On the 28th of March 2008, I registered nelima.wordpress.com. Between illness and the usual busyness I had totally forgotten until I logged in to my account:
I’ve immensely enjoyed the past 5 years of blogging—even though I haven’t posted as much in the past five months :). Looking for topics to write about has increased my curiosity and has led me into researching stuff that I would have otherwise considered too onerous to look into. I’ve read books and articles, listened to hundreds of hours of audio and watched a few documentaries solely for the purpose of blogging about them. Even though they’ve not all ended up here, I’m sure they’ve enriched my life in some way.
Not to mention that blogging has also given me an outlet for using the occasional polysyllabic word ;).
If the Lord wills it, I’ll still be blogging 5 years from now. And maybe I shan’t forget my blog’s 10th anniversary either!
In Acts 19:23-41, we read of an incident that happened towards the tail end of the apostle Paul’s two-year stay in Ephesus. Interestingly, this account doesn’t contain direct speech from Paul; rather we are told what others reported him to have said.
Demetrius the silversmith quotes Paul as saying “gods made with hands are not gods” (Acts 19:26). If that is a correct quotation, then Paul was teaching clear and uncompromising truth as found in the Old Testament: that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), and Artemis (or Zeus, or Baal, or whoever) wasn’t it.
Demetrius succeeds in working up the crowd, and a two-hour chanting session ensues. The town clerk then comes out to calm the people down, giving a speech of his own. About Paul and his companions, he says that they were neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of Artemis/Diana (Acts 19:37).
That Paul wasn’t into theft isn’t surprising. But that he hadn’t said anything that could be interpreted as being insulting to the honour of a false god is. He had preached the gospel, he had preached the truth about the living God, but he had not—according to the city clerk—blasphemed the religion of the city.
In our increasingly multi-everything society, that’s something for Christ-followers to keep in mind as we engage with those whose beliefs differ from ours: an approach that’s full of both grace and truth, just like the Saviour we profess.
This blog post was drawn from a lecture given by Christopher Wright, based on a chapter in his bookThe Mission of God.