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Volume 16, Issue 5: Meander

Wading Through Glue

Douglas Wilson

The Son of Jesse and His Marketing Agent
When David was preparing to meet the Philistine giant Goliath, we are fortunate that he did not have this marketing agent with him.

And David said, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
And his agent said, "David, I really do not think that this language is suitable for an already polarized situation. Being uncircumcised—that is merely their custom. And although his language is perhaps provocative, it becomes us as Christians to rise above this. We need to be building bridges, not walls."
But David ignored his marketing agent, just as he had ignored his brothers, and went and selected five, smooth stones from the brook. Goliath advanced out into the place between the two armies, his armor bearer with him. David walked out toward him, his agent tagging along behind, plucking worriedly at his sleeve.
"David, remember your musical and literary gifts. How can you expect to finish all the psalms that God has given you if you put it all at risk in this way? I am concerned not only that you may
And then Goliath taunted David once more, saying that he would feed him to the birds. "Now, David," said the agent hurriedly, "remember to let your speech be gracious, seasoned with salt."
But David said that he had come in the name of the Lord of armies. "This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will use your carcass to feed the birds and all wild beasts."
"O dear," said the agent, "that is essentially the same thing that Goliath said. You are returning evil for evil. We are called to be peacemakers, David. Remember the oil in Aaron's beard. Think of what you are throwing away!"
"A stone," David said. "Watch this."

A Prayer for the Times
Great God of heaven, You lift up kings and throw them down. At Your Word, congresses and parliaments are tumbled into confusion and the babble of tongues, pundits, and 24-hour news coverage. You throw the ocean against the shore, and sometimes that shore is inhabited. Mothers cry and children are lost. Their surviving men curse the God in whom they will not believe. Your hand touches the tops of mountains and deep within the earth, rocks melt and vault toward the sky.

The planets circle, and their harmonic anthems fill the desolate places. In a gift not anticipated, You give pets to children—in this case, a large, soft, floppy-eared rabbit, a rabbit with deep, brown, emotional eyes. And your prophets have promised that one day the children will play with the cobras.

The Parable of Forensic Electrical Theory
Once there was a little toddler who had just learned to turn on the lights. He was very pleased whenever he had an opportunity to do so, and so his parents took to asking him to perform this valuable service whenever possible. One evening, this family had a bachelor over to dinner, and as it turns out, this man was a licensed electrician. After dinner, as they were all making their way into the living room, the father asked his son to turn on the lights. Delighted, the son pushed a stool over toward the switch, stood on it, and straining upward, pushed the switch and the lights came on.

The visiting electrician simply stood and stared, profoundly appalled. He turned and looked at the father. "He can't know anything about electricity!" The father beamed. "Not very much, certainly. But he knows that."
"Does he know the difference between alternating and direct current?"
"Does he know where the panel is?"
"Does he know what the breakers are for?"
"I am quite sure he does not."
"Does he know that electricity is a forensic declaration of righteousness, based on a prior imputation of righteousness?"
The father looked puzzled. "I didn't know that."
The electrician left shortly afterwards, perhaps a little sooner than he had intended, and this was because he was still puzzled and astonished. There were many things to think about here, and he spent the rest of the evening sitting in the dark of his living room, just pondering.

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