(August 18, 2017) 10:58 AM Hey again, one and all. From my home to yours: Happy Friday! Let’s see…what’s first up. Well, still got Philippians on my brain. Ya gotta love Fee. On p. 44 of his IVP commentary on Philippians, he writes:
Those in roles of primary leadership too easily slip into a self-understanding which pays lip service to their being slaves/servants of Christ Jesus but prefer the more honorable sense of this term found in the Old Testament to the paradigm of either Christ (in 2:6-8) or of Paul (2:17).
Lip service? Yep! Then he adds this:
Not only so, but the emphasis on all of God’s holy people, together with their leaders, could use some regular dusting off so as to minimize the distance between clergy and people that too frequently exists in the church.
Ready to get out the old feather duster? Finally, note this:
All of us are in Christ Jesus, and all are in Christ Jesus in whatever “Philippi” God has placed us, since contemporary Western and westernized cultures are no more friends to grace than theirs was to these earliest believers.
Fee’s message is a powerful reminder that the plurality and the cooperation of pastors is desperately needed in our churches today. This stands in stark contrast to situations — all too common, I’m afraid — where Christian leaders are in sole charge and are often highly individualistic. Last year I had the privilege of teaching in a church in Denver that does, I think, a very good job of modeling this pattern of leadership. They have a multiplicity of elders (some paid by the church, some not) who work as a team of equals to foster a Great Commission and Great Commandment mindset among their flock. Now, I realize that this is a very tender issue, to be handled with great care. But healthy leadership is a powerful indicator of spiritual life. It is astonishing that time after time in the New Testament the leaders are referred to in the plural, and it is just as astounding that Paul in Phil. 1:1 would use a term of horrific opprobrium to refer to himself and his faithful co-worker Timothy: slaves. Well did Jesus say, “Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That’s what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served — and then give His life away to redeem many people by ransom.”
Second, I’m getting really excited about the St. George (Utah) Marathon coming up in October. My ultimate goal, of course, is to finish the race. But I would really like to come in under 6 hours again. It’s an ambitious goal and I’m not sure if it’s attainable. Everything will have to go right. Still, I feel compelled to go for it. My flights are already booked into the St. George airport via Atlanta, and I’m staying in an Airbnb close by. My health is the big wildcard. I need to pull back a bit, I think, from my mileage and train more for quality than quantity. Interestingly, even though I’ve been sick this week I’ve still managed to put 45 miles on Map My Run app for the month of August. Most of my training henceforth will be focused on St. George. This will be my “A” race. Since I’ll be doing as much walking as running, I’ll need to train for both activities. Running puts demands mostly on your upper legs, whereas walking puts more demands on your calves and shins. Meanwhile, I’m still chillaxing here on the farm.
Finally, I recently found a website that I’d highly recommend. It’s called Best Commentaries and it ranks the best commentaries on every book of the Bible. I see that Grant Osborne has a new commentary on Philippians coming out. Eager to read it.