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Dave O'Donnell
Dave O’Donnell

I have questions but do I have the answers?

What is the New Testament? Is it a story (maybe a novel) about Jesus? Is it an advice book? Is it a puzzle or enigma to be figured out? Is it divinely inspired writing about truth? Is it a path to life or salvation?

It’s all of those things and more, but means nothing if you don’t believe what it says. But what if I believe what it says but don’t take the advice it gives? I take some of the advice. I’m non-violent (I try) but I don’t know about turning the other cheek. I do believe in forgiveness but forgiving always is impossible, and I do believe in not judging—most of the time.

They tell me “gospel” means good news. Because the first Christians believed the Gospels revealed a path or a way to atonement (at-one-ment) they were called themselves the people of the way. I wonder if those first Christians are like me, more trying to believe than believing? I find the more I succeed in the advice of the New Testament, the stronger my faith in life becomes.

The gospel tells us to ask and it shall be given. Ask for what? It tells us to seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open. What kind of advice is it to knock but doesn’t tell you what door to knock on, or to seek but not what to seek? Evidently the author trusts the individual to be involved in life, make choices and then trust you will learn from the consequences. I think it’s called on the job training.

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  1. ” … on the job training …” – for my money, the BEST kind of learning there is! Learning ‘by example’ is a good way, too. Well, put, Dave. Its writing like this that makes me proud to have you as I friend … I admire and look up to you (such as it is!) because of the very way you write and manage to ‘say so much’ with as much economy as possible; unlike my former pastor whose homilies and sermons turned into dissertations as the eyes of the ‘captive audience’ glaze over! Dave, you say it, get to the point, and leave the rest for the listener/reader to dwell and ponder on and make it his/her own. Keep it up, Dave! I always look forward to your posts. An American Dylan Thomas dwells among us …..!

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