The phrase, “Thinking God’s Thoughts After Him, ” used to drive me bonkers. I wanted to be a free thinker after God’s image. The problem with my optimistic free thinking lies in the source of truth: not me. Good is the source of truth and if I’m to think on truth in going to have to be thinking about His revealed truth after Him.
I consider myself creative as my art and craft often reflect new-to-me experiences, but I’m also highly analytical and yet the truth I find is rooted in exploring God’s creativitt, His truth and then exploring creatively potential appropriations and then subjecting those to analytical comparison of God’s revelation and His approved appropriations as revelation preserves.
God’s Thoughts are perfect. They’re worthy of meditation. They’re worthy of thinking after Him.
In a phone call with my friend Brad today he said something I asked permission to quote. He gave it to me, so here you go:
“Calvin [attempted to] systematize scripture. Everyone [of his followers] after him systematized Calvin”
I’m writing this post ahead of time. Go figure. I’m writing this while having been studying for a Bible study lesson I will have taught by the time you read this. The thing I’m covering, as the title of this post suggests, involves rabbis. Without going into the hefty religious connotations of Christ being a rabbi, I want to give you some quick summary information and then ask you a question or three. Even if you’re not a Christian, this post has some relevance, so stick with me.
What’s a rabbi? Here is a short bit of text I wrote for my handout (it is by no means thorough):
Rabbis would have been teachers of the Old Testament, but primarily the Law or Pentateuch. Typically a student would approach a rabbi and ask if he may follow the rabbi, if the rabbi rejected him, he would then go off to a trade. The student of the rabbi was called a talmidim. If you’ve ever heard of the talmud, it is the a Judaic book that outlines traditional rabbinical teachings. Christ operated contrary to this and sought out His disciples and told them to follow Him. Furthermore the disciples were at least in part already involved in trades – so they would have to walk away from their careers and lives as they had expected them to be and instead joined themselves to Christ.
A rabbi was expected to have a physically following disciple or disciples, and Elijah and Elisha were an important example of this concept in the Old Testament [I Kings 19:19-21]. Time was to be spent together and a lifestyle that represented the teacher was to be lived in front of the following disciple. Discipleship meant being seen with the rabbi so that others would begin to see what the rabbi taught as see the fruit of the teachings worked out in the lives of the disciples.
What I have been thinking about is this question: Who are today’s rabbis? Who do people follow and identify themselves with? Historically it was a life devoted to a teacher and their teachings. In modern first world America, do we have time for this rabbi/disciple concept? Today we follow people on twitter, television, the Internet, and of course in our cars to the store, but do we really follow teachers and devote ourselves to their teachings?
Are rabbis Richard Dawkins, Rush Limbaugh, or Barry Obama? Of those three one is anti-religion but religious about his anti-religion, one is a right-wing-loud mouth, and one is a president with big words and many promises but single handedly incapable of delivering on what he wants to promise. Do we follow them? I personally wouldn’t follow them. I wouldn’t follow Oral Roberts, Bill Gates, or Joel Osteen.
Who is your rabbi?
Our friends Mike & Louanne were in an accident 10 years ago today that could have been life ending or much more severely life altering. They put up a blog post about it which you can read here. The Lord has used Mike & Louanne in our lives over and over and reading this make me thankful all the more for our friendship. They have been instrumental in our well being emotionally, spiritually, and through my work with Mike at Alt-N, financially. Go read this and be inspired and take a few moments to meditate on what really matters in life and how God may very well be trying to teach you something in the less than fun moments in life.
In what is an ironic twist of science meets computers meets religion a “scientist” used a “computer program” to determine the origins of “religion” in “Michigan”. You can read an article about it here if you want to. I’ll pick some excerpts to poke holes in or poke fun of below in case out of context quotes are your thing:
The model assumes, in other words, that a small number of people have a genetic predisposition to communicate unverifiable information to others.
I got confused when I read this line because I was pretty sure this was the definition of journalism. Clearly the journalist who wrote this has the intellect to determine that because no time machine has been invented and mass produced and marketed yet that one of the clear issues this concept faces is that a computer program does not equal verifiable information. It also indicates that when you use the word assume, and the author does, that you’re not using facts, you’re using assumptions. I’m going to assume the author is a chimpanzee, though this is not a fact, it is merely an assumption. Or the author has a religious gene, but its being portrayed in the temple of the media.
The model looks at the reproductive success of the two sorts of people – those who pass on real information, and those who pass on unreal information.
Here the author is clearly implying things about people with marketing degrees and those who blog. Marketing bunks and bloggers debunk, right?! Don’t sell them what they need, sell them what they want. Or maybe this is a typo and he meant ‘reel information’ and ‘unreal information’ as a euphemism to fishing stories involving fish that get bigger and bigger. I can’t tell.
“[Now] you can be a Lutheran one week and decide the following week you are going to become a Buddhist.”
Ah, the classic argument about the issue of ‘being’. Philosophy at its finest. If you’re being a doctor and then the next week you are being a mechanic you better not force your co-workers to call you doctor when you’re tinkering with transmissions. And if you get sweaty on your brow asking bubba to come over and wipe your forehead like you might request a nurse to do is just out of the question 😉 But seriously, being a Lutheran and then being a Buddhist the next week is improbable if you’re truly being something. The change will more than likely be gradual and involve a disinterest rather than be this quick. A quote of generalization about religious attitudes from a less religious professional does not a good article make. Unless of course you want to pass along unverifiable information to people because of a genetic disposition. In which case those pants make you look fat, Mr. Callaway. I can’t prove it, but I’m willing to publish it on the internet for religious reasons – its in your jeans.