KINDRED SPIRIT FALL 2013, Vol. 37, No. 2
A PUBLICATION OF DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
UA L A T I IR ND P S
YSICA L R EST
CONTENTS FALL 2013, Vol. 37, No. 2
From the President Dr. Mark L. Bailey Dallas Theological Seminary’s mission is to glorify God by equipping godly servantleaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.
KINDRED SPIRIT ® FALL 2013 Vol. 37, No. 2 ISSN 1092–7492 © 2013. All rights reserved.
Published three times a year by Dallas Theological Seminary 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204 Mark L. Bailey, President John C. Dyer, Executive Director of Communications and Educational Technology Sandra L. Glahn, Editor-in-Chief Keith D. Yates, Director of Creative Services and Publications Debbie J. Stevenson, Production Manager Karen Grassmick, Julie Lyons, Elaine Crowell, and Kelley Mathews, Copy editing services Infographic, pp. 10–11, Liz Gonzalez and Keith Yates SUBSCRIBE Subscriptions are free of charge to addresses in the United States. Call 800-DTS-WORD or 214-887-5000 and ask for the Kindred Spirit subscription office, sign up online at www.dts.edu/ks, or write to the address below. EMAIL Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about DTS’s graduate degree programs. Contact email@example.com to submit articles, request reprints, or make comments. DONATIONS For information on how you can support the ministry of DTS, call 214-887-5060. KS ONLINE/SUBMISSIONS Visit dts.edu/ks to download writers’ guidelines or to view Kindred Spirit online. POSTMASTER Send email address changes to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to DTS‑Kindred Spirit 3909 Swiss Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204 Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
Help for Battling Burnout
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).
are to guess which chapel-message video posted on the DTS website always generates the most traffic? It’s not about conflict in the Middle East. It’s not one of our counseling professors talking about sex and marriage. And it’s not one of our theology professors discussing whether America will have an army in the Battle of Armageddon. It’s about preventing burnout. Many of us have experienced “the crash,” and almost all of us have seen it in others—the physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, along with the doubts about our competence and contributions. Maybe we’re critical, depressed, and lethargic. And the problem is at least as old as Moses, a man who was at risk for a big fall until he listened to wise counsel. In Exodus 18, we read about how Moses’s father-in-law, Jethro, a priest of Midian, returned the prophet’s wife and sons to him in what was probably an unexpected visit. After hearing all God had done for Moses and his people, Jethro sacrificed to Moses’s Lord. He acknowledged that his son-inlaw’s deity was greater than all gods (v. 11). The next day, however, Jethro’s mood changed. Why? He observed that Moses was sole judge over six hundred thousand men (12:37), or approximately two million people. Imagine a city with Houston’s population having one judge for all city, county, state, and federal cases. Rather than openly objecting to the way his daughter’s husband conducted business, the diplomatic Jethro asked two questions: “What is this you are doing for the people?” and “Why do you alone sit as judge?” (18:14). He apparently asked so gently that Moses detected no criticism. Notice the justification in his answer: “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will . . . . I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws” (vv. 15–16). Moses seemed to think he alone could give correct answers. And Jethro said that was “not good” (v. 17). He went on to give three warnings: you’ll wear out, the people will wear out, and you can’t do it alone (v. 18). Fortunately for Moses, Jethro was not the kind of person to lodge a criticism without offering a solution. So he added this advice: “Teach them . . . . But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Jethro argued that if Moses followed this counsel, he would “be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” Perhaps even more amazingly, Moses was humble enough to do “everything he said” (vv. 20–24). Jethro had been a believer in the true God for less than one day when he offered his advice to Moses. Yet Moses was wise enough to receive it, acknowledge that Jethro was right, and start divesting himself of the workload. Sometimes, for everyone to benefit, we have to let good things go. We must acknowledge we need help, learn to say “no,” and discern that it’s time to stop before we crash and burn.
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4 I The Yoke of Jesus
In the New Testament, every one of the Ten Commandments is repeated, with one exception: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” The Sabbath was a mere shadow of the rest promised to believers in Jesus. In “The Yoke of Jesus,” Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost contrasts the burdens of the Law’s religious system with the weightless soul rest of Christ.
he Importance of Doing Nothing: 8 I THow-To’s for Rest and Reflection DTS graduates from across the globe shared their thoughts with Kindred Spirit’s editor-in-chief, who compiled their suggestions for incorporating rest into life’s daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms.
and Rejoice! A Christian’s Take on 12I Rest Sabbath Rest God gave his people rest for two reasons: so they could experience his presence and so they could celebrate their redemption. DTS professor Dr. Michael Burer talks about these purposes and how believers in an era of grace can still follow the pattern of carving out times of meaningful rest.
Also in this issue: So, Get Some Rest, by Lesa Engelthaler.................................................. 11 Money: A Threat to True Rest, by Rick Dunham.................................. 15 Rick Griffith in Singapore: A Perspective from Overseas................. 15 A Tribute to Dr. Steve Strauss.................................................................... 16 Only Online: Additional content beyond what you find in these printed pages ....................................17
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
By J. Dwight Pentecost
The Yoke of Jesus
o people burdened under the weight of sin and the Law, the Lord Jesus Christ came to give freedom and rest. The first words spoken to those who became disciples were these: “Follow me.” And throughout our Lord’s life he traveled the highways of the land of Palestine inviting people to come to him.
