Saturday, June 28, 2008

keep learning

If there's one thing I may need to hear right at this moment (among other things for sure), or that refreshes my day today, it can come in two words: Keep learning.

Scripture alone is enough to keep us learning for a lifetime. It is a Book that is interactive with its Author, in other words the Author is alive and the Book is written for our good, to bring us along in the journey of faith individually and together. It has a dynamic to it unlike any other book so that one like George Muller could say after reading through it for around the one hundredth time- it seemed like a new book to him every time he read it! Being in the Book and on books that help me understand the Book is for me more important than all the other books. Though I think I can learn from God through other humans in their books, even from those who do not know or acknowledge God.

We also need to keep learning from God's people who have preceeded us. We need to look at the full scope of Christian history because there is much there for us. Of course most of us don't have the time to look long into that. Even scholars have only so much time and their own niche is quite enough. For me at this time I want to learn more from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and especially from his book, Letters and Papers from Prison (and from his book on ethics, as well). I do this not to learn some abstract theories but the heaven-down to earth truth where the rubber meets the road.

We need to set ourselves, our hearts to seek ever to be apprentices of our Lord Jesus, to learn to follow him more closely in our lives whatever the cost. To be like Mary who sat at the Lord's feet to learn from him. This comes to me today as something important for me to remember and put into practice. Slowly and steadily in faith. Eagerly seeking to learn more and grow deeper in our Lord Jesus, and further in doing his will.

What thoughts might you like to add to this?


Rachel Mc said...

Amen! It is so important to teach a love a reading to children, and I think that is one of my proudest accomplishments as a mother; my sons love to read.
Ted, you exactly described what I am trying to teach my sons about the bible; "It is a book that is interactive with its Author, the Author is alive."
I also have my list of books to read "someday" and I usually have a book going, or maybe two, that I am currently reading.
I just love words, and I have always marveled at and bein amazed that Jesus is called the "Living Word", "Word made flesh", etc. How did that come about?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Your sons are blessed!

Yes, it's wonderful to read and keep reading.

As to the Word becoming flesh, I'm rusty at best on the origin of the word logos, though it is Greek and thus surely has some ties into the Greek culture of Jesus' day when truth or at least ideas were big in the philosophical endeavor important in that time (and any time, in a sense).

It is also rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament as the Word from God which created all things in the beginning (Genesis 1; Colossians 1), becomes human in the Son.

Words can be easily discounted in this modern/postmodern era and they have their limitations and difficulties as does all of human life. But God chose to communicate to us his word through human words in Scripture and God then becomes in Person the final Word to us in the Son- Jesus. And the Word by which we live, even through the word of God, Scripture.

I wish I was better versed in this, but that's the best answer I can give you now. Here's some information on logos.

sacred vapor said...

The greatest teachers are also the greatest students, and learning is a lifelong endeavor.

thanks for the reminder on that importance.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks much! I know two people- one in his mid-sixties and another in his seventies, and another comes to mind somewhat older than I, and other men and women like them- they're a joy to be around and listen to.

I also think of Paul in 2 Timothy who was still wanting the books and parchments- soon before his death, always seeking to learn more and grow in all of life in his walk in Christ.

Andrew said...

This morning I read in Joshua 1:8, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Of course, for us now in the new covenant, this prosperity isn't necessarily in material wealth and recognition, but in relational riches with our heavenly Father and with others.

But what I actually thought was interesting is the Hebrew word for "meditate." I've heard that it literally means "to chew," as a cow chews its cud. (Can you confirm this?) This sure lends a little color to not letting the Book depart from our mouths!

Ted M. Gossard said...

It's been awhile, but I think I've heard the same, yet can't verify it by my BDB Hebrew-Aramaic Lexicon. It just says "(soliloquize) meditate, muse." Can't at the moment find verification for the chewing as a cow chews its cud, but I've heard that before regarding that word as well. Probably the case, though some definitions like that which are promulgated are not necessarily so, of course.

This is most certainly an ongoing and dynamic endeavor, one we should always be doing. And for me that means in more bite-sized pieces. Before I was trying to take in too big of chunks. Glad now I've been through Scripture probably a good number of times I'm guessing, but I'm benefiting now from taking it in slower and trying to major on that for now. But we need to see the parts in relation the the whole, and to keep pondering everything.

Ted M. Gossard said...

And thanks, Andrew.