Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Crew is free to sleep in; I have an appointment for coffee with Tony Payne and one of the men in his church about some doctrinal questions. When my latte arrives, it’s so beautiful that I actually post a photo on Facebook, something I pretty much never do. And it gets a lot of likes. It’s one good-lookin’ latte.

The three of us have an animated discussion about the doctrinal issues at hand, and even when we disagree we have a really good time talking. It’s a joy to talk to a church member—and his pastor—about things he’s wrestling with as he studies the Scripture. Pastors love that. And I enjoy seeing Tony’s pastor’s heart. I love the engagement, the interplay of ideas; Tony’s more interested in discipling the man and encouraging him. I’ve always known that I wasn’t called to pastor, and seeing a pastor in action reminds me that I have a long way to go in caring for others.

We finish up a little before noon. I return to the house to find some up and some not. We have several with minor illnesses, and I’m encouraging them to get as much rest as they can.

We finish the gatsby for lunch. Man, that thing was huge.

We talk about how we can improve the VBS—the kids were a challenge yesterday, and while we can attribute much of that to the rain that kept them inside, we still think of things we can do to improve our effectiveness. Now to go put it into action.

When we arrive a few minutes before 2, there’s a long line at the registration table, and we jump in to get the children checked in. Most are returning from yesterday, but we’re glad to see that there are new ones as well. Word spreads in the neighborhood a little more every day.

We start with games, and the kids cooperate pretty well—though of course they are kids, and that shows up every so often. Inside they sing well and pay good attention as Jojo tells the Bible story and Bethany teaches the memory verse. This is significantly better than yesterday.

Willa and her crew have a curry, meat, and potatoes dish for us, with bread and coffee. I tell you, we eat all the time here.

Back to the house for pizza, which we put together earlier in the day—Rachael made the crust—and Bronchitis Patient threw in the oven so it would be ready when we got back from VBS. Just FYI, BP is improving as the medication does its work. And the pizzas are delicious, with lots of genuine mozzarella, which we got immediately when we saw it in the store.

Cheese. It’s a good thing.

Tonight for prayer meeting all the churches are invited to Kevin’s church for a seminar by Yours Truly. I’ve given them a list of several things I could talk about, and after considerable discussion they’ve selected the question of female pastors. I talk for 45 minutes or so on egalitarianism and complementarianism, explaining the positions and summarizing their arguments. Then I tell them why I’m complementarian and invite them to study the Scripture passages and the key websites and come to their own conclusions. At least four of the local pastors are there with some of their folks, and they seem to understand and appreciate the presentation.

That’s really fun.

There’s coffee and pastries afterwards—did I mention that we eat all the time here?—and we head out about 9:30 pm. Back at the house we meet briefly to talk through tomorrow, and then I send everybody to bed.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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