Friday, January 13, 2017

Smart Phones and Smart Spirituality

Check out 7 Ways Smart Phones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life by Joe Carter at TGC. Some of this material was adapted from Joe Carter’s latest work, the NIV Lifehacks Bible: Practical Tools for Successful Spiritual Habits (Zondervan, 2016).
“We're going to make some history together today.”

Those were the words the late Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, spoke 10 years ago this week when he introduced the first version of the iPhone. At the time, smartphones—cell phones that operate as mobile computing devices—had been around for nearly a decade. But Jobs’s boastful claim proved to be prescient, and the iPhone sparked a revolution in the use, innovation, and mainstream adoption of smartphone technology.

As with most every tool, ubiquitous use brings a plethora of problems. Technology has a way of shaping our values and our culture—often in ways in which we remain blissfully unaware. Christians must therefore think critically about how smartphones affect us, both on the individual level and also as a community of believers.

Yet in watching out for the pitfalls of technology we should not overlook the ways that smartphones can be useful for spiritual formation. Here, for instance, are seven ways you can use your smartphone to enhance your spiritual life:

1. Read God’s Word

Being able to conveniently carry around God’s Word wherever we go is one of the greatest benefits of having a smartphone. Most likely, though, you mainly use the app when you forgot your print Bible or when you need to look up a particular verse. But Bible apps can be used in a variety of useful ways, such as when your Bible reading plan includes chapter readings from multiple books (as with Prof. Horner's Reading System).

When I used that system with a printed version of the Bible I spent nearly as much time flipping through the text and keeping track of the 10 bookmarks as I did in reading the Scripture passages. The app makes the process much simpler and more convenient, thus helping me to stick with the multiple-chapter daily reading approach.

Recommended resources: YouVersion’s Bible App (which includes the Prof. Horner Reading Plan)

2. Listen to God’s Word

Listening to audio Bibles can increase your Scriptural intake and help you to catch nuances in the text that you might miss in your readings. A couple of decades ago you’d need to spend several hundred dollars for dozens of cassettes or CDs. Today, you can download free apps that have excellent recordings of God’s Word that you can listen to anytime on your smartphone.

Recommended resources: ESV Bible app, NIV The Listener's Bible

3. Memorize God’s Word

When it comes to memorizing Scripture, the key is repetition and recitation. Use your calendar app or an app that allows you to schedule texts to yourself to send the verse you want to memorize at a predetermined time during the day.

An alternate approach is to copy the verse or passage on your note app and set a (silent) alarm to send reminders throughout the day to stop and work on memorizing the passage.

There are also several apps, such as ScriptureTyper, that can help make the process of memorization easier.

Recommended resources: TextItLater, ScriptureTyper

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Time to dive in and go swimming in 2017!  Dive Into The Bible and Learn To Swim by Trevin Wax
Americans love the Bible; they just don’t read it enough.

According to research for the American Bible Society, the majority of Americans believe the Bible is inspired and that its principles should exert more influence on public life.

Eighty-eight percent of households in America own at least one Bible, including non-Christian homes (68 percent). The average family has three to four copies of God’s Word. Twenty-four percent of American families say they own more than five!

Reading the Bible

Bible ownership is high. Not so with Bible readership. Only one in seven adults reads the Bible daily.

Why so few? Most Americans claim it’s the busyness of their lifestyle or their own frustration in understanding the biblical text.

Among churchgoing Protestants, the number of Bible readers is much higher. Eighty percent claim to read the Bible at least once a week. That’s a hopeful place to start if you want to reinvigorate Bible reading in your church or push toward a “read the Bible every day” routine this year.
Bible Reading Practices
Lately, I’ve been sifting through some unpublished LifeWay research on how people interact with the Bible. Many of the tools available (cross-reference Bibles, topical indexes, and so on) help readers find the connections between Scripture passages or come across a timely word in a troubling season. People admit they are more likely to seek out Bible promises when they need encouragement in their daily life.

But I’m conflicted about these reports.

On the one hand, I want people going to the Bible for whatever reason may prompt them. I believe God’s Word changes lives. I believe his Word will not return empty. I trust Christ to accomplish his purposes through his Word.

