Lost ironies

 Glad to hear your trip is going well.  My Muslim friend here is a former imam himself, so maybe you can continue your dialogue when you get home.  Wish my dad lived closer so you two could visit.  I spoke with him this evening and he is quite concerned about the idea of using the Koran to evangelize Muslims; forty years’ experience living in a mixed Muslim/Christian neighborhood has led him to different conclusions than the author of “The Camel Method.”

We missed your last sermon in the series on Pharisees, but I did catch the end of it on cable television, where you asked everyone who had been impacted by your messages to come forward.  Has anyone else commented on the irony of asking for a public exhibition of personal faith at the end of a series on being a Pharisee?  You’ll probably have to watch the video, but I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of Jesus with his disciples near the back of the gymnasium.  He was explaining his new version of Luke 18, where the publican completely misses the point about how the sincere Pharisee wasn’t really exalting himself but just taking a sincere stand for God in an evil world full of extortioners, unjust, adulterers, and yes, even publicans like him…

I’ve always had a hard time reconciling corporate prayer and physical exhibitions of worship with the first part of Matthew 6 (5-8).  By now, you’ve probably seen that Muslims are far more disciplined than most Christians in their public forms of worship, and they don’t hold a candle to Orthodox Jews.  Sometimes I think that we Christians envy those public displays of worship and the more “stuff” we can do to compensate, the better.  Maybe one of these days, instead of just prayer walking, Baptists will start blowing horns and wearing John 3:16 phylacteries.  Sometimes I think we keep injecting more and more noise into our worship to try to drown any possiblity of God actually speaking to us.  Glad He’s big enough to outmaneuver our cleverest inventions…

Have a good trip home,

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