Our Lord summarized the invitation to discipleship that characterized his earthly ministry: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30). To understand our Lord’s invitation, we must understand that those to whom he was speaking were crushed beneath the weight of the Mosaic Law. Our Lord addressed those who numbered themselves among the disciples of Moses and who were the disciples of the Pharisees. Neither Moses nor the Pharisees could give rest from the pressing burden or offer release from the oppressive load that the Law brought. Christ, recognizing that there was no other course to rest and peace than that to be found through submission to himself, came to invite people out of their old discipleship to a new one. The Law was given by Moses (John 1:17), and because the Pharisees considered themselves the Law’s official interpreters, they promoted themselves as authorities in Israel. In Matthew 23:2, we read that Christ referred to these teachers of the Law and the Pharisees as men who “sit in Moses’ seat.” Claiming
the authority of Moses as interpreters and teachers of the Law, they demanded that all in Israel who submitted to Moses also submit to them, and that individuals in Israel recognize themselves not only as disciples of Moses but also of the Pharisees.
“You will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
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When the Law was imposed on humans, it did not bring liberty. It brought bondage. Rather than freedom, it brought oppression. Instead of a sense of release, it brought a sense of guilt and failure. The Pharisees made no effort to bring freedom and liberty. In fact, their system imposed heavy burdens (Matt. 23:4). The Pharisees codified the Mosaic Law into some 365 prohibitions and 250 commandments and required those who followed them to submit to the Pharisees’ interpretations. Our Lord looked at a nation under a heavy burden, a burden that the Pharisees made no effort to lift from those who were crushed beneath its load. And he came to say, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest.”
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
Those who were under the Mosaic Law were said to be yoked to Moses. Those who were under the authority of the Pharisees were said to be yoked to the Pharisees. Christ talked about delivering people from this yoke (11:29). Coming to those who were so crushed, Christ offered them release, liberty, freedom, rest. Jesus Issues an Invitation Notice our Lord’s invitation when he said to this oppressed multitude, “Come to me” (v. 28). Moses had offered the children of Israel the Law at Mount Sinai. And Israel responded by saying, “We will do everything the Lord has said” (Ex. 19:8). The people voluntarily submitted themselves to the Law and were yoked to the Law. Later the Pharisees imposed authority over the nation, and the nation voluntarily submitted to the authority of the Pharisees. They had done the bidding of the Pharisees when the Pharisees had said, “Come to me.” But when our Lord came, he stood and said to an oppressed, burdened people, “Come to me.” This is the same invitation our Lord had given to the first apostles. In Mark 1:16–17 we read that Christ summoned Simon and his brother Andrew with “Come, follow me.” And he did the same with James son of Zebedee and his brother John. In John 1, we read about another time when Jesus invited people to himself: “When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (v. 37). They asked, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” And he said to them, “‘Come . . . and you will see.’ So they went and saw” (v. 38). Again, finding Philip, Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And Philip followed (v. 43). Here the number of disciples was expanded from the original four because Christ presented himself to them and said, “Follow me.” And they submitted to him and followed. Much later in Jesus’s ministry after he had completed the call of the original twelve, Christ stood and said, “Come to me” (Matt. 11:28). He was not calling them to a system. He was not calling them to a religion. Nor was he calling them to a tablet of stone or to the traditions of humans. He was calling them to a person, to himself. Discipleship is the response of
an individual to a person who stands before believers and says, “Come to me.” You will notice the universality of this invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” In Israel there could not be found one who had found rest through Pharisaism, who had found rest through the multiplied works in which he or she was involved. All were burdened; all were guilty; all were condemned. But Christ opened the invitation to all the burdened and oppressed, none excluded. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” And the verse concludes with Christ’s promise, “I will give you rest.” How Could Christ Give Rest? But how could Christ give rest? The strange contradiction is that Christ exchanged the yoke of Pharisaism for another yoke. “Take my yoke upon you” is the means by which people find rest. The questioner might ask, “If I must bear a yoke, what difference does it really make whether it be the yoke of Pharisaism or the yoke of Christ? After all, a yoke is a yoke.” Christ did not say to the distressed, “Come to me, and I will remove all yokes from you and give you rest.” His invitation and the condition upon which people would experience the results were found in taking “my yoke upon you.” To take Christ’s yoke means to submit oneself to the authority of Christ. It means to put ourselves under his rule, to join together with him. He is inviting people to put their shoulders into a new yoke, one in which he is the yoke mate. And he promises that, as they submit to his authority and are yoked with him, they will find rest for their souls. The reason people find rest by taking Christ’s yoke is that his yoke is a different kind of yoke. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. To the one bound in this new yoke, Christ promised, “You will find rest for your souls.” The yoke to which Christ invited people, when borne as a co-laborer with Jesus Christ, is no burden at all. It is a source of rest, satisfaction, enjoyment, and contentment. Christ is our life and he is our strength. When one is yoked to Jesus Christ, that which is performed is the joy of the true disciple.