Throughout church history, we see people transformed by a seemingly random portion of God’s Word: the eyes of Augustine falling on Paul’s instruction in Romans 13:13, or the preacher’s quotation of Isaiah 45:22 (“Look unto Me!”) that gripped the heart of a young Charles Spurgeon.

On the other hand, I want Christians going to God’s Word for more than daily tidbits for practical life. Too many of us go to God’s Word in order to get something out of it. I want more of us to go to God’s Word in order to get into it.

The Bible is a world in itself.

We shouldn’t approach the Bible like it’s a sunken ship, where we dive deep for an artifact or treasure we can bring back to our own world. Instead, we should see our era like the sunken ship and the Bible as the ocean that surrounds us. Christians must learn how to swim in the Bible.

No one should say this is easy. It’s true that the Bible can feel to the newcomer as if it were a foreign land. The tourist may feel disoriented when visiting another country, where the language is different, where the signs are a mystery, and where the customs are unusual.

But the best way to learn a language or adapt to another culture is full immersion into its rituals, routines, and language. That’s why we need full immersion into the world of the Scripture: its message must be celebrated and proclaimed in communities of faith, its stories must be told as our own, and its characters must feel as close as family.
Sampling vs. Savoring

When it comes to food, there’s a difference between sampling and savoring. You sample finger foods. You savor a meal.

Many Christians are used to sampling the Bible; they know how to pull out verses here and there. Instead, we should see the Scriptures as something we savor, as a meal that gives us sustenance and energy to get on with the task at hand. (And if you think the metaphor of “eating” God’s Word sounds strange, spend some time with the psalmist!)

Immersed in Scripture

I love the scene in Mary Poppins when Bert, the chimney sweep, shows the children his chalk drawings, only then to jump with Mary and the children into the animated world he has created. First, they all admired the drawing. But suddenly, they were immersed in that world.

This is what I mean by getting into the Bible. The Bible is more than words that inspire; it is a world we inhabit. If Bible reading is only the attempt to get something out of God’s Word, we’ll miss the chance for God’s Word to dwell in us.

This is why we should immerse ourselves in the grand story of the Bible. This is why we should recite its poems and sing its songs. This is why we should imagine ourselves in its stories and welcome its comfort and confrontation.
World of the Bible

Countless worlds are offered up to us these days—diversions that form us in countless ways. We inhabit the “worlds” of popular video games, or the world of Top 40 Radio. We dive into the worlds of Star Wars, or Middle Earth, or Marvel’s superhero universe. We binge-watch television shows that invite us to imagine a different era, shudder at an apocalyptic scenario, or distract us from our daily routine.

These stories cultivate and form our imaginations. That’s why, if we are to be faithful in our time, we need Christians with Scripture-soaked imaginations, believers committed to full and regular immersion into God’s Word as the great story of our world.

So let’s not allow the Bible to lay dusty on the shelf. With God’s Word on our lips and his stories planted in our hearts, let’s dive in into the strange, new world of the Bible until we speak its language fluently and display its beauty for the world to see.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cud Chewing

