“I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.” –A. Whitney Brown

Ha! I guess every person has his particular reasons for why they do things.

And I’m a vegetarian because (1) my body doesn’t tolerate meat; (2) it’s healthier.

I’m not a radical about it (when I go to someone’s house I eat what’s set before me, without question), but sometimes I wish I were.

A comment on 1 Corinthians 16:15:

Since Stephanas and his household have assigned themselves or devoted themselves to the service of God’s people, it seems likely that Paul perceives them not only as the first converts as such but more especially as the core base of mature, long-standing believers: as those whose loyal work and witness holds promise of more believers to come, i.e., to be added to the Christian church in Achaia. This accords with Paul’s use of aparge in 15:20, 23. On the other hand, Rom. 16:5 does seem to speak of Epaenetus as the first convert (aparge) in the Province of Asia (NIV). If we combine the two ideas, embodying Paul’s special interest in Corinth, Stephanas appears as “co-worker … in founding a church” (Banks).115 Hence perhaps the two nuances should be combined: the first of more converts to come in Achaia.116

Fascinating quote from A. C. Thiselton’s NIGTC commentary on The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Eerdmans, 2000), p. 1338.

There’s much more in the NT about evangelism, missions, and church-planting than what today’s church has noted thus far. This is one small example.

“Too much reasoning is a great distraction. Those who reason – the indevout wise – quench the inward spirit as the wind extinguishes a candle. After being with them for awhile, we perceive our hearts dry, and our mind off its centre.” –François Fenelon

Religionists, especially those who appeal to tradition, history, and human authorities, tend toward too much reasoning to establish their positions. How much more simple to stick with the Word of God and speak where it speaks, and keep silent where it is silent!

Fenelon’s point is not far from a phrase I read somewhere that someone spoke in footnotes. Now, I like footnotes. But the phrase so caught my eye and kept me thinking about what that means. To always speak in footnotes would be to speak on tangents, on minor matters, always rabbinically quoting the authorities and never coming out and stating flatly that this is the Truth of the Matter, speaking in ifs and buts and qualifications and safeguards.

On these questions, there is a way to go back home. Go back to the Word. Let its simplicity, directness, and clarity sound out.

BTW, accordint to the blogware count, this should be post #101.

I returned to participating in the church-of-Christ list on Yahoo. Here’s my post as I hooked back in:

I’m back on the list, still not back in my office, but maybe by the first of next week. The sheetrock (fairly new to Brazil) is all finished, they’re painting and should be finished tomorrow. Clean-up Monday, and still shelves and light fixtures have to be installed. *sigh* It’s looking nice though.

Manuscript is coming slow. With all my office installed on the dining table and two pups yelping and smelling the place up, it’s a wonder I’m getting anything done. Thanks to a good wife who keeps me plied with hot tea.

I take son Joel to FHU August 9 and will stay in the US for a couple of weeks before coming back. Then Kevin Cauley comes in September, our big weekend here in the congregation happens early October, I speak at the Cold Harbor Road lectures in Richmond in November, and I’m ready for Santa by Christmas.

Also, two possibilities came up: our friend Francisco was let go from his executive position at a Brazilian airline after it declared insolvency; we’re talking about him coming to work with us here. Problem may be we can’t afford him, but we’re talking.

Also, an American friend and ex-missionary whom I’ve known for many years may be returning to Brazil. I’m talking to him about working here in our region, which hasn’t gotten much attention as far as evangelistic efforts go. Please pray for these two possibilities.

I think I probably gave you the link to our Spring 2005 report, an overview of what’s happening these parts, but here it goes again:

http://randal.fastmail.fm/sjc/ Click on the report2005.ppt

From Agape Press:

“Connecticut’s Bishop Andrew Smith recently made an unannounced visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bristol and temporarily suspended Rector Mark Hansen from all of his activities as a priest. With the help of 12 assistants, the bishop dismantled the church’s website, hacked into its computers, and gained access to financial records. Smith then proceeded to install a homosexual-affirming female priest as pastor of the parish.”

Episcopal conservatives are shocked. But why should they be? This is what hierarchy is all about. Either you toe the line or you’re out. Ask the Southern Baptists who had all their professors sign a doctrinal statement.

When you get away from following exactly what the Lord Jesus says in his word, anything goes. Including illegal breaking and entering.

From Zenit.org:

“First of all, if ‘creationism’ means six-day creation as a few Christian fundamentalists still hold, then there is no chance in the world that the Catholic Church will join that cause. But ‘creationism’ can also refer to the total ontological dependence of the universe on God’s creative act of will, and nothing in the theory of evolution can threaten that essential doctrine of the Catholic faith.”

You can just hear the spite in his voice. If they are so few, they must be wrong. Right?

I just love the way Catholic theologians talk. They are masters at obfuscating even the simplest subjects.

Brazilian Priest Brutally Murdered

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, JULY 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Diocese of Nova Iguacu buried a young priest, ordained only five years ago, who shot dead by unknown assailants.

On Monday the police found the body of Father Paulo Machado, 36, in his car, parked under a viaduct.

He was robbed of his watch, wallet and mobile phone, but the priest may have been targeted for his involvement in human rights activities, reported the Missionary News Service Agency.

The priest, who was buried on Tuesday, was known for his commitment to the relatives of 29 victims of a mass killing on March 31 in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

“It is a great loss,” said a note of the diocese, “Father Machado infected all those who approached him with his incomparable joy.”

JRM here: Rio is a violent city. But still it’s unusual for something like this to happen. It’s not unknown for priests involved in agrarian reform or other social projects to suffer violence in the interior towns, but in Rio it’s atypical.

As if murder were a subject to speak of as being typical or atypical.

“Ability will see a Chance and snatch it.
Who has a Match will find a Place to scratch it.”

–Arthur Guiterman, A Poet’s Proverbs

I’ve read a few pieces from this book, from the 1920s. I’d LOVE to have it!