benfaus

Personifying Metaphors and Secular Prayers

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I just started–honestly, 5 minutes ago–reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. The late, great physicist had a powerful impact during his lifetime. He was a great scientist and also a noted atheist. I’m looking forward to learning some science and also to engaging any broad philosophical claims Hawking makes. I often tweet great quotes from books I’m reading. I started doing this when I stumbled upon the feature on my Kindle. I rarely tweet my own thoughts, but perhaps I’ll begin. Positive, non-combative social media engagement is something…read more

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Praying Confidently: Scriptural Example

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Daniel 3:17-18 — If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c]from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. This scripture is not technically a prayer, as they are words spoken to Nebuchadnezzar when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to worship the idol that has been set up. We…read more

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Praying Confidently: A Scriptural Example

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Mark 14:36 — And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Above are the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal. Jesus saw the cross–torture–coming quickly. His words perfectly capture the ideas I discussed in my previous post from Tim Keller’s book Prayer. Jesus, using an endearing word for father–“Abba”–recognizes that he can come to the Father with anything. The Father loves and listens to the…read more

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Praying Confidently

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I recently read Timothy Keller’s book on prayer. As the book has marinated with me, one thing that I keep remembering is a section late in the book which talks about the power of prayer. Keller, throughout the book, draws on some of the giants of Christianity–Augustine, Luther, and Calvin most notably. In this particular section of the book, Keller points to Calvin’s notion of the partial efficacy of prayer. What does this mean? As I recall, Keller–in echoing and adding to Calvin–points to scriptures that summon Christians to call…read more

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Talking to the Neighbor You Love (part 4): Difficult Talks

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There is a plethora of materials out there about how to have hard conversations. Here are a few of the highlights that those materials often discuss: use “I” statements repeat back phrases to ensure understanding be willing to admit fault have the conversation when both parties are calm begin the conversation how you hope to end it Most books I’ve read on things like this are geared toward marital conflict and communication. However, they serve well for general public debate, too. The primary concept behind these types of conversations is…read more

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Talking to the Neighbor You Love (part 3): Social Media

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In my previous post, I used my own social media response as a case study in talking to your neighbor. Social media is rarely the best medium for serious communication, but it’s one we often use, and in some cases it’s the only one afforded to you for certain people in your life. My buddies in North Carolina, California, and elsewhere aren’t going to drive to Texas just to have a drink and talk over the latest political ridiculousness our country is going through. These days I don’t buy the…read more

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Talking to the Neighbor You Love (part 2)

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Yesterday, I talked about the importance of interpreting our neighbors charitably. Today, I’d like to provide a case study on whether I did that well or not in thinking through my response to the abortion debate. When first hearing about the possibility of the NY Senate pushing their most recent bill through, I was pretty quick on the draw on social media. I regret that a bit now, but I don’t think anything I said was unChristian. Below is a screen-shot of my original post on Facebook. As you can…read more

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Talking to the Neighbor You Love (part 1):

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Christ summed up all of God’s law and commandments in “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Loving your neighbor, of course, frequently means talking to them. When you love a person, you converse with them in order to get to know them, hear their concerns, and perhaps give counsel to them. In the recent decision by the state of New York to change laws regarding abortion, conversations between pro-choice and pro-Life individuals became understandably heated. Though I hope I showed restraint, I was no exception…read more

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300 Words in 30 Days

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Since graduating from Duke in 2017, it has become increasingly clear that the intellectual output required by school is something I thrived on. I love thinking. Some of the difficulties I’ve maintained, however, consist of what I ought to think about and what end that thinking should serve.  As a Christian, I know that whatever I do should be done as working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). To me, that’s still just a broad direction for mindset, which is good, but I’m still looking to specify that mindset for a…read more

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