Thank Gutenburg for a 1st Faith? Yep.
Over the last couple of weeks my nine-year-old son was working on a project for “History Club,” which meets at Belle Meade Mansion in Nashville.
His mission? Find a great inventor who flies under the radar when we consider famous inventors.
Therefore, Ben Franklin, the Wright Brothers and others were out. His choice? Johannes Gutenburg, who gave us the printing press.
Reading over my son’s notes, he zeroed in on Gutenberg’s Bible, published about 1450 or a few years after. “Before this,” he pointed out, “monks had to copy the Bible by hand.”
It’s not like I didn’t know this, but it is so easy to forget that we—the average Joe Schmos (Jane Schmos, too)—are “new” to reading the Bible, when we consider 2000 years of Christianity.
Until Gutenberg, only the intelligentsia and religious leaders had the opportunity to read the gospels, Paul’s letters and the rest of scripture. Regular people—who were largely illiterate anyway—had little or no opportunity to see these truths for themselves.
What is a #1st Faith, and Why Does it Matter?
You’ll see me refer to 1stFaith often; but what is it?
Ahhh, good question—so glad you asked!
A 1stFaith is a belief that the first followers of Jesus Christ carried with them a powerful and effective faith. They walked with Jesus, they heard him speak, they wrote the very words we read in our New Testament today.
Those who want a 1stFaith then, seek to understand what those early believers thought was most important. What did they emphasize? What did they think about? What core beliefs were vital to them?
The first followers did something no other group in history can claim: Led by Jesus and following his command to make disciples, they took this new faith and within minutes after Peter first proclaimed this message, thousands joined them. That’s power.
But they weren’t done. Risking their lives, they advanced the kingdom of God across their known world, standing tall in the face of persecution and yet, adding to their number day by day.
A 1stFaith then, is a journey back to those first followers, soaring above two thousand years of debate (and unfortunately, a lot of division) to say, “They had it right. They—better than us or anyone who followed after them—understood what matters most.”
The 1stFaith journey is a challenging one, because on the way we may have to discard some of our closely-held beliefs, and perhaps add others.
The goal however, is worth the journey.
On a Mission from God and Still Learning
Last week (April 18-21) was #HeartCon17, Heartbeat International’s annual conference in Chicago, “On a Mission from God.”
The theme comes from the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Their mission was to raise money for the orphanage where they grew up; our mission during the conference is to gain tools and encouragement to fulfill our mission of creating a new culture of life in America and around the world.
Meeting new friends and building long-term relationships during these days, it struck me that all of us in the pregnancy help community are still learning, because the mission is still in front of each of us.
Having been in the pregnancy help community for more than 25 years, the challenge is for me is to stay fresh, and in Chicago, it was easy to find innovation. For proof that I must be becoming an old man, I’m incredibly impressed with the young people (an “old man” word) and the talent they bring to the pro-life table.
From stunning visuals like those offered at one of our luncheons by Save the Storks, to creating a powerful online presence like my friends at StandUp Girl are doing, it’s clear the life-affirming community has a bright future. I also connected with a young leader who knows how to reach fathers effectively and creatively, Gary Freeman. I’ve been a dad a lot longer than Gary, but he is teaching me plenty on reaching out to fathers, many of whom are fatherless themselves.
Walking through through the exhibit hall and checking out the workshops I was emboldened again, realizing that we—the life-affirming community—are always looking forward with vision.
Fact is, we need these new ideas. Heck, I need ‘em.