Give Up the Ghost

There are all kinds of phrases and idioms we use day to day even though we have lost their origins. We know what they mean, we know when to use them, but we don’t know where we got them. In so many cases they come to us by way of the Bible, and especially the King James Bible. This is exactly the case with the common little phrase “Give up the ghost.”

Read Tim’s comments at:

4 Ways to live simply

How Great Thou Art – upbeat version video

Yancey snippets #5

~  Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

By any account, Jesus was a master teacher. Followers were drawn by the magnetic power of his words which, in poet John Berryman’s description, were “short, precise, terrible, and full of refreshment.” Jesus gave his most enduring lessons on the spot, in spontaneous response to questions. A woman had seven successive husbands: Whose wife will she be in the life to come? Is it lawful to pay taxes to pagan authorities? What must I do to inherit eternal life? Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? How can a man be born when he is old?

Jaroslav Pelikan tells of an old rabbi asked by his pupil, “Why is it that you rabbis so often put your teaching in the form of a question?” The rabbi shot back, “So what’s wrong with a question?” Very often Jesus too deflected the question back in Socratic style, pressing the seeker toward a crisis point. His answers cut to the heart of the question and to the hearts of his listeners. I doubt I would have left any encounter with Jesus feeling smug or self-satisfied.

I would have marveled at Jesus’ parables, a form that became his trademark. Writers ever since have admired his skill in communicating profound truth through such everyday stories. A scolding woman wears down the patience of a judge. A king plunges into an ill-planned war. A group of children quarrel in the street. A man is mugged and left for dead by robbers. A single woman who loses a penny acts as if she has lost everything. There are no fanciful creatures and sinuous plots in Jesus’ parables; he simply describes the life around him.

A. N. Wilson, a biographer of Tolstoy, remarks that Tolstoy suffered from a “fundamental theological inability to understand the Incarnation. His religion was ultimately a thing of Law rather than of Grace, a scheme for human betterment rather than a vision of God penetrating a fallen world.” With crystalline clarity Tolstoy could see his own inadequacy in the light of God’s Ideal. But he could not take the further step of trusting God’s grace to overcome that inadequacy.

The fear of God




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