The reason people find rest by taking Christ’s yoke is that his yoke is a different kind of yoke.
Dallas Theological Seminary
The Stronger One Carries the Load Back in my college days, I observed an incident that made this scripture clear to me. On Sunday afternoons I used to go out to a little rural Sunday school to teach. One such day the superintendent, a farmer, and I were visiting in the community. We saw an old farmer plowing with a team of oxen. As I saw this team, I was somewhat amazed, for one was a huge ox and the other a tiny bullock. That ox towered over the little bullock that was sharing the work with him. I was amazed and perplexed to see a farmer trying to plow with two such unequal animals in the yoke and commented on the inequality. The man with whom I was riding stopped his car and said, “I want you to notice something. The large ox is pulling all the weight. That little bullock is being broken in to the yoke, but he is not actually pulling any weight.” In the normal yoke, the load is equally distributed between the two that are yoked together, but when we are yoked with Jesus Christ, he bears the load, and we who are yoked with him share in the joy and the accomplishment of the labor but without the burden of the yoke. The tragedy is that some of us have never been broken in to the yoke. How then can someone submit to Christ’s yoke? The explanation is in the little phrase “learn from me.” We may paraphrase it, Let me teach you what you need to know. Let me guide you and direct you in your activities. Let me set the direction of your life. “Learn from me.” The Jews to whom our Lord spoke had been taught by the Pharisees. They were so burdened by the Law that they would not step across a grassy plot on the Sabbath day. The Law said, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . . . On it you shall not do any work” (Ex. 20:8–10). That law meant a person could not sow in his field, but the Jewish leaders had so interpreted this law that, if someone stepped on a plot of grass and knocked some ripe seed from the pod onto the ground, he was guilty of sowing on the Sabbath day. Pharisaism taught that it was wrong for a man who wore false teeth six days a week to wear them on the seventh, for that was bearing a burden and was thus a violation. The Pharisees taught that it was wrong to use internal medication for healing on the Sabbath day. So the person who broke an arm could put it into a splint; that was external. Or if people had toothaches, they could take a sip of wine to deaden the pain as long as they spit it out and washed
out their mouths. If not, swallowed wine became internal medication, and using it made someone a Sabbath violator. The disciples of the Pharisees had learned the burden that the Law imposed. But Christ said they were going to have to unlearn all they had learned. “Let me teach you,” he said. Time to Decide If we follow the Gospel record, we will find that from this point on in our Lord’s life, he concentrated not on performing miracles but on teaching the truth that people needed to know about the Father, about himself, about the way of life, and about the way of salvation. The people had to make a decision whether they would continue as disciples of the Pharisees or whether they would submit to Jesus and become his disciples. It is possible for someone to be saved without being a disciple of Jesus Christ. A believer becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ only when he or she submits to the authority of Christ’s Word and acknowledges Christ’s right to rule. Many of us have no right to call ourselves disciples. When we’ve heard Christ’s words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” we have responded and have come to him. But when he prepares to slip a yoke around our necks to join us to himself, we resist, we fight, we back off. We refuse to be brought under bondage to anyone, not even to Jesus Christ. But until we become yoked to him in the sweetest bondage that heaven or earth knows, we cannot be disciples. “Take my yoke upon you” means learn of me, submit to my Word, acknowledge the authority of my person. When we do that, and only when we do that, will we “find rest” for our souls. Are you restless, child of God? Often distraught, discouraged? Perhaps at the edge of despair? Put your shoulder into his yoke so that he might bear the burden. Learn to walk yoked to Jesus Christ, and you will find rest for your soul. This is his promise. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost is distinguished professor emeritus of Bible Exposition and adjunct professor in Bible Exposition at DTS. At age 98, “Dr. P.” continues to teach and to do so without using notes. Go to facebook.com/dwight.pentecost to follow him on Facebook. Adapted from Design for Discipleship © 1996 by J. Dwight Pentecost. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
The Importance of Doing Nothing How-To’s for Rest and Reflection
s we received notes from graduates of DTS about rest, perused their old dissertations on the subject, and interacted with them about the topic of “down time,” many confessed, “I have nothing to add—but send me the magazine when you publish that issue!” While residing overseas, some live with special challenges. A minister in Jordan described his difficulty finding regular periods of rest while living in a culture that observes the Sabbath on Friday but conducts business on Sunday. But we did hear from a number of individuals who regularly set aside time for regular rest and reflection. And they offered some great advice.
n Notice biblical patterns. In the Old Testament, God rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2), and God’s people observed set-apart days for rest (Exo. 20:8). Jesus made it a practice to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). And his public ministry included regular times of fellowship alone with God (see Matt. 12:15; 14:13; 15:21; Mark 6:31–32; Luke 9:10; 22:41). Paul acknowledged that believers in his day viewed time as something to set apart as sacred, but they varied in how they applied that truth to their lives (Rom. 14:5). n Refuse to feel guilty about taking needed time off. See it as a gift from God.
