Under the Hood

Head Gasket Repair

Push Rods and Rockers, 2008


 
I spent a couple of weeks writing this post, adding and removing parts, only to end up with an over-spiritualized, not-very-good penultimate result.  After some painful edits, how about I just get right to the point?

The original idea for this blog was to have a place for “Sharing resources that corroborate the Bible.”  While we remain quite committed to that theme, we’re finding our voice in a slightly different major chord.  Consequently we are changing the tag line for Veracity to “Sharing the Joy of Personal Discipleship.”

What is personal discipleship?  It’s an answer to the darkness of man we see all around us every day.  It’s keeping our eyes on the only thing that counts—faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6b, NIV84).  We define personal discipleship as the process in which a believer or seeker takes personal responsibility for investigating the claims and content of the Bible.

Personal discipleship involves going way beyond a saccharine worldview of Christianity—not being satisfied with going to church, or even going to a small group study, but intently seeking God and his plan for your life.  Clarke’s recent post on Dallas Willard gets right to the heart of the issue.

Willard argues that a proper spiritual formation requires us to have intentional spiritual practices integrated into our lives. Some are straightforward from the Scriptures, such as prayer, fasting, Scripture memorization, meditation, and study. But it also includes practices developed by Christians down through the ages who have learned the art of spirituality after years of reflecting on the message of the Bible. These would include extended periods of solitude, silence, journaling, letter writing, chastity, confession to another brother or sister in Christ, spiritual direction from someone experienced in the art of spirituality, service to others, and that evangelical classic: the daily quiet time.
Clarke Morledge, Formation: Dallas Willard

In this context we invite you to practice personal discipleship, and in so doing discover and share the pure joy that comes from the veracity that is the Bible.  No one can do it for you, you have to take personal responsibility.

About Veracity

As Clarke wrote in his introduction to our eBook, Confidence in Jesus Christ, the Joy of Personal Discipleship, we do not have it all figured out.  As Justin Taylor recently quoted Calvin quoting Augustine, “I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.”  The spiritual practice of writing is an incredible source of learning and joy.

Our Kaqexeß (pronounced “Kath-ex-ACE”) page contains links to all of our posts, sorted by our seven taxonomic categories:

  1. Apologetics,
  2. The Apostle Paul,
  3. Archaeology,
  4. The Gospels,
  5. Tools,
  6. Topics, and
  7. Witnesses.

The Kaqexeß page serves dual purposes: preserving all the content in a single page (an ‘Evergreen’ page in blogspeak), and it lists posts in logical sequences that can be used for self-directed study.

We struggle, a great deal actually, to write from the heart without sounding affected or intellectually over the top.  Anyone can grab a thesaurus or commentary and pull together a couple of clever word-bites, but so much of that kind of writing is self-absorbed.  At the other extreme there can be a tendency to over-simplify the Gospel.  While we wholeheartedly agree that a sincere appreciation for the grace of God through Jesus Christ IS good enough, there is so much to be appreciated from really studying and meditating upon the Bible as the inspired word of God.

Capitalization (particularly in deity pronouns) and soft grammar will be the death of me.  And please forgive my excessive use of the em dash—what can I say, that’s just the way I write?

What’s with all the art?  I dunno, it just makes me appreciate life on a different level when I meditate upon the apostle Paul’s manual work ethic, and come across Vela Zanetti’s untitled masterpiece depicting a father with huge hands cuddling his son (to whom he has passed the large-hand gene).  Or Michael Sowa’s flying urban penguins when writing about Paul’s views of intellectualism.  Thanks for indulging us.

Please, please, please share your thoughts by leaving comments at the end of these posts.  Many of you send us incredibly rich offline emails, or find occasions to stop us in the hall at church or work and say something that is insightful and encouraging.  So often I wish I could replay those conversations for others to hear.  You do not have to give your full name when posting a comment, and no one will have your email address (unless you do as Dick Terman does and post it directly as a name or in the body of your comment).   ;-}

We’re 111 posts into this blog, and feel richly blessed and motivated to continue.  As Augustine of Hippo wrote, “God provides the wind, man must raise the sail.”  Thank you for following Veracity and encouraging our efforts to share the joy of personal discipleship!

About John Paine

This blog is topical and devotional--we post whatever interests us, whenever. If you want to follow in an orderly fashion, please see our Kaqexeß page. View all posts by John Paine

3 responses to “Under the Hood

  • fred nice

    thanks john…..this blog is always challenging and a great source of encouragement to me! keep up the good work!

  • Lou Leffler

    I have to keep it simple for self preservation; the recent pain and agony for the Chapel had me wanting to go to the Elders and tell them this and that, but because of where I am currently working (200 miles from home), I had to wait, and then pray some more, so in the waiting and praying, it came to me to “let go and let God.”

    • John Paine

      Lou,

      I’m currently reading the Old Testament straight through. It’s pretty rough sledding by modern social standards, but one thought keeps hitting me repeatedly: so much trouble comes from thinking man is in control. We’re called to obedience, which short and sweet is “let go and let God.” Thanks for reading and for commenting, and here’s hoping you get home soon!

      John

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