Chewed any cud lately? Chewing the Cud of Scripture by Chris Hall at Renovare
John Chrysostom was the late fourth-century archbishop of Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, Turkey. He was thoroughly experienced in his practice of the discipline of imitation. Rather than installing Demosthenes or Homer in his soul, Chrysostom substituted Paul and Christ. During two years spent in solitude in a cave above Antioch, a “learning space” for immersion in Paul’s letters, Chrysostom memorized most, if not all, of the New Testament. As Margaret Mitchell, a noted Chrysostom scholar observes, “Chrysostom inscribed on his brain a lot of Paul, and, at that, a lot of Paul speaking in the first person, now vocalized through [Chrysostom’s] own mouth. Not only did constant rereading and memorization of these texts serve to lay the foundation for a life of Scriptural exposition, but it also oriented Chrysostom’s own consciousness in a Pauline direction.”
During the years in the cave, Chrysostom developed key habit patterns he would later encourage his own congregation to develop. He writes: “The inexperienced reader when taking up a letter will consider it to be papyrus and ink; the experienced reader will both hear a voice, and converse with one, the one who is absent … The things their writings said, they manifested to all in their actions … You have a most excellent portrait [of the apostle Paul]. Proportion yourself to it.” In Chrysostom’s thinking and practice, to proportion oneself to Paul—through the use of a highly developed memory soaked in the Scripture and through concrete imitation of key aspects of Paul’s life—is by definition to proportion one’s mind and life to Christ.
All of us probably have individual teachers and mentors whom we want to emulate. For many at Renovaré, Dallas Willard was just such a person. If they are still living, we want to spend time with them whenever possible; if they have died, we want to read their works and find out more about their lives. In the case of Christ himself and of his apostles and prophets, one can hardly go wrong by entering into the Holy Scriptures, as Chrysostom did, with careful, gracious imitation always in mind. To imitate Christ is to regard his words and deeds as precious treasures, to contemplate them, memorize them, meditate upon them, to chew on them as a cow chews its cud. To imitate Paul is to ask how he conducted himself from day to day, and what were the practices that nourished and sustained his own life in Christ?
Now, this call to attend carefully to the biblical witness regarding Christ, Paul, Peter, Mary, Martha, and others is not merely in order to imitate; we are also attending to an instance of imitating, since both our Savior and his apostle were (like all good Jews) steeped in the Scriptures. If we are to follow them in the knowledge of God, our thinking, too, must be profoundly shaped by the steady, paced memorization of the Word of God. This need not, and should not, signal slavishly rote memorization, but creative practical application as well. The aim of memorization is not to pass some cosmic Bible quiz but to have our intellectual and imaginative consciousness shaped by God himself. We need not have a biblical phrase to toss into every conversation, but we do want to speak and to live in the world in the way that Scripture itself illustrates.
This sort of thoughtful, committed, creative imitation of the exemplary lives we see in Scripture (and elsewhere) prepares us for deeper entrance into the knowledge of God that such lives embody. Thinking and behavior, behavior and thinking, are all one piece, one whole. Let’s close this week’s blog with some advice from Athanasius of Alexandria, bishop of Alexandria in the early fourth century. They are still worth our attention today:
“One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life … Anyone who wants to look at sunlight naturally wipes his eye clear first, in order to make, at any rate, some approximation to the purity of that on which he looks …”

