Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Salesperson or Scholar?

All Christians should be evangelists - sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others. I often wonder whether an evangelist is more like a salesperson or a scholar. I see these two as polar opposites: the salesperson is so sure of his/her product - s/he is both inwardly convinced and outwardly convincing, whereas the scholar is never certain - s/he is continually doubting, searching, striving...

Somehow, the evangelist needs to combine the best of both these personality types. Jesus' injunction to Thomas 'Be not faithless but believing' means we should be convinced of our message about the risen Christ. On the other hand, Paul's confession that he had 'not yet reached his goal' sounds much more like a careful, conscientious scholar than a cocksure salesman. Remarkably, this tallies with Bertrand Russell's view of wisdom and folly.

I guess Jesus himself is the perfect role-model for Christians - confident in meekness and meek in confidence [Matt. 5v5].

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Joker for Jesus

In 1 Cor. 4 v. 10, Paul identifies himself as a 'fool for Christ'. My dynamically equivalent translation is a 'joker for Jesus'. A more authentic transliteration would have Paul to be a 'moron for the Messiah'.

The reason for this description? Paul is not living for here and now, rather for the hereafter. An atheist's value system considers 'this life only', whereas Paul treats earthly life as a precursor to eternal life. In view of eternity's infinite time and the possibility of infinite bliss, Paul is prepared to resign current prestige and comforts. His reasoning seems to be an early form of Pascal's wager.

As a Christian today, my perspective should be aligned with Paul's. I too should be prepared to be a 'joker for Jesus'.