n Never use busyness to cover pain. Sometimes we avoid slowing down because when we do, we think. And our thoughts can hurt. For many, busyness is a socially acceptable way of numbing ourselves in a subculture that frowns on abusing alcohol, taking drugs, and other forms of self-medication. n Plan ahead for how you will rest on your day off. Consider eating lighter, easier-to-prepare meals such as sandwiches and fruit, which require minimal effort. One family eats “breakfast for dinner” on Sunday nights. If you have small children, work out with your spouse, a grandparent, or a friend how you can give each other gifts of time alone.
n View days the Jewish way rather than the Western way. That is, consider days of rest as starting at sundown, and take time off from evening to evening. You can do essential tasks at the edges of the rest day while still giving yourself a true twentyfour-hour break.
n Accept that we are all dispensable. Sleeping and time off can serve as regular reminders of our mortality. Life is short, and it will soon go on without us. Our rest time provides a good opportunity to reflect on how we can give away power, mentor those coming behind us, and delegate responsibility to those ready to assume it. continued
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Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
Down Time, Time Off, and Time Away n Enjoy the beauty. In the same way that the holes in lace make otherwise boring fabric beautiful, times of rest and reflection create spaces in our lives that add beauty. Take time to see it.
envy people who can fall asleep anywhere. I glare at unworried souls stretched out across airport seats, snoozing away. Don’t they have a plane to catch? Not me. I am the Princess and the Pea. I have a bedtime ritual—fan cranked up loud (White Noise app: genius travel invention), only a certain familiar pillow will do, and a soothing Jane Austen-ish read. As I hit the window into dreamland, total darkness is a must.
n Expect to become more ethical when you take a break. All those promises we’ve forgotten we made can come to mind when our minds slow down long enough to remember. Others view our follow-through as integrity. n Reflect further on the subject. People recommended many books, but a number of resources were mentioned with some consistency: The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan; Sacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley Barton; The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel; Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend; and Margin, by Richard Swenson. n Check your identity. One person who is trying to stop leading on fumes wrote, “In evaluating my motives for so busily working, I realized that I was striving for affirmation and validation instead of seeking to bring glory to God.” Some of us wrongly get our identity from what we do. But such thinking reflects God as a harsh taskmaster, and we serve a Lord who gives his people the freedom to take time off, to celebrate festivals, to experience rhythms of community and grace. And he does not need us in order to accomplish what is necessary. One pastor quoted Adele Ahlberg Calhoun in Invitations from God, who wrote, “An identity based on doing is always precarious and unrestful. And it is not what God intended.” n Plan vacations before you leave home. Are you the type of person who gets frustrated when you have to spend your time off making decisions about where to eat and what routes to take? If so, consider doing your research in advance or assigning it to a travel companion who enjoys handling such details.
Z Z Z Z
7 to 8
Average number of hours most adults need nightly
Average number of sleep hours Americans get
The night most people have trouble falling asleep
Percent of decrease in rates of heart attack for men who take annual vacations
Average number of sleep hours Brits get
Americans who take no vacation time (31% of low-wage earners)
Number of countries where people take more vacation time than Americans
Change the View My sister lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the summer, her windows are open, and quiet is what you hear. The view from her porch swing is green serenity. I, on the other hand, am a city girl, which makes quiet a bit trickier to come by. For me, true soul-rest happens best outside. When I think ahead, instead of eating lunch in front of my laptop, I plop down on the bench that no one uses outside my office building. When I have more time, I love to grab a quilt and my well-worn Bible (you know, the kind made of paper, and you turn actual pages) and head to a park, or in a pinch, my own backyard. I lie back, breathe deeply, recite favorite verses, or just look up at clear blue sky. If I happen to doze off, how restful is that?
decrease in rates of heart attack for women who take annual vacations
Amount in earned vacation time that Americans forfeited in 2011
Sources: Mayo Clinic, CDC’s National Health Interview survey, Harvard’s Corporate Sleep Health Summit, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, US News, CNN, Money, Emily Furda, Fitness
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Jesus and Rest Jesus could fall asleep anywhere. One time on a boat with his disciples in the midst of a spew-your-lunch storm, Jesus curled up and napped. And this enviable ability to nap may have stemmed from his understanding of the deeper meaning of the word “rest.” If I knew that I had only thirty-three years to live, I’d be in a frenzy to get my to-do list done or at least a few bucket list items checked off, reasoning, “Hey, I’ll relax in heaven.” Not Jesus. He often climbed up a hill or sat on a rock just to be alone or pray. He even invited his disciples to join him: “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). Rest, or Sabbath rest, as the Bible sometimes describes it, entails more than the ability to doze off easily. A.W. Tozer wrote, “Rest is not something we do, it is what comes to us when we cease to do.” And yet for me, “ceasing to do” takes effort. Resting is Hard Work I don’t know about you, but peace and quiet aren’t natural parts of my lifestyle. Yet I know I need to unplug. In her book Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton quotes Wayne Muller’s warning, “Because we do not rest, we lose our way.” In Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, she wrote, “There is an energy that comes from being rested that is different from the energy that comes from being driven.” So how do we include soul-restoring times in our lives? It sounds ridiculous, but I have to plan to do nothing. If I have to type the word “rest” to fill a few time slots on my calendar, so be it.
n Lower your standards for vacation destinations if the location is keeping you from resting. That is, don’t assume your options are “Tahiti or nothing.” Take a stay-cation if you can’t afford to leave town. Fly a kite in a park near your home. Take your journal and head for a friend’s back porch. n Exercise faith. Believe that the God who multiplies resources such as loaves, fish, and money is also capable of multiplying time and opportunity. In the same way we might have to exercise faith to give away cash when money’s tight, we must view rest time as a sacred resource that belongs to God. In the words of the psalmist, “It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep” (127:2, NET).
