Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Clean Mangers and Dead Oxen
Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, is one of the more famous and controversial pastors in America. Today he spoke in the seminary chapel service here at Trinity. It was a lecture on preaching as part of a church planting boot camp that's going on here this week (Mark Dever, another famous Mark pastor from the other side of the country will be speaking tomorrow at 12:45 and 3:00 in case anyone's reading this who might be interested and able to attend). It was a very good lecture with a lot of great insights on preaching and a lot of stuff that is pretty controversial, as one expects from Driscoll. Anyway, as an aside illustration at one point he referred to Proverbs 14:4. I read Proverbs often, ideally daily. In the last three years I've probably read any given chapter in Proverbs as many as 20 times (it would be 36 if I had self-discipline). Thanks to an exercise I did with my pastor in college I pay especial attention to the proverbs that deal with laziness and work. Proverbs 14:4 never rang a bell. "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox." At Driscoll's church this is a base verse that they use in a boot camp they hold for new Christian men. It's easy to keep your manger clean if you've got no oxen. You don't have to work at all. But you also get no crops. A lot of young men are lazy. Many of us who aren't so young anymore are lazy, me especially. But if we're really going to have full lives that bear fruit for God and leave a good legacy for future generations then we need to get out and work. We need to get some oxen and get in the field and give up the extra two hours of sleep and the DVD tonight and the playstation or computer game and get into the field. There was a lot of other stuff but Proverbs 14:4 was pretty convicting.