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Tuesday, November 09, 2004
 
Three wondrous and simple things ::

Conrad Gempf has a great post on "Three Things 'Gentile' Christians May 'Never' Understand". It's fine, it's well written, and it's SO true! (Especially if you hear his comment that
These are three things that ordinary western evangelicals without a Jewish mindset will find very difficult to feel comfortable with.
Number one: God talks like a Jew
For someone with what I'm calling a Gentile mindset, "you may never understand" has to do with time and duration. The way I mean it is a very non-western way of saying it. "You may never understand" has little to do with time and everything to do with depth of feeling. Here's a Gentile: "In a million years, the tectonic plates that define the continental shelf will have shifted to the new positions shown in figure A." Here's a Jew: "Never in a million years will I speak to her again."
He's right, God (indeed all Bible characters and authors - and most non-Western people today) do speak relationally rather than "factually". This failure to understand wrecks many Bible texts - just think of the ugliness of "Creation Science" compared to the beauty of Genesis chapter one!

Number two: Meticulous obedience is not legalism
When we're reading the Old Testament, we cheer for the Jews who meticulously observe Torah. Suddenly these same people wake up one day in the New Testament and they're the bad guys?
This one is important for understanding what Jesus is on about in the Gospels, and because it leads to...
Last and most important: Habits of Holiness
Gentile Christians tend to dismiss Jewish practices out of hand as things that "obviously" no longer apply...
Such practices are "habits of holiness", patterns of a life directed at honouring God.

He uses thankfulness as an example
A typical non-Messianic Jew thinks he or she needs to make themselves feel thankful and only then give thanks. I want to give thanks and allow that to help me to feel thankful.
Amen!

[But please READ THE ARTICLE!]


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