Russell and Duenes

No More Law School, Captain Phillips, On Offer from God

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With the bar exam still looming, I figured it would feel rather anti-climactic to finally get my law degree. However, that’s not been the case. I enjoyed most aspects of law school. The learning was stimulating, the opportunities to engage in a variety of work kept me interested, and I enjoyed my fellow students. Yet I truly feel relieved to have this behind me. I hated the final exams, and the longer one is in law school, the more one gets the feeling that it’s designed to be more like a hoop to jump through than an opportunity to consider the more important social, historical, and I guess, human aspects that attend to the practice of law. I’m so very grateful to God for getting me through, and I look forward to the road ahead as an attorney.

I saw Captain Phillips this past weekend and found it to be a wonderful film. Of course, Tom Hanks does a splendid job, but the film is well-acted as a whole. It’s layered, and causes one to reflect on the various layers without being preachy or moralistic. Further, it’s a compelling story, one which raises multiple emotions and questions as it goes, again, without making the questions obvious. If you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it.

I was having a drink with a friend last night, and we were talking about what it means to be a Christian. We ended up talking about the question: What do we as Christians have to offer unbelievers? More profoundly, what exactly is on offer from God in the gospel? We agreed that there are many ways in which we don’t have good answers to that question, at least in our experience. Offering contemporary church life as we’ve experienced it didn’t sound all that compelling. We certainly don’t think that financial prosperity is on offer from God, at least not by way of any kind of promise. Yet when I thought about it on a basic level, I said: “What I can say to an unbeliever is this: God promises that He is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble, and you know, that’s true. I’ve experienced it. I don’t have a detailed description of the experience, but I know that God has been a strong help to me in difficult circumstances.'” God has made other promises which I would feel confident commending to others as true because I’ve experienced them as true. I think God offers many things besides this, but I know that I can genuinely start with this. May God give us more opportunities to commend Him in this way.


Written by Michael Duenes

May 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

Posted in Reflections

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