Wisdom from Witherington

One of my favorite blogs is that of New Testament Bible scholar, Ben Witherington III. Covering a range of topics in the area of Christianity and culture, Witherington's breadth, wisdom, humility, and clarity displays an authentic engagement with faithful Christian living in our world that any reader will benefit from. I know I have.
A recent post of his caught my attention, so I thought I'd share a few quotes to illustrate Witherington's thought-provoking insights.

First, some thoughts on the professional-laity split in Christian ministry:

"What about the distinction between part-time and full-time ministry with the laity doing the former and the clergy the latter? There is certainly nothing in the Bible that supports such a notion, and part of the problem is the way one envisions ministry. Raising children in a godly way is a ministry. Helping people with their finances is a ministry. Building homes, making clothes, selling groceries is a ministry. Any good deed, anything that can be done to the glory of God and for the edification of God's people and the world is a ministry. Our problem is that we have defined ministry too narrowly, and then jealousy fought over who gets to do what."

Second, this quip about men and women in ministry (I'm still amazed this (non)issue persists in the church)

"And then of course there are men in ministry who feel threatened by women in ministry, as if women are encroaching on their private domain. But the problem in the church is not strong, gifted, called, ministering women. The problem is weak men who can't handle strong women."

And finally, Witherington offers a challenge in the area of church, culture and the Gospel:

"In my view, every single Christian needs Christian training, and all the more so now as our culture and even our churches become more and more Biblically illiterate. But hear me clearly--- we are not called to dumb down the Gospel, we are called to boil up the people. We are not called to put the Gospel cookies on the bottom shelf, we are called to tease people's minds into active thought so that their reach will extend further than their current grasp."

1 comments:

Ryan said...

"We are not called to put the Gospel cookies on the bottom shelf, we are called to tease people's minds into active thought so that their reach will extend further than their current grasp."

Fantastic quote!

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