So what do you think about the idea of generational sins? Do you believe sins and punishments are passed down from parents to children? In Exodus and Deuteronomy, we find similar passages:
“6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands,forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” – Exodus 34
But in Ezekiel 18:20 we find the opposite:
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
“Theology, not morality, is the first business on the church’s agenda of reform, and the church, not society, is the first target of divine criticism.” -Michael Scott Horton
Well, I’ve had a headache for about two weeks, off and on, mostly on. It’s definitely been better this week, but it brought some concern to say the least. I went to the doctor and he said he wasn’t really sure what was causing it. He said the only simple thing I could do was to get my eyes checked. Which of course, the only natural reaction to that statement is to assume you’re going blind. Okay, maybe that’s not everyone’s first response but it was mine. Just on the inside. I have always had that secret fear of going blind. So that got me to thinking…
What would my life be like if I was blind? Specifically, what would my spiritual life look like if I went blind? So much of my identity is wrapped up in reading. I study a ton. I love to read the Bible, to read commentaries on the Bible, to read books applying the truth in the Bible, to read novels creatively connecting us with a deeper truth. What if I couldn’t do that? Who would I be? What would happen to my spiritual life? I fear it might grind to a halt. I’ve always been terrible at praying. I know, I know. “Todd, just read A Praying Life. It will change your life.” And I’m sure it will. But so did Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire and Too Busy Not To Pray, among others. And I’m still not very good at it. And I’m not very good at community. Never have been. I’ve read those books too. And I’ve been in the small groups. Just not very good at it. So if I couldn’t read, what would happen to my spiritual life? I think it would suffer.
So I guess I’ll enjoy the reading that I can do now. And keep working on the other things. I will be grateful that the optometrist said my prescription has changed and that might be the cause of the headaches. And I will be grateful that God brought it all to mind. Because even all my learning is just filthy rags compared to His righteousness. My study is nothing compared to His sovereignty. But I still want to learn all I can.
So what do you think? What would drastically affect your spiritual walk?
“Most Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire-builders have been people unable to give and receive love.”
– Henri Nouwen
For you newbies, welcome to the site. And every once in a while I do a post
called “What’s on the Shelf,” which is just sharing something I’ve been
reading. So here we go…
“The Cross and the Prodigal” by Kenneth Bailey
God has been blessing me with some great resources lately. I received this
book as a gift and it is incredible. Kenneth Bailey is a Presbyterian
author and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies. In other
words, he learns about what New Testament scholarship is and has been done
in the middle eastern cultures. He follows the Arabic and Syriac
translations and commentaries on the Bible which are basically untapped in
our western culture. He also studies the culture of the part of the world
where the events in the Bible occurred. For the majority of this book, he
deals with the story of the Prodigal Son, placing it back in the cultural
frame where it occurred. It was amazingly eye-opening to me.
My understanding of this picture of a father, humiliating himself, running
through the town to reach his son is so greatly increased once I understood
in that culture, the town would have rallied against the son, mocking him
all the way to his former house. But the father took the embarrassment
There are so many insights like this in the book. I am anxiously looking
forward to reading more from him as soon as I can get them ordered. And
finish the 522 page book that came in the mail yesterday. Which, so far, is
I’d love to hear about what you’re reading right now and how it’s impacting