The Westminster Confession of Funk

Talking about theology, but keeping it funky

I am a husband and father and pastor of Trinity Covenant Church and teacher as St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy in Santa Cruz, CA.

I married my Indian Princess just before Y2K. I am an old fashioned Protestant Christian Humanist who lives where people vacation. I love music, love to surf, coach soccer for a hoard of minions, play the drums, and read actual flesh and blood books. I enjoy theology and literature and history and philosophy (if Sophie is serving beer) and Anglo-Saxon Poetry.

If I could have lunch with any three living people, I would have buffalo ribs with a butter, mushroom, cream sauce, Roxy Ray would be singing with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and I’d be at table with Tom Wolfe, ?uestlove, and Adam Schlesinger (and Brad Bird, because it’s my fantasy, and no one can count in my fantasy).

If I could have dinner with any three dead people (and the TARDIS was there with its universal language translation circuit) I’d have slow smoked dry ribs with the author of Beowulf, Herodotus, Martin Bucer, and Polycarp (see the previous paragraph if you have questions about my ability to count). And Janis Joplin would be singing with Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars backed up by Parliament Funkadelic of course.

My carefully crafted internet persona is also much cooler than my actual person, but I can live with that.

Saying Thank You For Your Obedience - Psalm 119:2

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart (Ps. 119:2).

Here we have a description of someone who is blessed. Those that keep God's testimony are those that are blessed. Those that seek God with their whole heart are blessed people. These two things are descriptions of a blessing. You are really a blessed person, God has been very kind to you, if you find yourself keeping God's testimonies and seeking God with your whole heart. Even our obedience is something to say ‘thank you’ for.

God's testimonies are a description of a blessed life. God's law is where we find a description of a life full of blessings. And keeping of God's testimonies, obeying God’s law, is the way that we find God’s blessings. God has hidden many wonderful blessings in the world, and the treasure map that he has given us to hunt out those blessings is his law. Obeying the law keeps the piano strings of our life in tune so that we can produce beautiful music. The God who made the piano understands how to tune it. So when God wants to bless us, he begins by blessing us with obedience, because so many other blessings are hidden in little cupboard doors that obedience opens.

Christianity is not a Gnostic mystery religion full of secret and invisible blessings. The God of the Bible gave us the Bible in order to be clear about where the blessing were. And a blessed is shaped like obeying God's law.

A blessed life is also marked by an undivided heart. Blessed are they that are seeking God with their whole heart. A divided heart is a heavy burden. Paul calls us to live our lives unto the Lord with our whole heart. Simplicity of heart, single-heartedness, where our whole heart is focused on serving Christ is a blessing that we should be seeking and saying thank you for when it is given us.

“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Act 2:46). “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you” (2 Cor. 1:12).But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).

Following Jesus is not generally complicated. It is a matter of not letting our devotion get divided between Jesus and anything else. Blessings are obedience shaped. Obedience to God's law is what it looks like to seek God with your whole heart. Since Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15) a heart that is focused upon Jesus will keep his commandments. And when we obey, we can then say thank you for that gift of obedience.