Thursday, March 08, 2007

Proverbs 27

Just reading Proverbs 27 after reading AboveAllEarthlyPowers post about friendship. I can't resist a few excerpts and observations:

2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

5 Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
7 A sated man loathes honey,
But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.

10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend,
And do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.

17 Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.

The context of this section appears to be an admonition to tend to one's duties now instead of being sinfully distracted. Ahh. Disctractions...

Al Mohler wrote an article regarding media "snacking". Justin Taylor followed it up with some additional observations in an article entitled "Short Attention Span Theater". The general gist of the observations are that our ability to absorb information is being co-opted by the amount of information available to us. This exercise brings to my mind our place in this fallen world.

Think back to the fall where God issued the curse:

Nakedness: In a perfect world, our intimacy isn't an issue - and I'm not talking about sexual intimacy. In general, people have sought to distort this in trying to justify physical intimacy in a sad attempt to fulfill the need for spiritual intimacy.

Pain in Childbirth: We have accomplished great things in medicine, not the least of which is pain management. Because of this we can develop advanced surgical techniques and facilitate healthful recovery. Likewise, my wife can undergo an episiotomy and have a more risk-free birth with less pain. But the pain of bringing forth children extends into their upbringing. Our mothers have given birth to sinners, and we will grieve our parents outside of God's grace. The pain is a reminder that sinners must reprove sinners. Hypocritical? Perhaps, but we have a true authority beyond ourselves for this task, if only we will heed Him.Out of this same concept grows...

The Marital Power Struggle (Gen 3:16b): Even for Moses divorce was granted according to "the hardness of their hearts". Now we have no-fault divorce. If we find we can't get along, we'll split the kids in two and part company. Paul spelled the solution out plainly to the Ephesians: "Submit to one another." And he indicated that this submission was to be sacrificial.

Toil by the Sweat of Our Brow: We need to work - hard - to keep ourselves out of trouble. However, we have built great machines to do our farming for us. In the US we have more food than we can eat. Gluttony has extended to "media snacking". And what is media anyway, but an attempt to work through the effects of God's post-Babel curse.

We long for full spiritual intimacy with others. We cannot have it in a fallen world. for now, we look through a glass dimly, but then we shall know even as we are known. Nevertheless, God calls us to hold each other to account. Here in the Blogosphere, I've just been able to tie together communications of people hundreds, if not thousands, of miles apart. We may be brothers and sisters in Christ, but how can you hold me to account from way over there? I communicate with some of you more than I communicate with many of my neighbors. BroinJC is having a wonderful effect on his neighbors (keep up the good work, Jeffrey). Sunday, I have the opportunity to meet Transposer in Charlotte, NC, and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm not knocking the internet and our use of it per se. But some of you know me better than people I go to church with and see two or three times a week. To them, they see what I do in public. I sing in the choir and offer the occasional solo. However, our conversation may only consist of "Hi. How are you? Fine." In these pages, you can know more of me than they can. However, you can't hold me to task. If I don't like what you say, I can delete your comments.

Let me personalize this. I blog in order to organize my thoughts and generate response that may help me refine my thinking - especially on the heavier topics. I also blog to get excess thoughts out of my system. I generally trim my vocabulary and meter my observations for public consumption, but I have an intellectual capacity that I don't like to talk about (See Prov 27:2 above). So I won't quantify it for you (not that I can) and I won't mention it further except to say that I have absolutely no one other than our Creator with whom I can meaningfully share all my thoughts and interests. Even my dear wife can only handle so much. So, I blog to get it out of my system and read blogs to pan for gold with which to refine my thinking. Otherwise, I keep busy with a multitude of projects.

The point I'm trying to make is that too often we pursue media to "connect" to the world. We have a body of written/audio/video literature to serve as a sociological frame of reference that is growing seemingly exponentially and the extent of which none can fully apprehend. Where the educated once had a small body of literature for meaningful referential discourse, the references today are diffuse among the population and are consequently beyond what can be used for meaningful broad-spectrum high-end communication. We yearn for a healthy diet of spiritual intimacy, but often settle for a bite-sized candy bar that will give us enough spiritual energy until the next post.

Then we log off, turn to our neighbor and say, "Hi. How are you? Fine."

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1 Comments:

Blogger ed elliott said...

Jim,
I hopped over to your blog from Justin Taylor's blog. Read your lamentation that no one "reads this blog." I lke the tone and content of your prose and will be stopping by regularly for awhile. Only a few reach my constantly accessed Bloglines roll.

Fri Mar 09, 02:02:00 PM GMT-5  

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