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August 13, 2007


When I took Philosophy classes we talked about truth and really about essences of things as truth. The Hebrew mind, on the other hand, seemed more focused on the dynamic, the changing, and the idea that truth involved the formation of the character of the person — and the restoration of the world.

Especially in relation to God, to Whom the Jew must give account, the nature of truth becomes grounded in the moments of decision encountered in one’s life. Shall I steal? Shall I turn a blind eye to social injustice? etc.

There are some neat things about the Hebrew word Emet. Things like it is made of the first, middle and last letter of the alphabet ( I know its not really an alphabet) but the teachers said it was all encompassing. It also has a neat relation to Genesis 2:3. But this is a digression of what I wanted to post.

The word emet comes from a verb (aman) that means to support or make firm, and expresses the image of strong arms of a parent supporting the helpless infant:

The truth of my life at the present is that all my props seems to be falling down. Leaving me standing or on my knees without them. The Lead Where You Are Conference left me undone a bit last week. What do I do with the truth of Jesus saying how I treat the poor is how I treat him. That I have studied Jesus my entire life yet see non-believers giving their lives to ending injustice in the world, ending hunger and poverty.

My business has been slow make that almost non-existent for a while now. Just last week a job I had been counting on for a while got pushed back till next year. Another prop falling.

My wife has been holding in a fear and hurt for a while. I had left her unsure, vulnerable, alone in that she feared I was becoming involved again with “doing church” to the point of forsaking my obligation to my family. Not God’s will I know.

Saturday my Dad re-entered the hospital and as I drove there I had plenty of time to think. Rob Bell helped with a lesson the shuffled on my ipod to play about 30 minutes into the trip. The mystery of Christ. How his strength is made perfect in our weakness. How Jesus at his lowest moments made his greatest claims. It is finished (paid in full, debt free, while hanging on the cross). Today you’ll be with me in Paradise…

I can easily fall into the trap of pride. I like to have the answers and like for others to think I have the answers. But I really don’t. I am reminded of that. I admit, I’m a mess. I’m weak. I’m a sinner in need of grace.

I hold to the truth of God that he died and rose again. That he will come again and make things right. That he is in the business of redeeming, restoring and renewing all things. I’ve seen that in my life and in others. I know it to be truth.

Other than that, I’m not sure.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2007 2:58 pm

    Great Post…

  2. August 13, 2007 3:36 pm

    Good one. I’m having a real issue with pride right now. It’s not something I’m proud of… tee hee – see, I can still make a funny! 🙂

  3. August 13, 2007 3:36 pm


  4. August 13, 2007 3:56 pm

    Faith was never supposed to be thinking we knew all “truth”. Yet we get it mixed up badly.

    The busyness of doing church can drain the Spirit right out of you if you are not careful….and it is hard to fight that pride bug when it gets on you….

  5. August 14, 2007 7:21 am

    I just finished a course on American Church History. As a product of the Restoration Movement, the discussion surrounding Campbell and Stone caught my attention. I thought it was interesting that throughout Campbell’s life one thing that he was adamant about was the perspective that when you come to the Bible you come to it (as much as possible) with a fresh mind, realizing that the pursuit of truth was just that, a pursuit…always. There should never be an arrival, a claim that truth is in our grasps. Ironically, even though he promoted such a view it took all of 2 generations for the Disciples of Christ (many of them) to conclude that they knew the truth in its proper form. Obviously this leads to sectarianism and exclusivity.

    I grew up thinking I knew the whole truth. Once life taught me differently…it was hard at first, but I am now much more comfortable not having to know all the answers. God is in control. I’m still learning to let Him have His way, but I’m glad He is in control. I also have a much better relationship with others outside my heritage who have truth to teach me as well. Good post.

  6. August 14, 2007 8:46 am

    I’m praying for you, Tommy.

    Much love to you and your family!


  7. August 14, 2007 8:53 am

    I can relate a lot to where you are. Praying with you.

  8. August 14, 2007 12:33 pm

    Yeah I kinda like my props, and when they fall away one by one is when I realize it was God holding them in place to begin with. He’s got your back especially when it may seem like you’re free-falling.

  9. Eddie permalink
    August 14, 2007 10:34 pm

    Know I’m praying for you……

  10. August 21, 2007 10:47 am

    Thanks for sharing in this post- your struggles and the Hebrew education. We all can relate.

  11. Josh permalink
    August 21, 2007 6:02 pm

    The truth shall set you free they say. While the debate still rages on about what the truth actually is, I do agree with that initial statement.

    Your beliefs and mine are different. Conviction-knowing the answers-makes you proud. My lack of conviction, my not knowing the answers, brings humility. But I still feel very proud believing that I have somehow escaped the trap layed by history, culture, peer pressure, family sensitivities, and natural emotional compulsions so that today I do not believe in the supernatural.

    My mind is free to venture outside the walls that religion sets up. I have great hope in the future, in what humans can continue to do to make their lives more fulfilling, more joyous, and more harmonious. I am free to appreciate all that is in the universe without bias-without limiting my perception to good and evil. I relish subtelities, I seek to understand but I do not pretend to understand or pretend to know that which is either unknowable or that which is patently flawed/false (much of the Bible).

    Living must be celebrated, not wasted in fear, guilt, and a cause “greater” than human life itself. We are free to make our own purpose.

    Religion has had thousands of years and billions of allies to spread its dead end, limiting, and illogical “answers”. Mine is just one small voice speaking against an immense tide which has carried you with it since you were born. It is time to shake off those influences and think for yourself. Any one ancient mythology does not hold the foundation for morality and civilization’s progress. Seek the truth and do not hold onto false hopes. Real hope can be found as soon as false ones are abandoned.

    Even a short reminder of what today’s major religions consider “holy” ought to give an intelligent believer pause. Take a look at what the Bible says at my site
    A brave Christian, Jew, or Muslim must face the reality of their holy text.

  12. August 21, 2007 9:45 pm

    Josh, thanks for leaving a comment. i think you may have missed the point I was making but it doesn’t really matter. i can tell you are very much against things that are religious and believe that the Bible is false and flawed. I think many of your points are due to not really studying the text. I hope that in your search for what is wrong with religion you will find the truth of the one that loves you.

  13. Josh permalink
    August 22, 2007 7:35 pm

    By commenting, I hoped to bring you to my website where I am currently “deconstructing” the Bible–exposing its most shocking or absurd passages. Things like Lot being raped by his daughters, God getting angry at the Israelites-and killing them-when the Israelites complain about being hungry or thirsty….that sort of thing. You might call it cherry picking the scriptures, but in the old testament the shocking passages outnumber the uplifting ones 10-1, in the least. I hope my project demonstrates that I am in fact studying the text. My concern is that believers are not seeing the text right before their eyes; or else they are completely ignoring it. How can a believer make the old testament ok? The god depicted there is so vile, so morally reprhensible, so insane. I was raised a christian, and the old testament opened my eyes to the lies I was being told. Why does it not open other’s eyes?

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