Monthly Archives: August 2020

Does the Church Have a “Rummage Sale” Every 500 Years?

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I got to ask Dr. Megan DeVore (a professor at CCU) a church history question and hear her response.

That conversation is going to make my 2020 highlight reel.

This was my question …

“Was Phyllis Tickle right? Does the church have a “rummage sale” every 500 years and “clean house”? Is that what’s happening now with Covid-19”?

Dr. DeVore said something like, “We see that 500-year pattern with God’s people, even in the Old Testament.”

[Abraham, 2000 BC ; Moses, 1500; King David, 1000; The Exile 500; Jesus, 0 … and then, Pope Gregory’s reforms, 500; The Great Schism, 1000; The Reformation 1500.]

She continued …

“Many were thinking that 9/11 would be the ‘cleaning’ event, but that didn’t happen. So, it’s ‘wait-and-see’ with Covid-19.”

“We are fairly certain of this: the Reformation would not have happened had it not been for the Bubonic Plague.

That pandemic pushed people to God and forced believers to start acting as each other’s priests because death came so quickly.”

And so, (this is my [Doug’s] conclusion) …

Covid-19 may be setting us up for the next “cleaning event.”

My prediction: if the current president is re-elected, he will say to China, “You’re reimbursing us for the costs of Covid-19” …  and they’ll say, “Fuhgeddaboudit” (whatever that is in Mandarin) … and that will start the rumblings of Armageddon.

And then — [and I say this with respect] — Jesus will turn to the Father and say, “I should probably get back down there” …

And if the Father says “Yes” … then that will be the rummage sale that ends all rummage sales.

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We Have No Idea …

Stars and dust

“Science is Real”  … until a human, with biases, interprets the data.

Then “Science is Literature” or “Science is Art” or “Science is a Crapshoot.”

When the word “scientific” is added to an opinion, then suddenly that perspective becomes indisputable.

As John Pinette was fond of saying, “Nay, Nay!”

When we consider all the possible knowledge in the universe, including what we don’t know about dark matter and dark energy, then the scientific knowledge we have available to us is less than 1%.

That’s like trying to figure out the game of baseball with nothing but a batting glove.

That’s hardly indisputable.

Especially when,

Schmidt Happens

Recommended book: We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson

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What Gets Affirmed, Gets Repeated …

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV, emphasis added)

What’s your first reaction when someone points out something positive or effective that you’re doing?

What are some easy, upbeat things to spotlight—even with strangers?

High Internalization Potential (HIP) answer ….

I was once in a Barnes & Noble listening to a Dad (a stranger to me) affirming his young boys for their book choices.

Later I told him that I admired the way he interacted with his kids. His eyes welled up, and he said “Thank you.”

Never underestimate the power of making a person [who’s trying] realize, “Wow, somebody noticed.”

Especially when …

Schmidt Happens


Life Question Bible (a New Patreon Project) (see video in sidebar).

New tier rewards every week!

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Can You Create Meaning Out of Nothing?

Green and brown mountains under white clouds and blue sky

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.

Ecclesiastes 1:1, 9-10 (NIV)

Upon what do you base your meaning, purpose, and significance in life?

Is it possible to “create” meaning, even where none apparently exists? Explain.  

High Internalization Potential (HIP) answer …

I don’t think it’s possible to enjoy a genuine sense of meaning without a belief in the transcendent (which was something Solomon [the author of Ecclesiastes] temporarily lost toward the end of his life).

I do think some people [who have no belief in the transcendent] can be successful at artificially creating a sense of meaning that helps them to function. Sartre and Camus won Noble Peace Prizes for showing these folks how to do this.

Especially when,

Schmidt Happens

Life Question Bible (a New Patreon Project) (see video in sidebar). New tier rewards every week!

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The Perfect Relationship Trifecta

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

What is it about humility, gentleness, and patience that makes up the perfect “trifecta” when it comes to relationships?

What happens when one of the three is missing?

Why is it generally good to be kind to everyone, even those who anger or annoy us?

High Internalization Potential (HIP) Answer  …

Anger does not require character assassination and annoyance doesn’t require contempt. We are far more likely to resolve our issues with difficult people if we keep our interactions with them kind (at least as it depends on us).

Of course, this can’t go on forever if the other person won’t budge. Even then, you can distance yourself from this individual without needing to be a jerk about it. And you’re likely to feel better about yourself if you’re considerate.

Especially when,

Schmidt Happens

Life Question Bible (a New Patreon Project) (see video in sidebar)