#71: Predicting the future, raging against the machine, and the violence of modernity.

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In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, you are invited to join me in “Pastor Brad’s Corner” once again as I share some thoughts and comments on the futility of predicting the future and raging against the machine. There is an insipid need each of us are born with that makes us what to control our lives. In theological terms, this is sin, which the reformers defined as “man turned in on himself.” Colloquially, this is called narcissism. Whatever you call, though, it most often manifests in an insatiable desire to control people, pleasure, and outcomes. Sin’s fruit is the conceit that it can manufacture pleasure and manipulate a future which fits its desired ends. And yet, what must be realized is that these schemes are nothing but exercises in futility and frustration. They are, as the Preacher of Ecclesiastes declares, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Ecc 1:1) There is only One who controls the future, who can dispense uncanny joy, and who brings about all things as he desires. And his name is Jesus. The remedy for the uncertainty of the future remains the same as it has always been: press into Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb 12:2)

Resources.

The Violence of Modernity,” Stephen Freeman 

Shaming Silence,” Stephen Freeman 

Bottoming Out on Prediction Addiction,” David Zahl 

And Justice for All — The Heart’s True Desire,” Stephen Freeman 

No One Knows What Is Going to Happen,” Mark Lilla 

Stonington Baptist Church sermons

Grace: So Much More Than You Know and So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray

Sponsor.

Fresh Roasted Coffee: a locally owned and operated coffee house in the heart of Central Pennsylvania that produces the freshest coffee and delivers it at peak drinkability. Use offer code “GRACE10” at checkout to get a discount off your next order.

Buy Some Coffee!

Notes.

I’m Brad Gray and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Stonington Baptist Church in Paxinos, Pennsylvania, where I live with my wife Natalie, daughter Lydia, and son Braxton. Besides pastoring, I spend most of my time writing, reading, and ministering in many more ways. I am resolved to faithfully and fervently propagate the gospel of “grace upon grace” for the weary and the worn out. It is my sincerest desire to live and minister all “for the sake of the Name.” (3 Jn 1:7) So long as Christ is exalted, that is enough.

Credits.

Ad music: “Coffee Stains” by Finley, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.