UNC Class!

UNC* Prof: Use "defeat," "defense" and "detail"
in a sentence.

UNC* Student: The rabbit cut across the field,
and defeat
went over defense before detail.

*Please see "comments"


Margaret Manning - RZIM said...

Over 200 years ago during the heart of the Methodist revival in England,
John Wesley spoke fearfully about the movement's ability to sustain
itself. Even as thousands and thousands were joining his ranks, he spoke
prophetically about the inevitable decline and dissolution of this
revival. What would prompt his despairing prediction in the throes of
revival's raging fires? Wesley feared the danger of wealth and its
expected increase as a result of his "Methodist" renewal. He wrote in his
journal: "I fear, wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion
has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore, I do not see how it is
possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of religion to continue
long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality,
and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will
pride, anger and love of the world in all its branches."(1)

The declining numbers in churches in the Western World seem to affirm that
Wesley's fears were warranted. Indeed, Christian leaders speculate that if
current trends continue in England, for example, Methodists will cease to
exist in that country in thirty years.(2) And while the increase of
wealth might only be one factor of many that has contributed to this
decline, the decline has happened and is happening nevertheless.
Corroborating this fear is the best-selling book by historian Philip
Jenkins. Jenkins has documented the rapid rise of Christianity in the
Global South in his book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global
Christianity. Could the growth of Christianity in the Global South be
related to their relative poverty, and the decline of Christianity in the
Global North be related to our wealth? Wesley seemed to think so.

But long before Wesley uttered his fears, Jesus warned his disciples: "No
servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love
the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot
serve God and riches" (Luke 16:13). Indeed, it is hard to read Luke's
gospel and not be convicted about the dangers Jesus associated with

As riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all
its branches. Wesley's words haunt me, just as Jesus's warnings haunt
me. For when I examine my checkbook, my time commitments, and where I set
my heart's affections, I sometimes have the sneaking suspicion that I am
serving another god. It is a god that tempts me to busyness and
distraction; it is a god that wants me to sacrifice worship, commitment to
my church, and devotion to the Lord in order to invest my time, treasure,
and talents in the "love of the world in all its branches."

Sadly, as Wesley knew, the very blessing of wealth for Christianity, as a
result of Christian frugality and diligence, can equally be a curse that
would sell out its very soul. My own life is a microcosm of this
struggle, just as the Western Church struggles with these issues closely
related to wealthy societies: fragmentation of lives, rampant consumerism,
efficiency over substance, and shallow, easy faith.

So, in this season of thanks-giving, how do we as rich, Western
Christians escape the perils of over-abundance? Jesus instructed his
disciples to "sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves
purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven....For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:33-34). The
answer is not necessarily in the abolition of wealth, but rather in
wealth's proper use in our world--as a blessing for others, and not just
for our own use!

John Wesley understood this, and in the spirit of Jesus re-iterates the
same idea: "We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and frugal: we
must exhort all Christians, to gain all they can, and to save all they
can... What way then (I ask again) can we take that our money may not sink
us to the nethermost hell? There is one way, and there is no other under
heaven. If those who gain all they can, and save all they can, will
likewise give all they can, then the more they gain, the more they will
grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven."(3)

Margaret Manning is associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International
Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Cited in an article by Philip Yancey, "Traveling with Wesley"
Christianity Today, November 2007, vol 51, No. 11.
(3) Cited from the The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, vol. XV
(London: Thomas Cordeux, 1786).

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of
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Professor Howdy said...

The study of word origins is called etymology. The study
of insects is called entomology.

Professor Howdy said...

Sad? Lonely? Worried?



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