TRUSTING GOD IS LIKE TRUSTING YOUR MECHANIC

Esther Meek wrote a terrific book entitled, Learning to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People.  In it, she describes how finding a reliable mechanic helped her better understand how we use certain clues to determine whether God as known in Jesus Christ is who He claimed. 

More generally, how do we know what we know?  It is an important branch of philosophy called epistemology. Too many people, including plenty of Christians, don’t think about how and why they think the way they do.

I read Meek’s book several years back.  At the time, my experiences with mechanics was mixed.  Some were okay while others had clearly taken advantage of me.

Enter Joe Ruiz.  Joe’s shop is here in Austin.  Two friends I implicitly trust told me how Joe kept their cars running. Many times, Joe told Gil or Mike that they did not need all the other “recommended” stuff other mechanics had tried to sell them.  

My experience with Joe mimics what Gil and Mike have experienced.  Our car (with 210,000 miles) recently lurched forward from a stop. I figured the transmission was going since it is the original one.  I took it into Joe.  Joe told me the catalytic converter may be responsible.  He thoroughly checked out everything else including the transmission.  All looked good.  He recommended adding five gallons of high octane fuel which I did.

Our car is back running just fine.  Joe charged $107 for all the work.  I was dreading a large expense that would have been challenging on our budget.

Meek’s argument that we pick up clues to determine whether God is trustworthy is inspired by the great philosopher of science, Michael Polanyi.  I highly recommend it!

And if you live in the Austin area, I know a great car mechanic!

https://www.amazon.com/Longing-Know-Esther-Lightcap-Meek/dp/1587430606/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517415640&sr=1-2

A COMMON OCCURRENCE IN PREACHING

The following is not an uncommon occurrence for me while preparing to preach…

Not always, but there are certainly times of struggle either to make sense of the text and/or to make sure I really believe it.  As the Puritans liked to say, make sure to preach to yourself before you preach to others.  Really believing the Word of God is more difficult than determining its proper meaning.

Then God brings light, many times much light, and I can’t write fast enough.

It is one reason I don’t like to preach every week.  The process of preparation is best if I have months to mull and consider a text.  I want to stew on it for a long time.

I take many notes and ask many questions.  Commentaries come at the end to make sure I am in the ballpark of sound exegesis.

All this is one reason why I wish lead pastors preached less frequently.  It would be better for them and for the congregation.

 

PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS

Alan Jacobs posted his list of top five “public intellectuals.” 

Most influential public intellectuals?

Alan’s choices are good.  If we are going to take both the words seriously in “public intellectual,” there are others who are not out in public as much as they used to be (Chomsky) or have recently died (Eco).  My “on deck” list to complement Alan’s:

Paul Krugman

Thomas Friedman

David Brooks

Fareed Zacharia

Neil deGrasse Tyson