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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Learning From Others

I'm a huge fan of the Cleveland Indians. Through the ups and and downs, I've stuck by the Tribe. The writer of Proverbs must have had Tribe fans in mind when he wrote, "Unrelenting disappointment can make you heartsick" (13:12, MSG). Both World Series they've played in within the last 15 years were heartbreaking. Those two Fall Classics could make me very bitter against the players and managers of the opposing teams. As I get older, I grow less bitter, and more respectful of those men. Greg Maddux was magical. Jim Leyland was, and is, an amazing manager. Chipper Jones has had an amazing career, as did Bobbly Bonilla and John Smoltz.
When I think of the players for the Atlanta Braves and the Florida Marlins in 1995 and 1997, I think of the church. I think of all the great men who weren't Methodists that I have learned so much from. I learned to laugh at myself from a Presbyterian named Steve Brown. Another Presbyterian, Scotty Smith, helped me learn how God absolutely delights in me. A Baptist pastor from Minnesota named John Piper taught me that I was created to enjoy Jehovah, and a Reformed theologian named R.C. Sproul taught me how God demands and deserves my worship. A church of Christ minister, Max Lucado, taught me the importance of God's mercy, while Jonathan Edwards reminded me to never forget God is just. One Anglican, C.S. Lewis, reminded me that Jesus is either who he says He is, or he's a liar, or a madman. Another Anglican, J.I. Packer, taught be the difference between knowing about God and actually knowing Him. I learned the relevance of Scripture from a dispensationalist named Chuck Swindoll, and the sufficiency of Scripture from another dispensationalist, John MacAthur. From James Kennedy, I learned that evangelism is close to the heart of God, and Charles Colson reminded me that impacting the culture is equally pleasing to God.
A friend of mine once said he would never read anything that was written by someone from a different theological camp. I'm so glad I didn't follow his advice.

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