Archive for March, 2013

Book Review of “God’s Good Design”

March 28, 2013

God’s Good Design: What the Bible really says about Men and Women
©2012 by Claire Smith
Published by Matthias Media
238 pages

I have taught the Bible for over 30 years, 20 of those years as a senior pastor. The highest compliment I ever give a book is “that will preach!” This book will preach! You have to appreciate the irony, because this is a book written by a woman who believes only “men should be the teaching elders in our churches” (pg. 196). So this book can be preached, just not by her.

This work is expositional; it looks at the relevant scriptures that directly discuss the differences between the sexes, first within the setting of the local congregation, then within the home. She goes into great interpretive detail on the passages in First Timothy 2, First Corinthians 11 and 14.

“If we were in any doubt, these passages make it clear that when the New Testament restricts the authoritative teaching of the church community to suitably gifted men, it is not because women are not capable of teaching. It is God’s order of relationships. Beyond that context, women can and do teach. They can teach the most vulnerable and suggestible among us – our children. The Lord can also use women to teach in other contexts with other types of speech, like prophecy, singing and prayer” (pg. 205).

And I would add, writing books. Smith is a tremendous teacher of the Scriptures. Her exposition of Genesis 1-3 is one of the best I have ever read. She also deals with Ephesians 5, First Peter 3 and Proverbs 31.

I highly recommend this book. I also plan on referring to it often when find myself coming to these particular passages in Scripture. I have no doubt it will preach.

Matthias Media freely provided this book for review and there was no expectation of a positive review.


Karma tippers

March 23, 2013

Does the way you tip your waitress say anything about your faith? I could have said waiter since I was one for a couple of years. All three of my children waited tables. So I am biased, but that doesn’t make my experience any less true. When I was a waiter all of us who waited tables did not like waiting on Christians. Sunday crowds were the worse. Christians are notoriously bad tippers, especially those who leave little or no tip and a tract. DO NOT DO THAT. If you want to leave a tract leave a 30% tip, that might, might get your tract read. Otherwise, do not leave a bad taste for the gospel.

I never stiff a waitress; I always leave a decent tip. Normally I give 20% for good service. There’s the rub, for good service. That’s why when I read what Joe Thorn had to say hurt so deeply. In the wonderful little book Note to Self Thorn writes “Here’s a good test for yourself – how do you tip servers at a restaurant? Not just good servers but even the bad ones. Have you considered that tipping generously, even if the service is bad, is a demonstration of grace that is not likely to be lost on the server? Stop judging. Let the gospel compel you to live by grace and demonstrate it to those around you.” Later on he pens, “Consider how often you give what you think is justice – that is, what you think people deserve. You tip less for bad service, ignore people who have snubbed you, or sigh and roll your eyes at the person…You may not be doing evil, but you are not doing good. Ask yourself, Am I known as person of grace or a person of karma? Do people see in me the principle of you get what you deserve, or what goes around comes around?”

Could I be a “person of karma” instead of grace? Ouch.