|Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.
Friday, September 20, 2002
Outdoors Department: The weather is supposed to be beautiful, and the kids have no school today, so I'm taking the day off, and we're going camping. Have a great weekend.posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:14 AM
Thursday, September 19, 2002
Breakfast, Second Breakfast, and Elevenses Department: One of the things Tolkien said about hobbits was that they loved food. Check out this article for one fan's take on Middle Earth cuisine: Middle Earth Feast: Tolkien fan concocts a meal fit for a Hobbit.posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:45 PM
Useful References Department: Considering the argumentation tactics of a number of the atheists I've encountered, this document must be part of their canon: The Internet Atheist's Debate Playbook.posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:59 AM
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
More Of The Right Stuff Department: Most of you know the story: nutcase accosts astronaut, astronaut slugs nutcase. But it turns out that the nutcase is maybe not a nutcase, but just a big phony making some bucks off the real nutcases. Read the expose over at the blog eclectic.posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:21 PM
Say It With Flowers Department: This is just cool.posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:06 AM
Higher Standards Department: We've been having an interesting discussion on forgiving those who have wronged us over at Antioch Road, and I thought I'd post my most recent comment here. In his original article, Jason Steffens made this remark:
Forgiveness and mercy are wonderful things that Christians should strive to have in their lives. But there can be no forgiveness without the sinner first coming to repentance.I had some doubts about that, especially given Christ's words from the cross "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34). Here's what I posted on Jason's blog:
I don't think Luke 17:3-4 means that we forgive only when the offender is repentant. It means we must forgive when the offender is repentant. You don't get to say "Yeah, but he keeps on sinning against me," or "Yeah, but what he did is so terrible that I can't forgive it."
But wouldn't it be good for us to go the extra mile, as did Jesus and Stephen?
I’ve been mulling this over, and did some digging here and there, and here are other some pertinent passages:
Jesus taught us to pray that God would forgive us in the same way we forgive others, by the same standard that we forgive others. Matthew 6:12 says “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Nearby, Matthew 6: 14-15 says “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Note that it doesn’t say “…if you forgive men when they sin against you and then repent...” (Go here to see those verses in context.)
In Mark 11:25, Jesus says “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Our forgiveness is to be lavish: we are to forgive not just seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-35).
Finally, according to Romans 12:19, we are to leave judgment up to God. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.” Jesus also modeled this mentality, as described in 1 Peter 2:23: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly”
From this, it seems to me that Jesus’ admonition in Luke 17:3-4 is the minimum standard when it comes to forgiving our brothers, but Jesus calls us to a higher standard.
Update: Jason's original post was inspired by a Jeff Jacoby piece, "Repentance comes first." Mike Potemra has offered a rebuttal of Jacoby's thesis over at The Corner. The first one is here; scroll up to read the others.
Update 2: For some reason, Blogger munged the links to the Bible verses. I'm hopeful that it's fixed now.
Update cubed: In the interest of full disclosure, I must state that it wasn't Blogger that munged the links to the Bible verses; it was your humble correspondent. Mea culpa. posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:51 AM
Monday, September 16, 2002
Now We Do The Dance Of Joy Department: Jeffrey Collins of joyfulchristian is back after a prolonged hiatus. He's still fighting those headaches, so continue to pray for him. (Or if you haven't been praying for him, now is a good time to start.)posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:27 AM