Who makes you think? Huh?
Who makes you think? I mean really think?
David Alan Black makes me think and I mean think hard! I met Dr. Black (He hates it when I call him that…but, I can’t help it…he wants me to call him Dave or Brother Dave…but, old habits die hard…my momma taught me manners… :).) about five years ago. I’ve been to Ethiopia with him twice and I’ve slept in his home and he in mine. And boy does he make me think. Here’s a picture of Brother Dave…
You may ask, What does he may you think about? Everything! Really! He challenges me in so many areas that I can’t name them all. Now, do I always agree with Brother Dave. No sir. But, he doesn’t always agree with me either. 🙂 But, I say that to say this. He challenges me to go outside of how I’ve been raised and trained and in many cases, duped. Yes, duped. Duped by myself or through tradition or well…you name it.
Dave you might remember was the one that highly and heavily encouraged me to write my first book. This time last year I was up to my eyeballs in “Rite of Passage-Raising Christ-Centered Young Adults” and I was asking myself, “What have I let that man talk me into!” But, it was a wonderful journey and labor of love and I have reaped many, many benefits from the labor and I pray others have as well. But, I would have never written the book if Dr. Black had not pushed me…and I mean pushed me hard. He’s like bulldog that won’t stop!
Do you have someone like that in your life? Do you have someone who holds you accountable and makes you think about what you do and why you do it? Do they have a license to make you mad? In Hebrews 10:24 (NLT) the Bible says: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” In the Greek it means to “stir up” each other or literally to “irritate” like you do when you squirt dishwashing liquid in water and you agitate it with your hand. Dave does this for me and I thank God for him.
If you haven’t been to his blog, I’d like to encourage you to take a look. Now it’s not for the faint of heart…especially in the church. He “tells it like it is,” so be prepared. But, that’s what we need in our day and age of political correctness and “beating around the bush.”
Before I share with you some of his post from today, I will say this publicly:
Dave, thanks so much for all you have done for me and for challenging me and for speaking the truth in love! I love you as my brother in mentor and thank the Lord for you and Becky Lynn.
One final note before the post. My blogging will be very limited going forward through the remainder of this month. This month? Yes…this month. I leave with Katy and Kandace and Dale Jennings and a team from Roxboro next week for Ethiopia. The load to get done before then is well…more than I want to think about right now. 🙂 But, God knows all that needs to be accomplished. I will blog if I can, when I can… Blessings to all!
Here are snippets from the last few days of Dr. Black’s blog to whet your appetite.
Monday, November 7
6:31 PM Good evening, friends. Today Becky and I enjoyed a long and
enjoyable drive through the Virginia countryside. The weather was beautiful and the trees full of color. The beauty of the Piedmont in the fall beggars anything else. I think I told you that we will be in Hebrews this week in our NT 2 class — Hebrews being the most non-anonymous of all the anonymous NT writings. (Read chapter 13 and you will see that the readers knew exactly who the author was.) The general consensus of opinion, not only in the academy but now also on the street, is that the apostle Paul could never have authored anything as magnificent as Hebrews. You may have guessed by now that I do not necessarily agree with the majority on this issue. I have little time, however, for such matters these days. Work, real scholastic work, is piling up, and my
anticipated leisure after the weekend’s campout has failed to materialize.
Tonight, however, I have no energy for anything other than snuggling up with my latest book purchase (a tome on the Battle of Chancellorsville).
7:45 AM Hello bloggers.
Yesterday I had a lot of fun giving a message about how God is beginning to shake the foundations of the way people in the church think about the kingdom. I spoke about obedience — not necessarily huge, momentous decisions, but little, tiny steps of discipleship. The kingdom is a subtle contagion. It expands one small step of obedience at a time in our lives. For example, Jesus turns power and authority on its head, and His followers say, “Okay, makes no earthly sense to us, but if that’s what the Master says, it’s good enough for us.” Before his conversion to Christianity in AD 200, Minucius Felix said of the Christians, “They
despise titles of honor and the purple robe of high government office …
calling one another brother and sister indiscriminately.” He noticed how
radically different the kingdom of God is from all versions of the kingdoms of this world. The radical vision of a Calvary-like kingdom is so new to me that I sometimes forget that it’s been around for almost 2,000 years!
The congregation I spoke to yesterday is, I think, catching a vision of this cruciform kingdom. Christendom is dying a slow death in America. The church is becoming wary of cheap optimism under religious auspices. Jesus is calling us not to a picnic but to a pilgrimage, and the path is anything but easy. Anything can happen. You can get hurt, and you may be killed. I challenged the congregation to fight “the real battle of Jericho” — to become aware of the danger of becoming so busy with the
trivial that we never get around to kingdom business. Like the Pharisees, we can get so fussy about washing pots and pans and wearing robes and phylacteries and being called rabbi and seeking high places in the synagogue, and all the while tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom ahead of us.
2:57 PM Speaking of true biblical manhood, in our Philippians
class this week we were reminded of the fact that the apostle Paul was not unaffected by raw human emotion. In 3:18 he writes, “I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears in my eyes: there are many whose lives make them the enemies of Christ’s death on a cross.”
I encourage you to read more from Dr. Black’s blog here…