sitting in Bible Study, one of the gents read out the passage, with the phrase I wanted. I jerked forward in my seat " ooo what translation was THAT, I like it". It was the ESV.
I still did the sermon the way I wanted to, just without the word to back me up.


Mike B said...

Time to rename this blog 'a conversation with PJ'?

Seriously though, you're quite right. Often we acquiesce so quickly to our opponents' truisms or shonky research, when there is actually evidence out there to the contrary, if we're willing to dig.

Alan Wood said...

So, refusing to use God's Revealed Word, the ESV, huh? How's that workin' out for ya?


Mike W said...

@mike b, well, I thought I'd better chuck in something positive.

@Alan, good to have you comment! I don't know if I even own a GRW/ESV. I had one but it got beat up and fell to bits.
Nah, I go with whatever is in the pews.It's working out ok , I guess. Actually, I wonder if the new fantabulous NIV has changed its translation there. Better check

Mike W said...

nope, no change