A Prescription for the Spiritually Challenged
God calls "spiritually challenged" people to show love through forgiveness.
I'm musically challenged—anyone who knows me will tell you that. Even people who don't know me know I'm musically challenged. When I was an assistant pastor in Medford, Oregon, our morning services were broadcast over the radio. One day I was in charge of the service. I announced the hymn and we sang the first verse, and then one of the deacons came out and pulled me away from the pulpit. They had gotten a call from the engineer down at the station who said, "Who in the world do you have up there in front of that microphone? Get him away." I'm musically challenged.
When I was a young man I took guitar lessons. I was serious about it: I bought a guitar and paid for thirteen lessons. I finished six of them. My problem was not that I didn't recognize the notes on the page. I just couldn't figure out how to get those notes on the page into my fingers, so after six lessons I gave up. I have friends, theologians, who assure me that God won't hold me too tightly to Paul's command, "Make music in your heart to the Lord." I don't have to sing; I can just keep the music in my heart. I'm musically challenged.
God's calling to love
I'm also spiritually challenged. I remember the first time that came through to me. I was in my second year at seminary, and I decided that I was going to read the New Testament through slowly. I'd read the Bible before. In fact, I had read the entire thing in a year, but someone encouraged me to slow down. So in my second year of seminary I slowed down. I read through the New Testament slowly, thoughtfully. What emerged from that experience was just how much the New Testament says about love—not so much about God's love for us, but more about the way we're to love one another.
In his ...
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Haddon Robinson was a preacher and teacher of preachers all over the world. His last teaching position was as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.