Let’s talk so we can walk

Let’s Talk So We Can Walk.
Golden chats are available!
We have listened to and read a lot of nonsense and blatantly unsubstantiated claims. This carelessness leads to attitudes of self-defense and factless exchanges. Simple stories get buried in emotional and quizzical fluff. The life of a conversation takes on messianic functions when we laugh together. Open doors in conversation let in the wind of life.

Questions are asked about the fluff instead of the facts. How, when, what, who, and where have become troublesome questions in recent times.

What do I know?
We are loathe to say “I do not know” when our ignorance is obvious. A few messy things we can do in a conversation are to reserve the right to the final word (“My opinion is the truth”), think that questions disturb one’s narrative, and take the microphone and talk until one (or the other) forgets what one was saying or runs out of ‘story’.

(What) Do you want me to know?
Meanwhile, opinions of every type are waiting to be the fragrance in the room. Ashamed of our opinions we opt to tell never-ending stories. We have every right, and our interests lead us to tell the same story over and over again, and it becomes obvious that variations of the story do no change the reason for telling. We are merely repeating how good or bad something is. We do not gravitate towards telling what a jerk we were, all day. Nooo. We end up believing the things we repeat. Lets just credit God for the highways and the alleys. Its much better than putting anyone in a bad light.

If the story is an answer to a spoken question all the more should the narrator welcome exchange.

A Two-way Street

It takes two. Every two must make space for the third. A popular maxim states that Christ is the silent listener to every conversation. That intersection – the third person – is essential unless we think our contributions are above critique. Information is not merely stuff we flip back and forth: there is purpose for opening our mouths except where the conversation is purely a time-filler, monologue, or performance. How well we listen is an essential component of good conversations. Listening delivers details, which, if not grasped, makes the time spent more like shooting the breeze, because facts are for focusing interests and, dare I say, love.

Facts not Faces

The sun never rises in the west. We do not hear well when we are talking. Neither is there much to a conversation without query. Something always needs clarification. The facts in the narrative may be all that stands between our motives and the health of the conversation. Who cares if we think our experiences are perfect and edifying when we know that failure is the common lot of every individual. Sugar coating our lifestory works for the immature and sinks the user into deeper delusions. Euphemisms are fine for creative writing and diplomatic relations, but keeping our narrative simple does wonders for building understanding, rapport and friendships. No one has to look very far to tell that our faces eventually become masks when we avoid the facts of life.

Turn Taking
Monologues may be informative, empty and shallow, and funny and even shocking and disgusting but they have one thing in common: the speaker gets to listen to himself. When the subject is considered to be all about the speaker there is no need for a listener. Not even God does that.
Droning on, babbling on, rattling on and venting are apt descriptions of the kind of conversations that descend quickly tovevery thing that comes to mind.
Who is keeping track of the priority?

The confession about why one is a good judge of character turns to an incident where one lady who has little ability in that area exposed her shortcoming and it just happens that her husband is a military man who made millions selling fake meat to the vegetarian community and has a massive tumor in his nose that the doctors say is benign, but bigger tumors exist, like the one seen on vacation in Europe, where the hospitality was way below standards…blah blah blah

Just try telling the narrator of an account like that the topic was judging character.. One is likely to be chided for interrupting or for being impatient.
The best speech is dialogue so we do not need to figure out wht religion has divebombed into silly slogans, or why teaching what Jesus taught has become shallow ads for miracles, lectures packed with meaningless tradition, self-aggrandizing stories instead of intelligent conversation.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled


A Tour of SHEMA

A Tour of Shema
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day,

Safe in Yeshua

Safe in Yeshua Despite our Best Efforts

Does Christ make half-alive (half-dead) children? How saved are we when we confess and believe the gospel?

“To the uttermost” is how Christ saves. eis to panteles. ACE TAW PANTEL-ESS. panteles παντελες goes all the way or not at all. The completeness of Christ’s intervention is not in question. The gift of life to us is not in question. The ailing woman in Luke 13:11
was not able to raise herself eis to panteles (= at all, or in any way, or all the way).

And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was (a) bent over and (b) not able to straighten herself fully.
Safety does not need topping off by us. Included in our response to the gospel is our putting distance between ourselves and our generation. What Peter said about his generation applies because when ae ask ourselves about the sources of militant opposition to our faith in Christ we realize that the finher points to our generation.
Our parents, the institutions that are the lines of civic, secular, and sacred authority are all good efforts but they are capable of being obstacles to the progress if life in Christ. They are typically received as authoritarian, not gracious.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

What is your claim to fame?

What is your claim to fame?
The things you commit and omit?
Those shall-nots are not promises
They are a witness against your rebellion and uncircumcision.