So, Get Some Rest
A contributor with the Redbud Writers Guild (redbudwritersguild.com), Lesa Engelthaler, who attended DTS, resides in Dallas, Texas.
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
By Michael H. Burer
Rest & Rejoice!
A Christian’s Take on Sabbath Rest
ike a lot of people, I maintain a full schedule with work, church, and family obligations. It is hard to find time for rest and renewal. None of the things that take up my time are wrong in and of themselves: humanity was made for work, Christians are called to ministry, and serving one’s family brings great joy. But as sinful people are prone to do, I can easily avoid rest for the wrong reasons. We as believers often justify our obsession with work under a thin veneer of spirituality. We can’t rest because of ministry responsibilities or because we must fulfill our calling. We exalt those who work hard and rest little as champions for the kingdom. But this perversion of a godly work ethic refuses to acknowledge that God calls us to rest as well as work. Our Lord Jesus addressed this issue directly in his own ministry: Jesus proclaimed the Sabbath as a day for God’s people to celebrate their redemption and experience God’s presence. Even though Christians no longer rest on the Sabbath, we should cultivate habits of “Sabbath rest” in accordance with Jesus’s teaching. Jesus’s attitude toward the Sabbath has long been a subject of scholarly discussion. As believers who are not under Law, we sometimes struggle to understand Jesus’s Sabbath teaching, especially when it involves controversy over a specific issue of rabbinic
interpretation. Underneath our questions, however, lie timeless theological truths about rest. Jesus highlighted his view of rest in two key passages that still have validity for believers today and help us understand why rest is important. In Luke 13 we read that Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath. She had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years and could not stand up straight. While teaching in the synagogue, Jesus was moved to free the woman from her infirmity by laying his hands on her (vv. 10–13). Despite the clear display of divine power evidenced in the woman’s healing, the synagogue leader became upset because Jesus had technically worked on the Sabbath (v.14), something forbidden by rabbinic teaching. Jesus’s response got straight to the heart of the matter: he proclaimed the Sabbath as a most appropriate day for her healing. Jesus, choosing words that pointed to the history of the Sabbath—that it celebrated redemption, the freedom from slavery that God brought to Israel in the Exodus— described the woman as “a daughter of Abraham” who had been “bound” but was “set free” (v. 16). The Sabbath was her day of celebration! By healing her, Jesus brought her redemption to vivid fruition and gave her the capacity to celebrate more than ever. With this action, Jesus proclaimed the Sabbath day continued
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Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
as a time for God’s people to celebrate their redemption. In a separate encounter with a Pharisee, Jesus made a bold claim about his Sabbath actions (John 5). He had just healed an invalid at the pool of Bethesda (Bethzatha, NET) on the Sabbath, and this man proceeded to unintentionally get Jesus in trouble by carrying around his mat (v. 10). Technically, this action by the healed man violated the rabbinic commands against work on the Sabbath. In response to accusations against him, Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (v. 17). Jewish theologians understood that God still worked to redeem his people, even on the Sabbath. And clearly the invalid whom Jesus healed had experienced God’s redemption. Jesus tied his own activity to God’s, showing that God was tangibly present in the midst of his people even on their day of rest. Thus the Sabbath was a day for God’s people to experience his presence anew in their redemption. As believers we no longer have to rest on the Sabbath; we can rest on any day, at any time that fits our calendars. But as we can all attest, we often go to the other extreme and hardly rest at all. Jesus’s actions and teaching show that rest remains vital for the believer. He identified the Sabbath as a time of rest when God’s people can experience his presence and celebrate their redemption. God’s desire for us has not changed; he still wants his people to rest so they can experience these tangible blessings of a relationship with him. Our challenge is to cultivate habits of “Sabbath rest” to experience God’s presence and celebrate our redemption. As believers in Christ, we no longer rest on any particular day, but regular rest should still anchor our schedules as we refuse the perversion of a good work ethic that makes regular rest optional. God does not intend for us to be so busy with work, ministry, or family that we neglect time for celebration and renewal. Rest allows us to revel in God’s presence and celebrate the redemption we have in Christ’s death and resurrection. To this end, let me suggest some practical ways we can cultivate Sabbath rest in our lives.
