Jars of Clay

clay doll

The figurine you see pictured here was a gift from a friend in Japan years ago. Packaged with the gift was a note that said: “Be gentle with her. For like us, she is made only of clay.” Sometimes when I glance in her direction, it seems almost as if she’s sweetly reminding me, “Don’t forget. You’re not really very…

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Mingling

beaker and bottle of poison

Psalm 106:35, 36 says that God’s people “mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.” About the fact that the Israelites adopted pagan customs (“learned their works,” King James Version), the classic Matthew Henry commentary (originally published in 1706!) says, “That which is rotten will sooner corrupt that which is…

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“What Are You Gonna Do About This, Lord?”

man holding Bible with outstretched hands and praying with

When in a threatening circumstance, you might consider doing a King Hezekiah thing. Remember when Assyrian King Sennacherib threatened Jerusalem? The phenomenal account is in 2 Chronicles 32:1-23 and Isaiah chapters 36, 37. Read all that to get the full effect. But the part I’m zeroing in on is Isaiah 37:14ff. King Hezekiah takes Sennacherib’s threatening letter to the Lord’s…

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Practicality vs. Belief

"In my religion, there would be no exclusive doctrine; all would be love, poetry, and doubt" by Cyril Connolly

Elaine Pagels was interviewed about her new book Why Religion? I noticed this statement: “I focus on practice rather than belief.” Reminded me of similar quotes. Marcus Borg said, “I grew up in a tradition which stressed correct belief, and I now see it’s not about correct belief at all.” (Borg also said, “I let go of the notion that…

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