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6 Responses to “Are We Very Shrewd? (Part 5)”

  1. John Seel says:

    Few have made this important point with greater simplicity and power. This piece needs a wide reading. Congratulations and thank you.

  2. Larry says:

    Interesting article.

    Why “beat around the bush”, the answer is SIMPLE…

    If you want to be wiser than your enemies. (and its good to have some enemies because it keeps you alert!)or have more understanding than all your teachers or understand more than the ancients, then obey the LORD:

    “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:98-100)

    And that will take of the “problem” of shrewdness.

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    Larry – While I understand what you’re saying, I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’ caution that Christianity is not a simple religion. He suggested that we observe what at first appears to be a simple table. Then appreciate what went into making it – the institutions, individuals, images, tools, materials, as well as the training required to build what at first only appeared to be a “simple” table. Not so simple after all.

    I caution you that your call for “simple” instead sounds simplistic – and not very shrewd. For instance, in the Hebrew mind, “keep thy precepts” included hand-on learning. Hands-on learning, such as building a table (or putting together a new bike on Christmas Eve!) is never described as “simple” once someone has actually done it.

  4. Gerard says:

    Mike,

    I am grateful for your leadership in this conversation.

    I was about to say that Wilberforce did not “earn” his cultural capital, as he was given his political status. However, not everyone with his political status had the same cultural capital – which reaffirms your statement that it is earned.

    Where I get disconnected sometimes is how to make my day-to-day life a meaningful contribution to generational change. After all, I am not a Wilberforce.

    I find it helps me to translate “seek the good of the city” or “seek human flourishing” to “love my neighbor” – not the so-called love that waits for your neighbor to knock on your door, but the love that reflects upon what my neighbor needs and then act towards that end.

    So in this sense, I agree with Larry it is simple; trust in the Lord and obey Him, lean not to our own understanding and He will make our paths straight.

    Yet, what I suffer from is growing up in a generation who eagerly relegates faith and service to God as a private matter rather than the only hope of a community. Even the President in the latest healthcare mandate defines a religious organization as one that “serves its own members” – if a church ventures out past its own doors it is confronted by the government as illegitimate.

    Therefore, I am not accustomed to thinking about what it means to love my neighbor beyond feed the poor among you.

    This is why I value your leadership in this conversation. Truly, a healthy church is the only hope for a community. And although one can hear encouragement from the pulpit to participate in politics, government, education, and various boards in the community it is without context, and even more so, it is without convention.

  5. Mike Metzger says:

    Thank you Gerard. Your comments are kind and I appreciate your generous spirit.

  6. Rochelle de Sá Raimão says:

    This five-part series has been powerful to follow, and this time, the doggie-head-did-NOT-tilt. And that is a good thing. The coin is dropping, the connection is being made, and I’m “getting it”. I’ve come to look forward to what you will write about next, my late-Sunday night/early Monday morning reading. The consistent examination of culture through the lenses of how the family of God ought to more effectively engage, reminds me of the monumental task before us…stirs hope for a long life…and the energy to go the distance. Thank you.

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