Friday, March 27, 2009

Ghost writer

Hey,

I can't talk right now. I am finishing up my last patient and I am heading off to a spring training game.
But a couple of things,
Finished the book and on to the next one. I can't remember the title. I will tell you on Monday.
I am so happy that Duke lost. Now that the Gators are out of it (I mean really out of it) all I had to hope for was that Duke lost. And they did. My world is now complete.

I read a bunch of other blogs and this one was very poignant.
I thought I would share it with you, with the authors permission.

We are doing a fascinating series at church called Practical Atheist: Are you who you say you are?
Here’s a definition: “The distinguishing characteristic of these people is that they live as if God did not exist. God makes no difference in their lives. This is ‘practical atheism.’ We all know people like this. Some of us hardly know anyone not like this. And sometimes we live this way ourselves.” –Dinesh D’Souza.
Hello conviction. The sermon series (and accompanying Bible studies) have titles like “I believe in God, but I trust in money” (yup). “I believe in God, but I don’t know Him” (yup - bec. that takes discipline I often don’t have). “I believe in God but I don’t want to go overboard” (yup - no one likes a fanatic). This is hitting a little too close to home, people. I guess that’s what good preaching does. Ouch. I like that our pastors make us squirm, and they squirm right along with us. I am far too devoted to my own comfort and the praise of man - and this often translates to a life that, for all intensive purposes, is godless.
So here is a great quote from the sermon series, from Tim Keller’s Ministries of Mercy:
“There are two powerful effects that the gospel of grace has on a person who has been touched by it. First, the person who knows that he received mercy while an undeserving enemy of God will have a heart of love for even (and especially!) the most ungrateful and difficult persons. When a Christian sees prostitutes, alcoholics, prisoners, drug addicts, unwed mothers, the homeless, the refugees, he knows that he is looking in the mirror. Perhaps the Christian spent all of his life as a respectable middle-class person. No matter. He thinks: ‘Spiritually I was just like these people, though physically and socially I never was where they are now. They are outcasts. I was an outcast’….The second major effect that the gospel of grace has on a person is that it creates spontaneous generosity.”
Conviction again. I don’t like ungrateful and difficult persons. I don’t really care if prisoners are mistreated, I feel angry toward unwed mothers who pop out babies to get more welfare dollars, I often dismiss the homeless as people who didn’t try hard enough. But if I really “get” that God had to die on a cross for me, then I would admit to myself I am NO DIFFERENT than these people. We all have a deep well of need that cannot be filled with other people (although God created us to desire human fellowship and that is certainly a good thing). But I should fear God’s opinion and worship Him, not man. This is really good stuff, but I don’t like it because it challenges my carefully cultivated self-image (hard-working, nice wife, mom, and lawyer who contributes to society) and the accompanying misperceptions I hold so dear (I deserve what I have, I’m not so bad, etc.).


Man, do I so identify with this.
Have a great weekend,
john

3 comments:

Makarios said...

I love Tim Keller's writing. Good post. Thank you.

Dr. Ethan said...

This ghost writer sounds like someone I'd like to know!!

gatordmd said...

Mararios,
I can tell a good presbytarian when I see one.
I agree, Tim Keller is very gifted and is doing great things in NYC.
Thanks for writing.
john

And Ethan, I could probably arrange a meeting between you and the ghost writer. I think you guys would really get along. I even see children in your future.
Let me know if you want me to set that up.

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