Monday, January 9, 2017

Plan to Grow in 2017

If you don't plan to grow, you are planning to stay the same. Here are Five Ways You Can Grow Spiritually This Year by J. Lee Grady
The last words the apostle Peter wrote in the Bible are priceless. He said: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and forever. Amen" (2 Pet. 3:18). Peter's plea to the first disciples still screams out to us today: "Grow!"
Remember, a disciple who was up and down in his faith, wrote this exhortation. In his early years, Peter bravely confessed that Jesus was the messiah one minute and then denied Him the next. But in the end, this impetuous, fearful, insecure Peter became one of the strongest leaders of the early church.
That's because he grew in his faith.
The Greek word for "grow," "auxano," means "to increase, to become more fruitful or to become greater." This is God's will for every Christian. God does not want us to remain in the same condition year after year. He desires that we be changed from one stage of glory to the next until we are transformed into the image of Christ.
But how does that happen? How do we grow spiritually? Is there anything you can do to encourage that growth as you step into this new year? I believe you must do the following:
1. Rediscover the Bible. You need the Bible like you need food, but many Christians go for weeks or months without reading God's Word. No wonder their spiritual growth is stunted. You will never grow spiritually without soaking your mind in the inspired words of Scripture.
When Jesus told the devil, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4), He was quoting a verse from Deuteronomy that He had memorized. If Jesus found life in Scripture, so should you.
It's not complicated. Pick a book of the Bible and begin reading one or two chapters a day. Don't just casually read it on your phone. Invest in a study Bible and pour over the words carefully as you underline key phrases. And before you read, ask the Holy Spirit to illumine the verses you need to hear. He will speak to you.
2. Restart your prayer life. British preacher Charles Spurgeon told his congregation: "As well could you expect a plant to grow without air and water as to expect your heart to grow without prayer and faith." A Christian who does not pray is weak, immature and defeated. But when you venture into the realm of the impossible and start asking God to move supernaturally in your family, your personal challenges, your workplace, your church and your nation, you will soon see His miracles.
This year, I was inspired by the movie War Room to make an actual prayer closet in my house. I got an old chair and a bulletin board and created my own private spiritual retreat. As you begin 2017, do something radical to make prayer a lifestyle.
3. Reconnect with God's people. I often meet Christians who tell me they've given up on church. Usually it's because they were hurt at a previous church or got bored with the way things were done. But no matter how many legitimate reasons you have for boycotting church, the truth is that God calls us to find our place in His house. You will never grow if you disconnect yourself from His corporate dwelling place.
4. Resist your sinful habits. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, some Christians wander around in circles their entire lives and never get anywhere. That's because they never break free from habit patterns that prevent them from growing. It's like taking the same class over and over and always failing.
Have you been stuck in a spiritual rut because of an addiction to pornography, an obsessive fear or an un-yielded attitude that ruins your relationships? It's time to break free. God has already promised "a way to escape" from any temptation that drags you down (see 1 Cor. 10:13). You will need to humble yourself and confess your sin to a mature believer, but after that, you can find deliverance from any stronghold of sin.
5. Recommit yourself to investing in others. Jesus told His disciples He wanted them to reproduce His life in other disciples. He said: "You did not chose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (John 15:16a-b). That means we can't truly grow into mature disciples unless we lead others to Christ and help those younger believers mature.
Many Christians today are satisfied to take, take, take while they become spiritually obese. They receive but never give. They view church as a spiritual buffet line where they can gorge on messages from popular preachers and compare the personal benefits of their flavor-of-the-month teachings. But Christianity is not about bringing on spiritual truth for our own benefit. If your faith is focused on you, you will never grow.
In 2017, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and find your outlet. God has a place for you to serve. Make a quality decision that you are not going to just sit in a church chair and soak in one more sermon; no, it is time to act on what you have learned. Get up and share your faith. That is the secret of spiritual growth.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017


"The early church was seen as a threat to the social order since it wouldn’t honor all deities; the church today is seen as a threat to the social order since it won’t honor all identities."

     - Tim Keller

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Year To Revitalize Prayer

I've posted about Bible reading ,but sure don't want to forget prayer. Check out 10 Resources To Revitalize Your Prayer Life in 2017 by Andy Geers (Writer of the PrayerMate app, which I enjoy using)

We all find it easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to prayer. Here are ten resources which you may find helpful in freshening up your prayer life in the year ahead.

1. The Lord’s Prayer

It would be remiss to do a series of resources to help you in your prayer life without including the prayer that Jesus himself taught us. It’s the starting point for all Christian prayer, and as well as being great to use as-given it also works well as a structure for all of your prayers. I’ve written more about using it this way previously.

2. Operation World

If you’ve not come across it, Operation World is a terrific book which gets updated periodically, with incredibly detailed information about every country in the world and how to pray for their needs. The current edition is showing its age in certain areas of the world (e.g. Syria) but it’s still a great way to expand your horizons beyond the narrow concerns of your own personal needs.
An Operation World “Country of the Day” feed is available through the PrayerMate app.

3. Praying the Psalms

Don Whitney’s recent book “Praying the Bible” explores how you can use the words of Scripture, and especially the Psalms, to inject freshness into your daily prayers.
Don gives a reading plan of five Psalms every day which will get you through the entire Psalter every month – or there’s a reduced version available through PrayerMate which gives you one Psalm every day to get through them all every five months.

4. Take Words With You

Tim Kerr’s manual for intercession “Take Words With You” is an incredible treasure trove of Biblical promises and prayers organised into categories – as well as a method for using this to pray specifically into various situations. I highly recommend getting yourself a copy and giving it a try.
I’ve worked with Tim to incorporate Take Words With You into PrayerMate, and you can access various daily feeds such as verses to help you Praise God or Confess Sin, as well as the “TWWY Prayer Builder” that you can use to pull in Bible prayers and promises related to a specific theme.

