The Poetry We Want To Silence is the Poetry We Must Hear

From Old Testament Scholar, Walter Brueggemann

“We are, I imagine, like old Jerusalem. The very poetry we dread and want to silence is the poetry we must hear—and utter (we are after all God’s present day prophets). We must utter it, because the God of Moses has no other access point in the unglued city, except to haunt with trembling by poetic lips. Those lips do indeed cause a deep trembling, for the one who utters and for those who hear.”

Where are the Jeremiah’s When We Need Them?

John Johnson, pastor of Village Baptist Church, has written a great article on his blog. His focus is more on a national level, where I would find the focus better suited to a church level.

His was a world of profound spiritual neglect, one that relied on people rather than God.  Israel, just prior to its dismantling, made some disastrous choices—choices similar to the ones our present culture is making—choices that were suicidal.  But then, as Plantinga put it, any time we choose sin it is like pulling the plug on your own resuscitator.

With the passion of a poet, the grief of a spurned lover, and the trembling of a man who knew the fear of God, Jeremiah defined his age and explained the impending judgment—

-they lived in denial—primping for a party when they should have been putting on sackcloth and ashes

-they lost their senses—which is what happens when you choose to worship idols and not the living God. You become what you worship

-they went after leaders who pandered to their wishes—empty chested men who tickled ears. They gave candy to the diabetic, fast food to those with heart disease, entitlements out of exhausted reserves, and quantitative easing to please the wealthy

-they listened to voices who gave superficial diagnoses—the nation was terminally ill, but her shepherds assured her it was all minor wounds

-they took neither God nor His word with any degree of seriousness—there was no fear nor awe, no unsettledness that they stood before a fierce and holy God who will not be mocked

-they were consumers defined by their consuming—using the system to line their pockets, abusing and oppressing the weak to get the latest deals

And no one seemed to notice, take any of this seriously. It was an uncaring, unnoticing culture on its uncaring way to ruin. It was as if a spirit of deception and delusion had descended upon the land. Are we on a similar course? Are we allowing the same spirit to descend upon us? Are we pulling the plug on our own resuscitator?

Myth’s of “Early Socialization” in Daycare and Preschool

Andrea Mrozek of The Institute of Family & Marriage Canada writes about issues of “early socialization” after interviewing developmental psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld, and reveals some of the myths and dangers regarding daycare and preschool.

“Probably the greatest myth that has evolved is this idea that socializing with one’s equals leads to socialization.”

“Premature socialization,” says Dr. Neufeld, “was always considered by developmentalists to be the greatest sin in raising children ….[w]hen you put children together prematurely before they can hold on to themselves, then they become like [the others] and it crushes the individuality rather than hones it.”

And importantly, our high priority attachment figures (aka the people we see the most of and really love) are intended to be enduring. These are not people who should disappear from our lives, neither are strong attachments something small children should “grow out of.”

The problem is that the more children are peer attached, the less attached they are to adults—and this can result in children becoming very hostile to being parented or taught.

For Dr. Neufeld, the capacity for healthy relationships is meant to unfold in the first six years of life. “It’s a very basic agenda,” he says. “By the fifth year of life if everything is continuous and safe then emotional intimacy begins. A child gives his heart to whomever he is attached to and that is an incredibly important part….The first issue is always to establish strong, deep emotional connections with those who are raising you. And that should be our emphasis in society. If we did this, we would send our children to school late, not early.” 

You can read the full article here.

19% of Christians Read the Bible Every Day

According to a recent survey by Lifeway only 19% of Christians read the Bible every day, while 26% read it a few times per week.  Those who say they read it a few times per month or never amount to 40% of those polled.

What I would love to see is a survey that looks at how someone reads the Scripture.  How many of the 35% that has a regular intake of the Word are studying it carefully versus those who engage in “devotional” reading.

The article about the survey with full details is at The Baptist Press.