An Admirable Life (4)-Friday, December 17, 2010

   My point, since you asked, is not profound. When a leader, face-of-the-organization, is posited, I will be told why I should admire him. Before you pick him, I will tell you what I admire. Then, you will know if you should bother me with the new fellow.

   So far, I have said an admirable life includes humility. I have said humility is a real preference for the will of God over one's own will. To be humble, one must abandon himself to God, and so forsake his spiritual lostness for a new kind of lostness in self-surrender. To be perpetually humbled, he must have one(s) in his life who will repeatedly keep him from himself. He must heed them.

   This will finally be a book length manuscript describing humility, courage, faithfulness, et al. I want to write about an admirable life. I want to help us settle on what we would find admirable, what we could agree on as worthy, so we will know the difference between nothingness (nihilism) and fanaticism. Secularity will not do, or it would have done by now. We would know if unbelief were special, for so many have tried it.

   The nihilist assumes life will devolve into a sequence of meaningless events. The fanatic assumes his experience, however ennobling or debasing, is normative, to the extreme. as if anyone not living his life is somehow in a depleted, less admirable life. Believers are besieged on both sides, by the nihilist on the one and the fanatic on the other.

   The fellow the committee puts forward should be able to tell the difference between nihilism and fanaticism. He has to know which he is, how much of each and how he will keep himself for God. He must know how to answer the Skeptics, for their voices are loudest. 

   There is real reason for pause. Those who serve on the placement committee will not merely put forth a candidate. They will assume a moral position. If they ignore moral consensus, the name of their candidate does not matter. 


Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

8 thoughts on “An Admirable Life (4)-Friday, December 17, 2010”

  1. When flying at night we need instruments. It’s hard enough flying with daylight. Those hours are gone. The world is a dark place. If we don’t want our keister spread across 800 yards of some West Texas caliche road, then we need instruments and the rating to use them.
    What do instruments do? They indicate what we need to do to remain airborne. Instruments can’t even fly a kite. Flying is our job. Where does the Christian go to find flight worthy instruments?
    I read in 1 Peter yesterday where the Apostle says we should be in harmony with our spouse so that our prayers are not hindered. (3:7)
    That’s a pretty good instrument, isn’t it? I mean, if your prayers are hindered, then it indicates we are living a less than admirable life, right? And yet, I see so few “leaders” who are even concerned with such indicators. Crash!
    Politicians talk about sweeping change and ethics, but that scratched record sounds worse and worse every year. Denominational work, now exposed rather than revered, smacks of the same political posturing and back room deals. One wonders if an admirable person exists to lead. As Diogenes searches we all become cynics. (Samurai says the fix is in. Does this indicate in Texas Diogenes no longer searches?)
    If an admirable person could be found — one with an instruments rating and the willingness to fly by the faith — would she serve? I wonder. There are other considerations as well. Such as this: if the focus of an organization is to preserve the organization itself, then does an admirable person’s presence matter anyway?
    I may not be as cynical as this response suggests. However, it would help greatly to see a recent example of denominational revival caused by the presence of the admirable. I struggle to think . . . no; no examples come to mind. At a certain point we simply look for alternatives, right? But, without the presence of the admirable those alternatives sky dive toward entropy too, right?

  2. I have spent most of my reading time (always) reading the Skeptics instead of the Devotionals. The Skeptics tell us where we are Full of It. They are right more than they are wrong (about us). They serve as a powerful corrective source.
    They also tell us where our argument is weakest.

  3. If you are referring to the Lifeway Top 10, then I agree. Those Devotionals are only devoted to themselves. I keep my money in my pocket, and my eye on Christ. The Skeptics at the coffee shop provide a better mirror. We need better Devotionals. Perhaps we can redirect the seeking Skeptic, who could become that person. The faith needs more who have not passed through the cookie press.

  4. Town Watering Hole

    Dr. Davis, you usually impress in your musings and as much as I remember you, I find you humble. Unfortunately, I’m often encouraged more from the humble, and when sharing with some who are lost or who struggle with sins we Baptists condemn.
    I also agree with MR in the choice of a skeptic, who can be transformed. Had leadership from the late nineties and early 2000’s been skeptical or at least discernig Texas Baptists might be soaring rather than sinking.

  5. Humility, as the ancients had it, was meekness, by which they meant a real preference for Gods will over our own. If I am that kind of humble, it is grace. 
    Grace to you, friend, for your kindness to me, always.

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