5. John Piper’s “Concentric Circles”

John Piper has talked in various places about how he prays in “concentric circles” – starting with yourself and your own relationship with God, then moving outwards to close family and friends, then to the wider church and community, and then to the wider world. It’s of course not the only way to pray but you might find it helpful if you are struggling to give your prayer times any kind of structure, or get stuck on just one of the “circles”.
From the beginning the PrayerMate app was built with this kind of prayer structure in mind – you could maintain a “list” for each circle, and since it always gets you to pray through your lists in order it will naturally work from the inside out.

6. A Call to Spiritual Reformation

The book that first got me going in a serious habit of prayer was Don Carson’s classic “A Call to Spiritual Reformation“. It’s a great book that’s well worth a read – both for his practical tips on how he uses prayer lists, but mostly to see what the prayers of Paul in the Bible have to teach us about prayer.
For those who want it, you can download all of the passages mentioned in the book into PrayerMate by finding the “Praying with Paul” section of the “Biblical Prayers” gallery.

7. Pray for Seven

Pray for Seven is a great initiative as part of the Diocese of London’s “Capital Vision” project, encouraging everyone to commit to praying regularly for seven unbelieving friends for an opportunity to share your faith with them. It’s built on the simple premise that when we pray, God can do amazing things.
You can find a handy guide on how to use PrayerMate to help you Pray for Seven here.

8. 18 Prayers to Pray for Unbelievers

Do you ever find yourself wanting to pray for your friends who don’t yet know Jesus, and ending up praying exactly the same thing over and over and wondering where to go next? Tim Challies has written a great list of suggestions for how to pray for unbelievers here.
You can download these into PrayerMate by finding the “Evangelism and Youth Work” gallery.

9. “5 Things to Pray” books

This year The Good Book Company published two great little books to help you pray: “5 Things to Pray for Your Church” and “5 Things to Pray for the People You Love”. Each page gives you a different aspect of the subject matter to pray for and give simple suggestions. Fantastic!
You can purchase these books through PrayerMate through the following links: “″>Your Church” or “The People You Love“.

10. The Valley of Vision

One of my favourite books on prayer is the Valley of Vision. Published by the Banner of Truth, it’s a collection of prayers inspired by the prayers of the Puritans and organised by various topics. They’re wonderful prayers for when you’re stuck in a rut – a favourite of mine has always been the prayer for the “Lord’s Day Morning”, a great one to pray as you head to church.
You can’t yet get the Valley of Vision through PrayerMate but you could always sign this petition to say you’d like to be able to!

Monday, January 2, 2017

How Not To Do The Disciplines

An important reminder - Three Ways Not To Approach Spiritual Disciplines by David Burnette at Radical
Although Christians should always practice the spiritual disciplines, many choose to jumpstart their efforts at the beginning of a new year. A Bible reading plan, a prayer guide, a strategy for limiting social media, or an intentional effort to share the gospel more—all these are good things. Even if you don't like making New Year’s resolutions, hopefully you’re planning to continue practicing the spiritual disciplines in the coming year. Whatever the case, it helps to pursue them in the right way.
I want to offer three cautions regarding bad approaches to spiritual disciplines. There's much more to say on this topic, but hopefully these cautions will serve as encouragements to pursue Christ-likeness in ways that are biblical and wise.
1. Do not practice spiritual disciplines to get on God's good side.
No amount of praying, Bible reading, witnessing, or fasting—or any other discipline—has the power to change your standing before God. Those who are in Christ are declared righteous and cannot be separated from God's love (Romans 8:31–39). If we forget about God's grace in preserving us, then the result will be burnout, discouragement, or some form of works-righteousness. Striving to grow in the spiritual disciplines is important, to be sure, but it shouldn't be the kind of striving that comes from fear or anxiety. Spiritual disciplines should flow from our love for the One who has given his own Son to rescue us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). It will put wind in your spiritual sails to recall that God’s saving mercy has been lavished on you, a sinner deserving of his judgment, and that the ability to pursue spiritual disciplines is itself a gift from God.
2. Do not avoid spiritual disciplines out of fear of legalism.
While spiritual disciplines can turn into a form of mere moralism, they don’t have to. There’s nothing inherently wrong with putting forth effort to grow in godliness. Words like train and discipline aren't un-Christian. In fact, Scripture tells us to “train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7), and Paul spoke of disciplining his body to keep it under control (1 Corinthians 9:27). We must be intentional if we want to obey Paul's charge to Timothy to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). This kind of effort is fueled by God's grace, of course, but growing in Christ-likeness doesn't happen by sitting on your couch and hoping for a surge of joy to overtake you. That's not how God has designed it. We are commanded to "run with endurance" as we look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1), and this takes some spiritual exercise.
3. Do not treat spiritual disciplines as an all-or-nothing pursuit.
Some Christians pull the plug on a spiritual discipline simply because they're not meeting their goals. They begin a Bible reading plan with gusto, but then when work gets hectic or deadlines start piling up at school, they stall out. After missing a few days, they get frustrated and stop reading altogether. But think about it: wouldn’t it be better to read through most of God’s Word in a year rather than quitting in late February? Remember, the ultimate goal is not to complete a Bible reading plan or to pray for fifteen minutes a day; those are means to an end. The ultimate goal is to grow in your love for God. Expect temporary setbacks and occasional resets, and ask for God’s grace to move forward and grow. Spiritual maturity isn’t built in a day, or even a year.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Every Day is New Years Day

