Author Archives: hypkip

About hypkip

married, follower of Jesus, teacher of the Holy Book

real order of justice

When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men seek to perpetuate an unjust ‘status quo’, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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no such thing as not worshipping

David Foster Wallace, the postmodern novelist, puts it like this:

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is no such thing as . . . not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual thing to worship . . . is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. . . . Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. . . . Worship power – you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over things to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart – you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.

Finally, he adds that “the insidious thing” about these forms of worship is that they are not seen for what they are. “They are unconscious. They are default settings.” In other words, whatever is the source of your meaning and satisfaction in life is what you are worshipping, though you may not acknowledge it as such. You are not simply pursuing these things if they are what you are living for. If you are living for them, you must have them or you lose your purpose in life. If anything threatens them, you get uncontrollably anxious or angry. If anything takes them away, you can lose the very will to live. If you fail to achieve them you may fall into unending self-hatred. That is why they are “eating you alive.” Put another way, you are enslaved to them. You must give yourself to something, or you have no meaning in life.

Making Sense of God, Timothy Keller, pp 111-112.


love of god outlives our losses

Consider this: If you live a long life, it will tear you up to see the people who matter most to you put into the ground one by one. If your greatest source of contentment and love is your family, that will be intolerable. But if you learn to love God even more than them, your greatest source of consolation, hope, joy, and value will not be diminished by grief. Indeed, the sorrow will drive you to drink deeper from it. You will not find yourself empty, and you won’t always be hardening your heart in order to deal with how your losses tear you up. The love of God can never be taken from you, and in his love, the Bible says, you live with loved ones forever.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, p. 93.


don’t convert culture

In both West and East it is vital for us to learn to distinguish between Scripture and culture, and between those things in culture which are inherently evil and must therefore be renounced for Christ’s sake and those things which are good or indifferent and may therefore be retained, even transformed and enriched.

In the West, according to the authors of God’s Lively People (Fontana 1971),
‘our congregations demand from every new member not only a conversion but also a change in culture. He has to abandon some of his contemporary beliefs and to accept the older patterns prevalent among the majority of the congregation. The new Christian has to learn the old hymns and to appreciate them. He has to learn the language of the pulpit. He has to share in some conservative political opinions. He has to dress a bit oldfashioned… In brief, he has to step back two generations and undergo what one may call a painful cultural circumcision’ (p.206).

Similarly Bishop David Sheppard writes that ‘few are able to be as objective as the shop steward who said that churches require you to do a crash course in middle-class behaviour, rather than to learn Christian maturity’ (Built as a City, p. 50).

John Stott, Christian Mission in the Modern World, p. 122-123.


the matter of vocation

Consider what the realistic outworkings of ‘mission’ are likely to be.

I begin with vocation, by which I mean a Christian’s life-work. We often given the impression that if a young Christian man is really keen for Christ, he will undoubtedly become a foreign missionary, that if he is not quite as keen as that he will stay at home and become a pastor, that if he lacks the dedication to be a pastor, he will no doubt serve as a doctor or teacher, while those who end up in social work or the media or (worst of all) in politics are not far removed from serious backsliding! It seems to me urgent to gain a truer perspective in this matter of vocation. Jesus Christ calls all his disciples to ‘ministry’, that is, to service. He himself is the Servant par excellence, and he calls us to be servants too. This much then is certain: if we are Christians we must spend our lives in the service of God and man. The only difference between us lies in the nature of the service we are called to render. Some are indeed called to be missionaries, evangelists or pastors, and others to the great professions of law, education, medicine and the social sciences. But others are called to commerce, to industry and farming, to accountancy and banking, to local government or parliament, and to the mass media, while there are still many girls who find their vocation in home-making and parenthood without pursuing an independent career as well. In all these spheres, and many others besides, it is possible for Christians to interpret their lifework christianly, and to see it neither as a necessary evil (necessary, that is, for survival), nor even as a useful place in which to evangelize or make money for evangelism, but as their Christian vocation, as the way Christ has called them to spend their lives in his service. Further, a part of their calling will be to seek to maintain Christ’s standards of justice, righteousness, honesty, human dignity and compassion in a society which no longer accepts them.

John Stott, Christian Mission in the Modern World, pp. 31-32.

Note: This book was written in 1975, and some of his language may seem out of step with our current norms. Please consider the intent behind his words, not his choice of words, which were culturally acceptable at the time they were written.


comfort zone

Staying in your comfort zone is a tool of oppression.

Ana Marie Cox, on The Hilarious World of Depression,
Episode #PLACEBO, May 5, 2017


we are not to make men beleive

It is not our work to make men believe; that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

D. L. Moody, How to Study the Bible: Updated Edition, page 13


inner man is weak and starved

We take good care of this earthly body that we only have for a short time. We feed it three times a day, and we clothe it, and we dress it, and soon it is going into the grave to rot; but the inner man that is to live on and on forever is weak and starved.

D. L. Moody, How to Study the Bible: Updated Edition, pages 9-10


the word is essential for fruit

I never saw a fruit-bearing Christian who was not a student of the Bible. If a man neglects his Bible, he may pray and ask God to use him in His work, but God cannot use him, for there is not much for the Holy Spirit to work upon. We must have the Word itself, which is sharper than any two-edged sword.

D. L. Moody, How to Study the Bible: Updated Edition, pages 2-3.


we should debate belief systems

Rather than unfairly asking only religious people to prove their views, we need to compare and contrast religious beliefs and their evidences with secular beliefs and theirs. We can and should argue about which beliefs account for what we see and experience in the world. We can and should debate the inner logical consistency of belief systems, asking whether they support or contradict one another. We can and should consult our deepest intuitions.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 53