First Things RSS Feed - Jared Bridges
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Sat, 22 Oct 2016 13:57:26 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60The Rename Gamehttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/09/the-rename-game
Wed, 21 Sep 2011 20:52:37 -0400
Let Your Yes Be Yeshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/03/let-your-yes-be-yes
Sat, 12 Mar 2011 07:07:45 -0500It’s the heyday of the hidden camera.
Whether or not the tactics used to capture such career-ending statements are morally valid themselves, I’ll not argue here —- that debate has been
well articulated elsewhere on both sides
. It is worth noting, however, that the “shock” generated by these exposées comes from the haphazard manner in which those who were stung displayed their off-the-record views. After all, we’re not that surprised Planned Parenthood would offer to keep things on the down-low, or that an NPR exec would have disdain for evangelical Christians. In all cases, the “stars” of the videos had their dark sides brought to light in a fashion that made their sensibilities look ridiculous to the culture at large.
The incredulity given to their behind-closed-door statements comes, of course, from the drastically different faces they and their organizations portray to the public. When discussing oaths, Jesus told his disciples, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NIV) A person’s word should be their word, regardless of external validation or not by an external source.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, it won’t be long before all sides of any debate will be hit with the hidden camera. It’s only a matter of time. It’s too easy, and the potential for publicity in the internet age is enormous. What would be found out if you were filmed or recorded without your knowledge? Do you shudder to think?
Should sting operations like these force us to live always on edge that somewhere —- everywhere —- there is a hidden camera at the ready to catch us off guard. Do we dare even use the restroom or
without fear of our actions being translated into megapixels? Certainly there are things we would not want on camera for the right reasons.
Proverbs 5:21 warns that, “...a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.” (ESV) Ultimately it matters not if there’s a hidden camera watching you —- the eyes of the Lord penetrate far further than a grainy twenty-frames-per-second camera could ever go. It is in the healthy fear of those eyes that we should accordingly adjust our conduct. Cameras or not, before
we are never hidden.
]]>Ambiguity, Inception and Interpretationhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/12/ambiguity-inception-and-interpretation
Tue, 21 Dec 2010 08:20:35 -0500In an interview with
about his movie
director Christopher Nolan is questioned about an ambiguous scene in the film
]]>Confessing one another’s sinshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/12/confessing-one-anothers-sins
Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:21:00 -0500In a new twist on the “drag your wife out to your public confession of adultery” meme, televangelist Marcus Lamb has his wife confess
There is much that could be said about the above clip, but most striking is the fact that Lamb left it to his wife to say the hard words. Lamb does note in the clip that he “takes full responsibility” for his actions, but having
do the dirty work for you seems far more
]]>On The Making of Lists (and checking them twice)https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/12/on-the-making-of-lists-and-checking-them-twice
Wed, 01 Dec 2010 09:48:55 -0500Whenever I’m sent by my wife to the store on “milk & bread” runs, there’s one rule I follow that keeps me from endlessly wandering the fluorescent freezer-aisled jungle: if we need more than three items, I must make a list. I’m unsure of the average human limits (five items, six?), but three is the limit of items that my meager brain can remember.
Lists save us from ourselves. In my case, they save me from bringing home ten boxes of Coco Puffs just because they’re on sale (who knows, we might need them...). In a fascinating
2009 interview with Der Speigel
, Italian semiotician Umberto Eco explains that lists are the basis of culture (ht:
]]>How to Name an Evangelical Churchhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/09/how-to-name-an-evangelical-church
Wed, 29 Sep 2010 14:30:18 -0400So, you’ve started a church plant. You’ve gathered together a few faithful families and individuals from within a community, and you’re likely now meeting in homes, rented office space, or more likely —- a public school building. Hopefully, you’ve decided (and founded your church) upon sound doctrinal tenets and have identified at least a few church leaders.
Your next order of business —- even before you secure adult-sized folding chairs and an electronic drum machine —- is to decide up on a church name. While there’s
ample biblical precedent for the naming of animals
, textual support for the naming of a church is scant.
Thankfully, we evangelicals (who are typically disoriented without written instruction) have found a way to remedy this. I’m not sure as to the origins of the method, but the system below can account for approximately 83.585 percent of all evangelical churches. It’s really a rather simple process.
]]>Strangers in a Strange Landhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/08/strangers-in-a-strange-land
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 08:04:46 -0400In addition to a “royal priesthood” and a “holy nation,” the King James Bible speaks of Christians in 1 Peter 2:9 as a “peculiar people.”
Modern translations dispense with the term
, but it seems that to at least one sociologist, some Bible-belt Christians are so far removed from American culture that they’re deserving of studies to document their peculiarity.
]]>You Could Win The Gospel (and Other Fabulous Prizes!)https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/04/you-could-win-the-gospel-and-other-fabulous-prizes
Mon, 05 Apr 2010 10:11:50 -0400To say that a
Corpus Christi church’s Easter spectacle
of giving away cars, flat screen TV’s, bicycles, and a cornucopia of other prizes is appalling would be a gross understatement. Just watch:
Even after all the
they received, the bulk of press reports focus on the giveaway, and the message of the resurrection is lost in the skipping-down-the-aisle of the lucky winners of new cars. As if
Oprah’s favorite things
were somehow in the neighborhood of the crucifixion and resurrection, the AP reports that the pastor says “the prizes are a metaphor for the Easter message of the ultimate giveaway.”
The Gospel is not a game show, and pragmatism at all costs costs us much indeed —- more than just a few hundred thousand dollars in prizes.
]]>A People of the App?https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/03/a-people-of-the-app
Thu, 25 Mar 2010 13:54:49 -0400
]]>Eat Well This Christmashttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/12/eat-well-this-christmas
Thu, 24 Dec 2009 07:50:12 -0500When pondering the nativity, I’ve heard much made of the fact that the manger is a place of great humility for the King of Kings to be found, and rightly so. I’ve seldom given much thought, however, to
the manger was —- a
There’s little evidence that there were animals present at Christ’s birth. “The cattle were lowing,” as the song goes, but it it’s difficult to imagine a Jewish setting with high values on both cleanliness and hospitality that would permit a woman to give birth while having to worry about being stepped on by a donkey. The manger was indeed lowly, but this manger was not in use when Mary and Joseph sought a place to lay their child.
There is no stable mentioned in any of the gospel accounts — just the manger. The shepherds are not told to go to a stable, but a manger. They would not find the baby lying at his mother’s breast —- the most logical place to find a newborn —- but lying in a manger.
It’s a feeding trough. Its significance is veiled somewhat in that a manger holds the livestock’s food. The animals’ sustenance is replaced by a baby who really, after all and before all is their true sustenance.
Some three decades later that same baby
would tell his followers
, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” His further explanation of this cryptic principle would alienate many who couldn’t grasp what they saw as madness: a man calling upon them to eat his flesh and drink his blood.
In the end, the repurposed manger served its original purpose after all. Christ is our sustenance. Man does not live on bread alone, but from God’s words —- from
made flesh. Let us feed upon him this Christmas.