We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Blessed are those who Read

Three of the top students in each of our fifty states were chosen to stand before a committee to determine which ten would receive a full college scholarship, One of the scholarship committee asked if any of the candidates had read any books in the last year outside of required reading, and if so to give the title of the books they had read. According to the Commentary in Education Week, March 27, 1991, only one student out of the 150 raised their hand and had read one book. Gene Veith said in his book “Reading Between the Lines,” that the problem in the west is not illiteracy but aliteracy—we can read, but don’t. So what will cultivate this love and passion for reading again? How can we light a fire for reading in our youth—and in ourselves? It is so true that we will be the same five years from now as we are today, except for the people we meet, and the books we read. Just this morning I was reading in the book of Revelation and noticed that John starts by saying these words: “Blessed are those who read; blessed are those who hear; and blessed are those who do…” Ponder this tri-fold blessing for a moment. Blessed are those who read, hear, and do. The context in Revelation 1 is about reading, hearing, and doing what is commanded in the book of Revelation. However, this threefold blessing can also be applied when one reads any of the Scriptures, as Jesus testifies in Luke 11:28: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it. This emphasis on reading doesn’t end in Revelation one. In fact, in the last chapter of the book of Revelation John frames this emphasis upon reading the Word with a sevenfold repetition of the word BOOK. What beauty! What craftsmanship! Not only do the first and last chapters of the book of Revelation form the grand finale of revealing who Jesus really is—the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last—the God Almighty (see Rev 1:8, 21:1-8, and 22:12ff), but seven times the word BOOK is written in this last chapter of the Bible. Now why would the writer use the word BOOK seven times as the conclusion for all of the Scripture? I am not sure exactly, but I think it is appropriate to at least suggest that we need to be people who read this book, hear this book, and do what is written in it. For man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. There is a blessing attached to the reading, hearing, and doing what we find written in the Word God—it’s time to reclaim that blessing!

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (7)  

Urinal ArtUrinal Art

“http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/blog/uploaded_images/Urinal-Duchamp” If you can’t see the picture, you can see it on line, or I would suggest just picture in your mind a common every day urinal, upside down. It was first exhibited behind a curtain in 1917 at the Society of Independent Artists in New York but rejected as serious art. Although at first thought of as a practical joke, Marcel Duchamp’s a signed urinal, is now worth $3.4 million dollars! Yes you have read correctly! And this is not even the original but one of 8 replicas signed by Duchamp in 1964. This is beyond absurd but it truly demonstrates the depravity of man. Artwork such as this urinal is a part of what is called Scatological art. It is part of a growing movement that uses grotesque art, if it can be called art, intended to shock the public, in order to make a statement. The statement for scatological art is clear. What is being taught is that there are no absolutes and everyone man can do that which is right in his own eyes. Unrestrained morality in a culture evidences itself in its art, as also seen in the art of film and literature. Duchamp’s has even inspired artists to think of urine and feces no longer as subject matter, but as readymade art forms. Why am I bringing this to you attention? We need to teach our children how to discern in the art, film and literary world, what violates absolute standards and aesthetic values. The ancient Greeks, though godless, held to a conviction that obscenity was not to be tolerated in public view. Sex was actually considered sacred and not allowed on the stage. Profanity also was considered outside the boundaries of decency. Shakespeare for example did not even use the word for God in his plays for fear that it would be used in vain. Today, our children are being exposed to realms of evil and scatological themes of grotesqueness that ought to be forbidden. What has happened to an adult’s ability to discern? Just the other day a Christian school teacher shared with me how her daughter just loves the teen vampire and werewolf books. I really didn’t know what to say…how could she not know how harmful this literature is to her child? We need to wake up before it is too late. May I suggest giving your teen the book which quickly sold over 2 ½ million copies after it was published in 1878 or the story of a young man who changes the course of American history for woman in 1830…Personally, I have not read a book more inspiring and life changing than Ishmael!

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment