A Timely Warning

A warning from a man born half a millennium ago for those who think vague religiosity or spirituality is sufficient:

…they think that any zeal for religion, however preposterous, is sufficient. But they do not realize that true religion ought to be conformed to God’s will as to a universal rule; that God ever remains like himself, and is not a specter or phantasm to be transformed according to anyone’s whim.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. I, p. 49

New Year’s Resolutions

Well it’s 2012, and apparently the Mayans want us all dead. Since it’s our last 350 odd days on earth, here are my resolutions:

  1. Develop a consistent family worship time.
  2. Memorize Philippians and Ephesians.
  3. Read through the Pentateuch in Hebrew and the Gospels in Greek (stole this from my bro-in-law…he said “read through the Hebrew Bible…he crazy…).
  4. Write 5 book reviews and 3 articles.
  5. Blog once a week.
  6. Eat less fried stuff and fast food, drink more water.
  7. Be more Kingdom conscious in my spending.
  8. And last but obviously most importantly, love my wife, children, and God more than I did last year.

The first four are quantitative, and thus I can measure my progress. They’re also, though, the easier of the four to accomplish because of that. I hope, though, that they will help me with the all important #8.

#5 gives me a target for this site, although I doubt I will live up to it. I’m going to try and plan ahead for this year…

#s 6 and 7 are in there just because I’ve gained probably 15 pounds since Turkey Day and I splurge too much on books and such.

It’s in There Somewhere

This CNN article has been posted and re-posted frequently yesterday and today, so I thought I might as well, too.

It details how many Americans quote popular phrases as if they’re found in Scripture when they’re actually not there at all.

I’m actually quite fond of one of them – one of my granddad’s favorite sayings was “This too shall pass.” Of course, another one was “He who never tooteth his own horn shall not have his horn tooteth”…

The most damaging pseudo-biblical phrase in the article is, in my opinion, “God helps those who help themselves.” This is a popular one in American culture because of our pervading capitalistic self-help ethos, but it is absolutely contrary to theology and anthropology. The sad part is that it’s quoted as “gospel” not only by those outside the church but inside as well.

I tried to think of a few phrases that the article does not mention, but none came to mind. Can you think of any others that the article left out?