(This is my traditional annual January 1 re-post)

I used to find people who spouted what I considered to be trite phrases like "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" to be very irritating - on the same level with those who plastered smiley faces on everything they owned. However, I have since had to repent of that opinion and attitude, because: (a) I realized I was sinfully proud, and (b) I realized that they were right.

For Christians, every day is New Years Day.

How else can you explain the Scripture in Lamentations 3:22-23: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness." If God's mercies to us are new each morning, then every day is the first day of the rest of my life; every day is new years day. Christ is the God of new creations, new births and new beginnings.

Here's how songwriter Carolyn Arends once put it.

New Year's Day
by Carolyn Arends

I buy a lot of diaries
Fill them full of good intentions
Each and every New Year's Eve
I make myself a list
All the things I'm gonna change
Until January 2nd
So this time I'm making one promise

This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
I believe it's possible
I believe in new beginnings'
Cause I believe in Christmas Day
And Easter morning too
And I'm convinced it's doable'
Cause I believe in second chances
Just the way that I believe in you

Last week I wrote that for Christians it is always Christmas. Now I am writing that it is always New Years Day. I'm sorry if this seems trite - but sometimes trite sayings really are true. Happy New Year to you all- and may each day in it be filled with new beginnings, new possibilities, new joys and new mercies.

Happy New Year Every Body!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another Reason To Read The Bible in 2017

My wife and I have been “painting” our living room and kitchen for about 6 months now. Actually I should say that our walls have been mostly painted for awhile now, but we still haven’t finished the trim in the kitchen area. We started out really strong, and then life got in the way and now we’ve had half painted walls for a few months now.
The worst part, though, is that I’ve stopped noticing. I’ve even started other projects when I could have been finishing that one. But it went from a pressing need to just kind of part of the house with time. It’s no longer the eye sore it used to be.
Until somebody came over to the house…
Once we had a visitor in our home I started seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes. (I’m not sure if anyone else does this, maybe I’m simply revealing some of my paranoia). I saw my half-painted walls as they would have seen my half-painted walls. It took a fresh set of eyes for me to remember that I really need to set apart a bit of time to finishing that trim.
The Bible is a bit like that fresh set of eyes. It’s like an outsider looking into your private world. But in this case it is an unerring and absolutely authoritative outsider looking in. The Bible always speaks truth. And it shatters those places in my heart where I start getting comfortable in my sinful or fallen ways.
This is why we need the Bible to constantly speak into our life. Without it we will remain comfortable in our unfinished state. So commit to reading the Bible more consistently in 2017. And not just reading it to check off boxes and say you read the whole Bible in a year. But read the Bible from the posture of an unfinished and broken down house that needs repairing and let the Bible do it’s demolition work as well as its rebuilding work.