Anchor the weekly schedule with regular worship in a local church. Believers don’t have to worship on a particular day, but we do need to worship. Whether we gather on Sunday morning, Saturday night, or some other time, we can make regular times of worship a solid anchor to our weekly schedules. Cultivate restful relationships with other believers. Our small group at church gets together monthly for times of fun and fellowship. These relationships renew and sustain me. Whether you do so with your family or as an individual, develop key relationships that provide rest. Augment times of rest with personal worship in prayer and Bible reading. Rest should not only be corporate but also individual. Consider reading through a prayer book such as The Valley of Vision, if you need help getting started. Make your rest consistent but not constricted. Just as it is easy to work too hard, we can also work too hard at our rest. Don’t be anxious if life gets in the way and disrupts scheduled times of rest. Trust that consistency in the long haul will provide ample time to rest and rejoice in your relationship with God. Learn to see rest in the context of your entire life. We all experience busy seasons that tax us greatly, and sometimes rest is hard to find during a particular week or month. We can manage those tough times by keeping our eye on the big picture. My situation can illustrate. Due to the academic calendar, free time evades me from August through May; the end of this cycle brings lots of stress at the close of the academic year. Fortunately, summer comes right after this busy season, which affords me ample time for rest and renewal. Your calendar probably differs from mine, but the same principle holds: over time you should make time for rest and renewal. Going month after month without rest indicates a need to examine priorities; it’s likely something needs adjustment. To summarize, God calls us to rest just as he calls us to work. He wants to bless our relationship with him by giving us time to experience his presence and celebrate our redemption. As believers who love our Lord, we worship him and grow in devotion when we find time for rest. It may not be today, but it should be soon. Develop habits of Sabbath rest so those times of celebration are never far away.
Money: A Threat to True Rest By Rick Dunham
Dallas Theological Seminary
Rick Griffith in Singapore: A Perspective from Overseas Dr. Rick Griffith racks up a lot of air miles. He’s the Doctor of Ministry director at Singapore
hen we think of rest, the first thing that comes to mind is physical rest. That’s probably because we live in a tired society, run ragged by the demands of the relentless onslaught of life. But there is a rest that is actually more important than physical rest, and that is rest for our souls. This is the rest that Jesus promised in Matthew 11:28–30. It’s a rest that comes from the peace and security that can only be found in him. This then begs the question: Why is it that so many of us who claim to follow Christ lack this rest? Why is it that so many in the church today live lives filled with worry, especially since the financial meltdown of 2008? I believe, in large part, it is because of where we place our trust. Jesus warned his followers that the natural inclination of humans is to place our trust in the stuff of the here and now rather than in the Father (Matt. 6:19–34). We believe that we can safeguard our lives and our future if we can just have an ever-increasing portfolio, if we can just have more. As a result, we give priority to our finances to give us our security, believing our money will deliver a promise it can never keep. So we end up doing just what Jesus warned against: serving the master of money and materialism, and living in the fear of losing that which is actually creating the burden of worry. Money is one of the most powerful forces at work to strip us of the rest God desires for us. It is a cruel master that wants our complete allegiance. In fact, Jesus said it is the one thing that fights God for our heart. And when it steals our heart, it robs us of the peace and rest that only God can give. Rick Dunham, a DTS graduate, is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom. Go to dts.edu/ks to read an excerpt of his book.
Dr. Michael Burer, associate professor of New Testament Studies at DTS, served as a project director for the NET Bible and is the coauthor of A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. An ordained minister, he is active in his local church and ministers frequently in France.
P r o f i le
Bible College, where he has taught Bible, theology, and preaching for twenty-two years while at the School of Theology (English). He also helped plant Crossroads International Church, where he serves as pastorteacher. And he’s the Singapore field leader of his mission, WorldVenture, and Asia translation director for The Bible ... Basically® seminar. Rick also serves as an itinerant teacher to twelve other countries in Asia and the Middle East. Some trips are with Biblical Education by Extension (BEE World), while with others he serves as a visiting professor at various seminaries such as Lanka Bible College (Sri Lanka), Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Himalayan Graduate School of Theology (Nepal), Southeast Asia Bible Seminary (Indonesia), Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, Word of Life Bible Institute (South Korea), and Union Bible Theological College (Mongolia).
When Rick wrote his dissertation at DTS
twenty-three years ago on “The Eschatological Significance of the Sabbath,” he concluded, “Believers are not under the Sabbath requirements in this dispensation.” He acknowledges, “That news doesn’t go well in our harried day when people need rest more than ever.” But he clarifies, “I certainly believe in rest,” adding, “I think the New Testament grants Christians freedom when to take this rest rather than requiring it on Saturday (the Sabbath).” As mentioned, Rick ministers in Nepal, where the Hindu day of rest is Saturday, “so Christians adopt this as well. But in many other countries, such as the U.S., Sunday is the preferred day because of Christ’s resurrection. Colossians 2:16–17 grants us this freedom in Christ.”