How probable is it that one’s food and drink… Hebrews 9:10
Be kingdom business Romans 14:17
Or your tables be regurgitated and excreted matter Isaiah 28:8
Just like the tables of the ones you want to emulate
True church?
Chosen race?
Head not tail?
Worse than farm animals?
Unabashed wanton prostitute?

Family matters?
Why demoralize your children?

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Twisted and Destroyed

Twisted and Destroyed
If the Isaiah 8:20 test is to be applied to Christian faith we should have a consistent definition of law and testimony. What is the law? What is a testimony?
What is the Isaiah 8:20 test? It is a light test. It tests content for accord with the law and the testimony. Speech that lacks this solidarity with the law and the testimony is without light.

What is the law? All of the instruction given to the Hebrew people is law. Torah is the noun derived from yarah, he taught, ירה
More precisely, the law refers to Moses’ 5 books, commonly called the Pentateuch (from the Greek for five scroll, pente teuchos)
An even more restricted but contrived meaning of law is the covenant, the Ten Commandments, thought to be the eternal moral standard for all creation. It is contrived because there could not possibly be any such pre-human standard as the two tablets address. Property, relationships, and procedures that did not exist before the creation of man make such standards irrelevant.
The New Testament has its own precision about law. It tells us about the law of Christ as opposite the law of sin. Whatever the Jewish people called law is, by Christ’s intervention, ineffective for salvation and righteousness. Despite the terrifying, high and mighty claims of the psalmists and the Pharisees, the law is done: it has fulfilled its purpose.
There seems to be little precision in using “the law” as a test for light.
Christ’s testimony is all Holy Spirit business. His speech and work are his testimony and believers, by witnessing his glory and grace are part of that testimony.
In the earlier revelation testimony is grounded in the covenant. Yahweh’s witness, most spectacularly, comes in the fiery and cloudy pillar, the tabernacle, the mercyseat and the tablets of the covenant.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Perfect Praise

The praise of children in the temple is a striking example of how we should approach the Saviour even though the term Hosanna strictly speaking is not a praise term. It is a cry for help from the Hebrew language. HO-SHE-AY-NEE, means “save me” or as we have it in the New Testament from Aramaic HO-SHA-NAH, meaning “save” (Greek has no “sh” letter hence we get “hoSanna”). It is what Peter would have said in his native language, Aramaic, as he sunk in the waves of Lake Kinneret.
A familiar mode of salvation comes from the Red Sea experience of standing still to see the salvation of the Lord.
Another comes from Israel’s sojourn in the land of Canaan where the people face their crises not by arming themselves but by sending forth choirs of praise.
In response to both actions of God’s people he saved them from oncoming enemies and so he’s able to do the same today.
So how does hosanna to the son of David work? It works because we leave our salvation and have a rescue in the hands of the great saviour of the world. That’s really raising a cup of Salvation to the son of David.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Faith in Action

Faith in Action
The one thing that pleases God remains jumbled behind Pharisee zeal for Moses and the Law, liturgical purity, Protestant speculation, and present truth innovations. One cannot read the proclamations about faith without realizing that we experience its value in both living and dying. Hebrews 11 is an iconic exhibit in this regard with its instruction about what faith looks like in the lives of ancient witnesses.
As a result of believing the subjects – Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — experienced a variety of outcomes, all of which “pleased God”.
It is obvious that moral behaviour is not the focus of these outcomes and commendations. The message is not that these individuals avoided sin: the commendations assert that faith made the impossible happen or made unseen things appear. “Faith needs works” is a distraction that springs from a dark place, a Christless place. The condition and behaviour of the just are not tied up in “You shall not” but in God’s work.

Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. John 6:29

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 1 John 3:23

1 John 3:24
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

It cheapens salvation to imagine that compliance to any law is evidence of a relationship to God and especially one through Christ and especially one that comes from doing nothing. The church unravelled the knots of every ism in its early days (Acts 15, Acts 6 and 7, Galatians 2:12-14, 5:2-6) yet here we are 19 centuries later tied up in knots about irrelevant theories.

Believers are not hoping to be righteous: we are. Believers are not capable of untying that knot that kept us bound: Christ has, in one majestic act, replaced the nots with yea and amen promises which yield life and true righteousness. He has replaced the knots with reliability.

Believers have “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. Ephesians 4:24

Returning to the proposition that faith is discerned by both living and dying we find that faith needs love and hope. More precisely, we find that we come to life through faith and the life we live is tagged as faith working in love. The critical evaluation of the faithful seems also to be faith-related when the writer of Hebrews in 11:13 concludes that those who died in faith are secure.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled