Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Great answers from North and South American friends!

Let me explain why I posted Carol L Douglas's answers on my blog. Carol is not really a blogger (although she did write one long posting here!), but she often leaves insightful comments on my Reflections blog. I recently wrote that her comments are often better than my postings, so as a sign of respect I tagged her too and copied her answers from this comment section and pasted them in this blog entry for all the world to see. Read them and you will know why!

Five things Carol digs about Jesus:

1. He first loved me. How does Jesus love us without qualification, forever? I’m pretty abrasive, shallow, vain. Some days my own mother can’t abide me. Yet Jesus is completely steadfast. If he feels that way, how bad can I be?

2. He was willing to die on the cross to save me. Being our savior was not exactly a cake-walk. He lived in obscurity in a tiny village for most of his life, without any of the trappings of success of an average Jewish striver—no house, no trophy wife, no kids, no linen toga, no turbo-charged donkey. Then he got to wander for three years, deal with crowds and supplicants with no rest, fast and pray, and joust with authorities. All in preparation for a ghastly death and three days in Sheol. Hobbes described the natural state of mankind as, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Tragically, this remains the case in much of the world.) Would you give up Paradise for that?

3. He is absolutely good. For most of the lower-case gods, deity is about power rather than about transcending the human condition. Take Artemis of the Ephesians, for example. On the one hand, she blessed the Trojans in their war with the Greeks; on the other hand, she murdered a lot of people for displeasing her. None of this complexity with Jesus—His thoughts are for us, not Him.

4. It’s not all about Heaven. Jesus offers us the promise of sanctification, the Kingdom of Heaven in this world. If we are willing and don’t protect the sore spots Jesus is willing to scrub us clean.

5. No “gnosis” required. It’s not necessary to have a secret handshake or secret knowledge to become a follower of Christ. Anyone who says differently is just jealous.

Please also take some time to check out the answers from my Brazilian bro in Christ, Luis Fernando, and please leave a comment on his blog to let him know what you think. Visit this site to read Mike's answers and keep an eye on John's blog too! I guess he first needs some time to recover from his mission trip to Guatemala. Read all about it on his blog. Thanks, friends!


Carol L. Douglas said...

Thanks for the kind words, Paul. About my EXTREMELY short career as a blogger--I have recently realized that I am now officially "old" in that I have no patience with acquiring new skills. And I messed up the links so badly on my one-and-only entry that I am not anxious to try again.

Art said...

You're right Paul, these are good! # 4 is especially insightful.

Vicki said...

I love Carol's responses! They are simple, yet Art said, "especially insightful."

Carol L. Douglas said...

You guys are really kind. Thanks.

Luis F. Batista said...

Hi Paul, thank you for your words and incentive! Know that I also wrote my answers in my Brazilian Blog and invited some brazilian folks to participate.So this meme started to spread a lot, they are enjoying very much this task!