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
CAMPUS NewS DTS Mourns Loss of Missions Department Chairman “Be prepared to pray any time, preach any time, and die any time.” —Dr. Steve Strauss After a fifteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Steve Strauss, chairman of the World Missions and Intercultural Studies department at DTS, has passed into glory. Dr. Strauss came to DTS threeand-a-half years ago to teach, and he soon began chairing the department. Prior to that, he served six months teaching at a seminary in Nigeria, nineteen years as a missionary with Serving in Mission (SIM) in Ethiopia, and eight years as director of SIM USA. While in Ethiopia, Dr. Strauss helped establish three theological schools and was instrumental in launching five more. He also served in pastoral ministry in the International Evangelical Church of Addis Ababa, and taught in churches throughout Africa and India. Students in his classes knew him as a winsome, fiercely energetic professor who filled discussions with funny examples and warm pastoral care. He was known for saying, “You have two choices when you enter a classroom: you can cover the material, or you can teach.” Dr. Strauss was awarded the 2012 Senior Class award for Teaching Excellence. The DTS family mourns his loss and expresses condolences to his spiritual and earthly families. Go to dts.edu/read/steve-strauss-tribute to view a tribute and leave comments and remembrances.
DTS Campus Announcements A new department: A merger of the former Spiritual Formation and Leadership department with the Christian Education department creates the new Educational Ministries and Leadership department. Dr. George Hillman will serve as chairman. A new partnership. Starting in January, DTS and Amman’s Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary will offer a joint Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree designed to bring advanced biblical and theological training to leaders in Arabic-speaking contexts. A new master plan. A campus master plan has been approved that includes renovations and updates scheduled to begin after a fall 2013 groundbreaking. Go to dts.edu to read more about these developments. The latest issue of the journal Bibliotheca Sacra honors the legacy of the late Dr. Roy B. Zuck, longtime editor of that publication and professor at DTS. To order, contact Matt DeMoss at 214-887-5055.
from John Dyer, DTS’s executive director of Communications and Educational Technology
Want a Bible app that distinguishes between the second-person singular and second-person plural? Thanks to John Dyer, DTS’s executive director of Communications and Educational Technology, you can access the “Texan” version of the Bible (“Y’all are the light of the world”), which comes with the option for additional dialects (“you guys,” “yinz,” and “you lot”). As it turns out, in “Texan,” “y’all” appears 2,698 times in the Old Testament and 2,022 times in the New. You can view this translation at Dyer’s own web site (biblewebapp.com) , or by using a plugin or extension for Google Chrome that works on popular Bible reading websites such as youversion.com and biblegateway.com. A free download of the app is available at donteatthefruit.com. In addition to choosing the vernacular, y’all can opt for verses with God’s name, which commonly appears as “LORD” in English translations, rendered as “Yahweh.”
Dallas Theological Seminary
Sponsored by The Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement www.dts.edu/conferences The Way Forward: Re-Imaging Evangelicalism Voices within the American evangelical church often lament its current state, call for us to abandon the term “evangelical” altogether, or cry out for a return to glory from our ecclesiological past. Less often is there practical and constructive wisdom given for the next step.
Bible Web App: The “Texan” Translation
Join us as John Dickerson—author, speaker, and journalist—offers a fresh perspective on the state of evangelicalism as he discusses The Way Forward for a healthier Christian movement. Speaker: John Dickerson Monday, October 7, 2013 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Dallas Theological Seminary campus All About Influence 2013: A Women’s Leadership Conference All About Influence is designed to equip women to reach, lead, and have an impact on those in their sphere of influence—whether at home, in the church, in the workplace, or in a parachurch ministry. If you’re a woman who’s ready to invest in the lives of others, find encouragement in your spiritual walk, and be challenged to make a difference, this conference is designed for you. Speaker: Lisa Harper, author of Stumbling into Grace Monday, November 18, 2013 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Dallas Theological Seminary campus For information and/or to register for these events, visit dts.edu/conferences or call 214-887-5253.
Get a CD Series by Prof Hendricks for $5 As a Kindred Spirit reader, you may order copies of the CD set, “How to Keep the Elephants off Your Air Hose,” an audio series by the late Prof Howard Hendricks, for a minimum donation of $5, while supplies last. The cost includes shipping. Dr. Hendricks’s series covers creativity, effective problem solving, time management, self-development, and evaluation. As a benefit to readers, DTS is making this offer available to you for up to three copies per person. Go to dts.edu/ks to order.
Only Online DTS Faculty and Grads Engage the Culture about Rest and Other Topics Read what Mark Engelthaler, in the middle of a sabbatical from pastoral ministry, says about the rhythm of purposeful rest. Check out how Michael Gleghorn, writing for Probe Ministries, answers a reader’s question about whether Sunday church violates the Sabbath. Read an excerpt from financial expert Rick Dunham’s book, Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom. Check out how Dr. Alejandro Mandes says the church can approach immigration as a ministry opportunity in his article, “Reaching Samerica.” Be encouraged by runner Julie Cramer’s spiritual reflection on the Boston Marathon tragedy. Read Stephanie Morris-Graves’s profile of a seven-years-sober soul with a new identity. Catch a glimpse of life with Rick and Abbie Smith, the couple behind NoahsDad.com. Consider what theologian Eugene Peterson has to say about “That Good-for-Nothing Sabbath.” Looking for “Follow the Faculty”? From now on you’ll find DTS faculty travel itineraries listed only at dts.edu/ks so we can provide up-to-theminute information. Watch/listen to The Table Podcast with host Darrell Bock. New topics include these and more: Immigration and the Bible, Westerners’ Common Misconceptions about Islam, Strategies for Global Cultural Engagement, Cross-cultural Evangelism and Apologetics, Historical Adam and the Ancient Near East, Simple Ways to Minister to Muslims and Immigrants, The New Pope, and much more.
