Things I Think…

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39 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Number 9 and 10 are top notch gold Michael, and convicting. As I tire of the tribalism, grandstanding, and know-it-all-ism in the Church about things that are not worth dying on a hill for, I have to find my way back to a physical church, much as I currently hate some people in it. Recently a thread here was about how we are all tired of this tribalism. I am too.

  2. AA says:

    Yep Olympics used to be big, no longer.

  3. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Thanks…tribalism is too demanding and exclusive…and I can’t find one worth excluding people I like from other ones…

  4. Nathan Priddis says:

    # 10. Does anyone know the earliest use, or origin of Christian World View? I think I saw it used circa 1940’s. I think I recall Carl F. H. Henry? But I doubt he was the first?

    I’m confident Judeo Christian was not popular phraseology till modern times.

  5. Officerhoppy says:

    Regarding the Olympics I read viewership of the opening was dismally low. Down 43% from the last opening ceremony.

    Been watching. Not very exciting

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    What the world needs now is another Tonya Harding.

  7. Linn says:

    #5 I think we have a long way to go before we decide that mask mandates have totally messed up child development. In the school where I work, most of them seem to be doing really well. And, per the state of California,we are masked all day. There were some social developmental bumps at the beginning of the year, but most students seemed to have bounced back well. My little people at church in my Sunday morning class (15 preschoolers) also do well with their masks. We are the only class that masks due to a child receiving cancer treatment. They kids participate well, squabble over the toys in a normal way, and seem very happy to be at church. I think we will need much bigger studies before we know how much, positively or negatively, the pandemic has affected us.

    Modern psychology has brought us the idea of “trauma” as a horrible thing to endure. Most trauma used to be just be considered a normal part of life (i’m not referring to things like normalized child abuse, being orphaned, etc). My parents were both very successful people, although they both grew up in the poverty of the depression. My dad’s parents couldn’t help with college, so he held a full-time job nights while he studied. My mother grew up in abject poverty because her father died when she was six months old. My grandmother sustained her family with a large garden and washing/housekeeping jobs. My mom was doing housekeeping ful-ltime for families by the time she was middle school age, both to support the family and to cover her clothing for school. Both of my parents would have been considered fairly well-adjusted, successful adults (although, like all of us, they had their issues). The idea of being seasoned and strengthened by adversity seems to have been totally lost in our culture, and I think it is a Scriptural principle (see 1 Peter 3:13-22, Rom. 8:28ff, among others). We toss the word “trauma” around like a beach ball, passing it back and forth, without realizing (I personally think) that we are setting up an entire generation to feel like they are not capable of overcoming any obstacles in life because they have been traumatized.

  8. Gabby says:

    I’m with you on #6, Michael. I’m currently in my fourth year of grad school out of five (working towards my PsyD), and the perpetual anxiety/panic and depressive symptoms are the absolute worst. I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing that, and I hope you’ve got people (and cats!) who can be there for you.

  9. Em says:

    I recall my junior college days – we thought the psych and philosophy teachers were majorly maladjusted to the real word… but what do I know… 😶

  10. AA says:

    Fortunately we get to see the children’s faces, hear their voices clearly so they can have a normal development. Prayers for those not as fortunate.
    Psalms 127:3

  11. Gabby says:

    Em, I’m not sure I understand your comment? I mean, I could give you a long list of things I disagree with psychology about (and I say this as a psychology student who is questioning her place in the psych world), but I wouldn’t say that those of us in the field are somehow more maladjusted to the world than anyone else? My undergraduate psychology professors were some of the kindest, most well-rounded, and Christlike people I’ve known, and they study/teach psychology.

  12. Stephen says:

    9. The world looks much different when you don’t assign malicious intent to everyone who thinks differently than you do…

    So true, but don’t discuss that fact with most people or else massive accusations about you and headaches will follow

  13. bob1 says:

    The world looks much different when you don’t assign malicious intent to everyone who thinks differently than you

    Yeah, different. Much improved. Much more peaceful and much less mentally exhausting.

    Hoping the outrage-industrial complex continues to collapse…

  14. Em says:

    Gabby, I attended college in 1955 and 56…. It is possible things have changed since then
    My apologies for the offense, but Christlike? hmmmm
    God keep,

  15. Michael says:

    Gabby,

    Thanks for the kind words…and know that you are filling a huge need in the church for trained therapists and doctors who are also Christians.
    You have favored person status here… 🙂

  16. The New Victor says:

    I’m a latchkey kid GenXer who lived unconventionally even for that generation. My mom thought it was “sticking it to the Man” to live like 1883 in 1983: kerosene lamps, no plumbing and no electricity, eating room temp food out of cans, and i walked a mile uphill to catch the 18 mile bus ride to school at 12, but that’s a whole other story… So I tend to be the first to be Grumpy Olde Man, “kids these days! Get off my lawn and take your participation trophies with you!”

