The Peoples Next Door Posts

Why do we overcomplicate things? Is it part of human nature, possibly a result of the fall? Take for instance that master of ingenuity, Wile E. Coyote. There are few things in life that bring me as much happiness as laughing at his misery. In his eternal effort to snare the Roadrunner, or more precisely to satisfy his hunger, he stops at no lengths. I know I personally have watched him strap himself to a rocket, shoot out of a catapult, construct the most absurd Rube Goldbergs and single-handedly keep the ACME company in business with endless purchases of iron birdseed, fake holes, and industrial-size magnets. Indeed, would it not be far more cost effective for him to save the money he spends at ACME and go buy a burger?

Yet, there is some mystical force behind the gimmick. We have all been guilty of using gimmicks. Each of us have a secret love affair with that particular “as seen on TV” item. At current, mine is the Snuggie®. What a great gimmick. You can have your blanket on and still use the remote! (If you order now, you will receive a free book light.) Read More Delight in the Law of the Lord: Part 4 – Overcomplicated?

Discipleship from Africa Hermeneutics

There are a lot of things in life that we want to make sure we do not misuse. For instance, those little signs that have replaced the words “Men” and “Women” on most public bathrooms are important. Another example is the inappropriate way the referee used his whistle in the USA-Slovenia game last week. Or perhaps the way “Ke$ha” completely misuses that dollar sign in the middle of her name. It is important to get those things right.

It is important to get scripture right too. If indeed the Bible is the second greatest form of revelation given to mankind, if indeed these 66 books are the best and most complete understanding we will receive of God almighty this side of heaven; then it is of the utmost importance that we use this tool in the proper manner. However, I have a hunch that many (if not most) people sitting in the pews of our churches today have at best a misunderstanding of scripture, its purpose and its use. (See my earlier post on this here.) The last couple of posts have discussed scripture’s purpose. Now, I am going to look at its use. Read More Delight in the Law of the Lord: Part 3 – Using the Bible

Discipleship from Africa Hermeneutics

Communication is an interesting process. The transmission of information is a goal that is seldom achieved with the precision that was initially intended. For instance, I imagine most of you have participated in a “chain story” at some point. Being a communications major in college, I feel like I have done this exercise at least eleventy-two times, if not more.

The object is for one person to begin the telling of a story, either verbally or by writing it on a sheet of paper. Each person is responsible for one sentence and then is required to pass the story on to the next participant. Now, you can only imagine what happens as the plot advances. With each person’s twist on the story, the gradual result is a mad conglomeration of ideas. Rarely (if ever) does the storyline make sense by the end of the project, and I have never seen it finish with the original author’s intent staying intact. Usually some goof in the middle throws in a random character like Batman or Michael Jackson and the plot winds up spiraling into anarchy. Needless to say, the idea of telling one coherent story through many authors seems like an exercise in futility.

Yet, I will assert that the greatest story ever penned on paper was written in precisely this manner. Read More Delight in the Law of the Lord: Part 2 – The Bible

Discipleship from Africa Hermeneutics