Memos from N.T. Wright and Paul Tripp
If you’ve read this blog before, then you’ve read some Monday Memos. This week, they are quoted from two men who have written a lot and are exceptional at applying the Biblical story to our current context.
1) A memo to American Christians on healthcare
N.T. Wright, quoted here from the website www.readthespirit.com, raises an interesting point regarding healthcare. I feel there are pros and cons to many arguments out there, but this is compelling.
“In your country, for example, there seem to be Christian political voices saying that you shouldn’t have a national healthcare system. To us, in Britain, this is virtually unthinkable. Every other developed country from Norway to New Zealand has healthcare for all of its citizens. We don’t understand all of this opposition to it over here in the U.S. And, we should remember: In the ancient world, there wasn’t any healthcare system. It was the Christians, very early on, who introduced the idea that we should care for people beyond the circle of our own kin. Christians taught that we should care for the poor and disadvantaged. Christians eventually organized hospitals. To hear people standing up in your political debate and saying—“If you are followers of Jesus, you must reject universal healthcare coverage!”—and that’s unthinkable to us. Those of us who are Christians in other parts of the world are saying: We can’t understand this political language. It’s not our value in our countries. It’s not even in keeping with traditional Christian teaching on caring for others. We can’t understand what we are hearing from some of your politicians on this point. Yet, over here, some Christians are saying that it’s part of the list of boxes we all should check off to keep in line.”
2) A memo to people about the everyday moments in life
Paul Tripp is masterful here (check out his website, it’s worth the trip–pun intended; www.paultripp.com)
“You see, the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. The character that was formed in those little moments is what shapes how you respond to the big moments of life.
What leads to significant personal change?
- 10,000 moments of personal insight and conviction
- 10,000 moments of humble submission
- 10,000 moments of foolishness exposed and wisdom gained
- 10,000 moments of sin confessed and sin forsaken
- 10,000 moments of courageous faith
- 10,000 choice points of obedience
- 10,000 times of forsaking the kingdom of self and running toward the kingdom of God
- 10,000 moments where we abandon worship of the creation and give ourselves to worship of the Creator
And what makes all of this possible? Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace. You see, Jesus is Emmanuel not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.
And what is he doing? In these small moments he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness. By sovereign grace he places you in daily little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you will seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again—exactly what each one of us needs!”