Who is Santa Claus?--A few days ago, I alluded to the real Santa Claus at the Council of Nicea, a story I found quite enjoyable. Today, I came across a great story by John Mark Reynolds about the spirit of Santa Claus in every pastor who loves his flock. He writes of visiting the home of St. Nick. "What was there was a powerful memory of a pastor so good to his congregation; he became the symbol of every good pastor. Nicholas cared so deeply for children, the weak, and the poor, that legends surrounded his actions. He stood so firmly for truth in confused times that he became a model of theological courage."
Personal scripture application--I don't think most Christians get this. I think we need to do a better job of understanding hermeneutics on a personal level. It thrills me when I hear that people are actually reading their Bibles (though I wonder if most Christians do), but I think this is the next step--trying to understand what you are reading. Justin Taylor shares some great advice that David Powlison wrote in the ESV Study Bible (which is a great Bible). "Those who attempt to take the entire Bible as if it
directly applies today end up distorting the Bible. It becomes an
omni-relevant magic book teeming with private messages and meanings. God
does not intend that his words function that way.
“These passages,” he writes, “do apply. But most of the Bible applies differently from the passages tilted toward immediate relevance.”
"What you read applies by extension and analogy, not
directly. Less sizzle, but quietly significant. In one sense, such
passages apply exactly because they are not about you. Understood rightly, such passages give a changed perspective."
Challies on money--Tim Challies wrote a convicting post about the 4 wrong ways Christians think about money. I am particularly convicted by #2--instant gratification.