Here is just a sample.
Would it be unduly cynical of me to suggest that most of us are more likely to feel troubled by something we have said or done that has upset a colleague or parishioner than by something that has dishonored God? Some do not want to be too closely associated with anything the scholarly guild judges old-fashioned or fundamentalist: that, surely, would be shameful. On the other hand, Jesus says some blunt things about those who are ashamed of him and his words (Mark 8:38). The question resolves into something pretty straightforward: Whose approval do we most earnestly desire? Whose approval do we want when we prepare for a lecture (whether to deliver it or to learn from it)? Whose approval do we seek when we preach a sermon? Whose approval matters most when we write a paper or slog away at a dissertation? Whose approval do we hunger for when we choose a vocation, decide how to use our time, take pains to build links of affection and accountability in the local church, exercise, bring up our children, nurture our families, read, lead a Bible study, help a neighbor?
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