Head knowledge or heart knowledge? Most of us know the difference. Growing up on the west coast, I “knew” that the plains are flat—but until the year I saw them gently rolling uninterrupted to the horizon as we descended the eastern slope of the Rockies, I really had no concept of what “flat” meant. I can intellectually grasp that it hurts to lose a loved one, but until someone close to me died, it was only an academic principle.
Much of what we learn about God and His ways fits into one or the other of these categories. We study the Bible, listen attentively to sermons, discuss truths in our small groups. But until God reveals these things to us, we are merely learning about Him. We don’t really know. Continue reading
When you consider Muslims, what comes to mind? A terrorist? A suicide bomber? Or perhaps a woman swathed in a black burka? How about the family next door, or your college professor, or perhaps the engineer in the next cubicle?
Because many Americans don’t personally know anyone who is a Muslim, our mental image may not match reality. Sure, some Muslims are terrorists, but many more are our neighbors and business associates—and perhaps our friends.
If you’d like to go beyond the front page news stories and discover how the “average” Muslim thinks, (if there is such a person), I highly recommend that you read The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian, by Dr. Nabeel T. Jabour. If you’d like to know how Muslims view Christianity, then I recommend this book even more highly. And if you want to move past stereotypes and fear and learn to love our Muslim neighbors, then get your hands on this book as soon as possible! Continue reading
As I wrote a couple of months ago, I was particularly struck by this passage in 2 Peter 1:5-8. It could be viewed as God’s steps to success:
… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’ve shared some of my thoughts about faith and goodness; the next quality Peter mentions is knowledge.