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
New Resources from the Seminary Family Marital Happiness is a Choice: Following the Path to an Enjoyable Relationship with Your Spouse Dr. J.A. Alexandre (ThM, 1986; DMin, 2011)
From the CHANCELLOR
More resources at dts.edu/books.
Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole Dr. Eric Mason (ThM, 2000)
Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus Mary DeMuth (spouse of Patrick, ThM, 2004)
Riches, Poverty, and the Faithful: Perspectives on Wealth in the Second Temple Period and the Apocalypse of John Dr. Mark D. Mathews (ThM, 2007)
Chai with Malachi Sandra Glahn (ThM, 2001)* and Malia Rodriguez (ThM, 2010)
Anomaly: A Novel Krista McGee (spouse of David, ThM, 2003)
The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids Dr. James Hamilton, Jr. (ThM, 2000)
Blessed Are the Balanced: A Seminarian’s Guide to Following Jesus in the Academy Dr. Paul Pettit (ThM, 1996; DMin, 2007)* and Dr. R. Todd Mangum (PhD, 2001)
Fruit of the Spirit: Inspiration for Women from Galatians 5:22–23 Marcia Hornok (spouse of Ken, ThM, 1973)
Portraits of Righteousness: Free Grace Sanctification in Romans 5–8 Dr. James Reitman (MA[BS], 1984) and Dr. David R. Anderson (ThM, 1972; PhD, 1998)
How Can I Know? Answers to 7 of Life’s Most Crucial Questions Dr. Robert Jeffress (ThM, 1981)
40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times Dr. Ron Rhodes (ThM, 1983; ThD, 1986)
Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1–11: Reading Genesis 4:17–22 in Its Near Eastern Context Dr. Daniel Lowery (ThM, 2007)
Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Crosscultural Service Dr. Steve Hoke and Dr. Bill Taylor (ThM, 1967)
The World of Jesus: Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus’ Day Dr. William Marty (STM, 1979; ThD, 1984)
Outlawed!: How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation Charles G. Trumbull, Scott Matthew Dix (MA[BS], 2002), Dr. Allan Carlson
Dr. Charles R. Swindoll
Take the Crazy out of Busy Some years back, I was snapping at my wife and children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day. Before long, things around our house reflected the pattern of my hurry-up style. After supper one evening, the words of one of our daughters gave me a wake-up call. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She hurriedly began, “Daddy-I-wanna-tell-yousomethin’-and-I’ll-tell-you-really-fast.” Realizing her frustration, I answered, “Honey, you can tell me . . . and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.” I’ll never forget her answer: “Then listen slowly.” I had taken no time for leisure. Not even at meals with my family. Everything was fast-moving and uptight. We’ve been programmed to think that fatigue is next to godliness, haven’t we? That the more exhausted we are (and look!), the more spiritual we are. We applaud those with insane schedules for their many accomplishments. Yet when I look at the life of Christ, I find no evidence that he embraced such a theory. In fact, I find the opposite. On several occasions, although surrounded by needs, we see Jesus deliberately taking a break. He got away from the demands of the public and relaxed with his disciples. His was a life of accomplishing everything the Father sent him to do, but he did so without neglecting times of rest. And if that is the way he lived, it makes good sense for you and me to live that way too. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he told his readers to be “imitators of God” (5:1). Our task is to mimic him. And if we take a look at Genesis, we find God resting at least one-seventh of the time. He did not do so because he was exhausted after creating the world. Omnipotence never grows tired! He hadn’t run out of ideas. He easily could have made more worlds, created infinite numbers of life forms, and multiplied the galaxies. But he didn’t. He deliberately stopped. He spent an entire day resting. In fact, he blessed that seventh day, setting it apart as special—something he did not do with any other day. By doing so, he made rest a priority. We need his help to live that way, don’t we? He underscored that priority when he led the psalmist to write, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Lord God, we find ourselves running in a tight radius, like a rat in a sewer pipe. Our world has become too small, too routine, too grim. Remind us that we are not rats, we are sheep. You have made us whole people who are free to think and relax in leisure, not slaves chained to a schedule. Enable us to break loose! Show us how to “listen slowly.” Give us the courage to start today and the hope we need to stay fresh tomorrow. May we become like your Son, committed to the highest standard of excellence, both at work and rest, devoted to your will, easy to live with, at peace within. In his strong name we pray.
We’ve been programmed to think that fatigue is next to godliness.
The text on the back cover is from the German hymn, “Be Still, My Soul” (1752), by Katharina von Shlegel.
*Dallas Theological Seminary faculty member
Dallas Theological Seminary
Kindred Spirit, Fall 2013
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