Word Vs Deed

The mission trip to Mexico ended less than a week ago. We painted, gave away food staples, played with orphans. Our short-term missionaries seemed to grow a lot from the experience.

I used my early-morning and late-night meditation time to read and ponder “Word Vs Deed: Resetting the Scales to a Biblical Balance” by Duane Litfin.

There are people who believe that to fulfill Jesus’ teachings and commands, we should emphasize preaching (word). Others believe that Jesus’ commands require us to go and do–at various levels from helping individual members of our family or tribe to solving world-wide economic and environmental problems.

Litfin wants us to do both (I think). And he wants us to do it for sound Biblical reasons. “It is a gospel that not only must be preached; it must be lived,” he states at one point.

He includes this quote, “Christians cannot be governed by mere principles. Principles [can] carry one only so far. At some point every person must…know what God is calling him to do.” —Eric Melaxas, Bonhoeffer

And one I particularly like, “Christians need to look like what they are talking about.” — John Poulton

We earn trust from others when our words and our deeds are congruent. Hypocrisy can mean saying one thing and doing another.

But as I read, I pondered his struggle for an “accurate” and strict Biblical interpretation. I suddenly wondered if he had studied the way that Jesus and Paul used Scripture to prove their points or as a jumping off place for presentation of their teachings.

This book is a good read, especially for those who are caught up in one or the other ends of the pendulum swing and are seeking a reasoned argument for balance.

Word or Deed? Yes!

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