    In the PTSA meeting tonight, we were discussing paying for documentaries to show the students: Anxiety, Bullying (and cyber-bullying). It was said that the increase in anxiety has increased greatly since the internet took off in 1995 (I didn’t correct them that it was when the world wide web took off, but at 50, I was the oldest person in the meeting).

    I did some searching. I found that anxiety and depression has increased linearly since 1940. More diagnosing, much like the increase in autism is likely due to the same? My son is Dx’d ASD1 (what they used to call Asperger’s). If not for his mom (a millennial) pushing, I wouldn’t have taken him in to get evaluated. I would have just raised my slightly quirky kid as I saw fit, with grace, love, and boundaries as needed.

    Then I came across the significant uptick in suicides, especially among younger people. That seemed to start around 2006, before the recession. There was another uptick in 2012. I don’t know what to make of it, and haven’t delved deeper into the theories.

    My mom (who adopted me) was the baby of her family, and was The Silent Generation. She experienced enough from her parents and siblings who lived through The Great Depression. Do Kids Have to suffer to toughen up?

    Was John Quincy Addams unwise when he said that he had to study war and politics so that his kids could study mathematics, commerce and agriculture so that his grandkids could study poetry, painting and music? Was he setting his progeny up for failure?

    Or is there nothing new under the sun?

  17. Gabby says:

    Em, I attended a small Christian college in undergrad, and my psychology professors had taken time to wrestle with the relationship between Christianity and psychology, where the two overlapped in certain ideas and where they didn’t. They were able to see some of the benefits/insights that psychology can bring while discarding those psych ideas that went against Christian orthodoxy. They lived out (and continue to live out) their love for Jesus in their vocation and in their care for others. Although I don’t know if I’m going to be a practicing psychologist after I get my degree, I am forever grateful for the way those professors showed me how to love Jesus and their neighbors through their work as psychologists. There really are some Christlike psychologists out there, I promise!

    And Michael, thank you so much. This grad program has been a difficult and exhausting journey for me, and I still have no idea what the Lord is calling me to do career-wise after this (hence the ongoing anxiety). So prayers for clarity, peace, and a sense of the Lord’s nearness would be really appreciated. I’ll be praying for you as you deal with depression. I won’t throw a verse at you, but those lament psalms have been a huge help to me, so maybe they could be a help to you too… the Lord be with you!

  18. jtk says:

    The world looks much different when you don’t assign malicious intent to everyone who thinks differently than you do…

    AMEN

  19. jtk says:

    My newest thought:
    The world would be significantly better if all horror movies and all porn were removed from our lives, past present and future.

    I literally see evidence that peoples’ minds and emotions have been formed by those 2 baddies….

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks for your response Michael. I wanted to add in regards to your numbers 9 & 10…I would think it’s a no-brainer that we Christians should act in love towards fellow believers, and not act according to our tribes dictates and agendas.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not innocent of this and my comment up to alludes to that…what makes me angry and have hate towards some has NOTHING to do with who they voted for or vaccine opinions, but some abuses (spiritual and psychological) I went thru at the hands of other believers.

    I need to learn and re-learn how to act in love and in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount. Work in progress.

  21. Em says:

    Gabby, thank you for the clarification…
    You sound very thoughtful and wise…..
    God keep

    Psalm 101 was my morning reading today… A good ponder IMHO. 😇

  22. Steve says:

    I just started my Wordle addiction. Today’s word #235 gave me a chuckle. 😉

  23. UnCCed says:

    May I prophesy? And please test me on this.
    For all those we know who maybe began on one side or moderate before the pandemic, now distrust and hate the gov, how many will start another movement with the same vigor to return their stimulus money?
    Hmmmm.

    Now watch, for every point those of us who actually work in/around the gov who’ve only pleaded for patience, explaining all the nuances to arguments, all of a sudden with my last question the discussion isn’t that clear.

  24. filistine says:

    The SotM has emerged for me as the central statement of the mind, heart, and mission of Jesus. I grew up on a steady diet of Apostle Paul almost to the exclusion of the gospels & especially the sermon on the mount. It is a watershed piece each time I read.

