Dan Valenti's Mercy Journal

Plunging into the 'Holy Gap'

A vow is a promise taken to the next level of consequence.

A vow is to a promise what a contract is to a handshake. While both are agreements, a vow as opposed to a promise suggests more formality, less casualness, and is more deliberately entered into and much harder to break.

Promises are made informally. Vows are made with solemnity.

Promises are typically private. Vows are usually public.

The Immutable Law of Belief

If Thomas - a man who walked, ate, and drank with Jesus - could doubt, what chance have we?

"Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe," Thomas says (Jn 20:25).

Eight days later, with Thomas present, Jesus appears to the Apostles. What does he do? He doesn't get angry. He doesn't lecture or scold. Instead, he provided Thomas what every doubter needs: evidence. He also tells him he should "believe."

McLuhan Got the Message

The great Canadian scholar and philosopher Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) once famously declared, "The medium is the message." He meant that the manner by which a message is delivered affects its content - and therefore its meaning, reception, and understanding.

Saul, Paul, and That is All

A confession: I don't like to "evangelize." As a writer, I have a skeptical streak that, as a first instinct, puts tough questions to most propositions and assertions. My reasoning is this: If the assertion has the merit of truth, it will withstand the most withering inquiry. If not, it will cave in under my rhetorical assault.

Consequently, I'm generally hesitant to evangelize for the risk of presumption. There's a fine line between sharing and spinning, between proselytizing and propaganda.


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