    The Rogan thing has been fascinating to watch develop and morph. It isn’t over…

    Olympics this winter–meh. The mercenary element and the annoying coverage by news people instead of sports people has driven me away.

  25. Xenia says:

    The SotM has emerged for me as the central statement of the mind, heart, and mission of Jesus. I grew up on a steady diet of Apostle Paul almost to the exclusion of the gospels & especially the sermon on the mount. It is a watershed piece each time I read.<<<

    Same here, although I doubt if my former pastors actually realized what they were doing. I think they enjoyed disentangling the complexities of Romans and Hebrews more than they enjoyed preaching the statements of Jesus, which requires we do more than think about theology/ideology and actually learn how to deny ourselves. Turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, etc requires much of us whereas a Paul-centered sermon, improperly understood, just requires a mental assent. You can leave church after a Paul-sermon, improperly understood, without having to make a single change in your life. You can't leave a SotM sermon, properly understood, unscathed.

  26. Em says:

    Anyone reading Paul’s letters without any Spiritual increase in their understanding either has a poor teacher or isn’t good at concentrating on spiritual growth… OR is a Jew whose time is yet to come…..
    With that observation I will say good bye and just lurk
    God keep the Phoenix peeps

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    “steady diet of Apostle Paul almost to the exclusion of the gospels”

    I think that’s what I’m waking up to, and I think its a hermeneutical problem.

    We don’t focus on the life and teachings of Jesus, and therefore our disciples don’t end up living out the life and teachings of Jesus.

    I’m wondering if we put the Gospels front and center, and filtered all other Scriputre through htose, if there would be a recognizable change.

  28. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I was always taught that Paul interpreted the Gospels.

    When I understood that the Gospels were written after Pauls writings and started interpreting in reverse…things changed radically…

  29. Xenia says:

    Em, notice that I am complaining about an emphasis on the writings of St. Paul “improperly understood,” which is the kind of teaching I received the first 2/3 of my life. “Properly understood” is a blessing. Too often St. Paul was used to undermine the teachings of Christ.

  30. Xenia says:

    I’ve had evangelical friends tell me (in real life, not on the internet) that the Gospels and the Epistle of St. James were not for Christians, not for this dispensation, that the writers were still living out 2nd Temple Judaism and so these books are of historical value and we can pretty much ignore the Sermon and everything else Jesus said because Paul was the one for us Christians to heed.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    I never heard it put that way, but like I said, if we judge by the fruit, that is pretty much the outcome.

  32. Duane Arnold says:

    The Gospels are the reflection of what the first generations of Christians believed and taught. Their identification with the teachings and life of Jesus as put forward in the Gospels was what marked them as being “Christian”…

  33. Steven says:

    “I was always taught that Paul interpreted the Gospels.

    When I understood that the Gospels were written after Pauls writings and started interpreting in reverse…things changed radically…”

    Michael,

    Would you mind expanding on this a bit, please?

  34. Michael says:

    Steven,

    I’m a little pushed for time, but the short version is that I spent twenty plus years in a tradition that believed all doctrine was to be formed and viewed through a Pauline lens.

    When you view the same doctrines through a Christological lens they look very different…

  35. filistine says:

    My tradition (if it can be called that) argued both that Paul interpreted the gospels, but his epistles also trumped the gospels by arguing for on-going & completed revelation–somehow the later surpassed the founder. What we got was a distorted sense of Jesus as well as a head-borne faith that, as X clearly said, didn’t edify the head or change the heart. I think the identity crisis in many believers & churches stems from a misinformed identity of Christ.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think maybe inerrancy has added to the problem? The way it is commonly interpreted, it flattens the scripture as the “whole counsel of God”, and sees every verse, every word, every passage as being just as important as the next. I don’t think inerrancy needs to be tossed, just a Gospel focus in terms of hierarchy of understanding.

  37. Steven says:

    Michael,

    I’d love to hear more about the story if/when you get time.

    If it’s too cumbersome to write, no worries…I totally appreciate that fact

  38. Alex says:

    “I am forever grateful for the way those professors showed me how to love Jesus and their neighbors through their work as psychologists. There really are some Christlike psychologists out there, I promise!”

    Thank you for saying this, and I am so very glad that you experienced this.
    Best wishes as you determine your professional goals.

  39. Gabby says:

    Alex, thank you so much! It’s been a long and hard journey, for sure. I’m just trying to remember that God is the Good Shepherd and He is leading and will lead me in the right paths.

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