Praying at Burger King

Richard Mouw is awesome. He’s the President of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. A Ph.D from the Chicago and all, he is to me, a role model of the civil, balanced, evangelical. I first became familiar with him when he came to Pepperdine to present a series of lectures based on his book, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Those lectures were quite influential in changing the way I looked at my own interactions with society. The values of that book helped round out what was at the time a typically passionate, youthful, and naive theology of mission.

Praying at Burger King is a collection of short essays (almost like blog posts) that he has written for various occasions. Most of them have to do with how to be a responsible Christian in the world. Praying at Burger King focuses on everyday opportunities for spiritual reflection and ministry that go unnoticed. In very casual ways, he also takes on issues like animal rights, care for the environment, and dealing with theological opponents. It’s a short read, laced with numerous wisdom nuggets. Mouw is, for me, like a wise grandparent (though he isn’t that old), who passes on wisdom that I will find true over and over. His book, Uncommon Decency, is well worth the 10.00.

Oh, and by the way, I’m working on my thoughts on yesterday’s debate. I’ll post them as Monday’s post. Brad can stop calling me a wimp now.

Here’s a quote from Mouw:

"If my wife thinks that I am supporting the wrong person for political office, she can at least take comfort in knowing that her vote cancels out mine. But when it comes to prayer, there is no cancelling out. When we talk to God, we are not casting votes. When we offer up competing prayers in a warfare situation, we are hoping that the Ruler of the Universe will take sides. And that means that one of us is asking God to do the wrong thing."

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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7 thoughts on “Praying at Burger King

  1. You two argue like preachers. However, I must congratulate you Tim on showing a little humor.
    Okay, on to the crux. I’m going to buy one and only one of your selections, Tim. I’m a busy man and I read too many blogs. What is your suggestion for the little fella in the Big White Hat.

  2. Trey…his point is the same as yours…there is more than one outcome…not that there are only two. If that isn’t good enough for you…how about this…
    Your mama…
    P.S. I hope she doesn’t read this blog.

  3. OK–Spiv…so you’re telling me that it’s not possible for God to accomplish both of the prayer requests of his children, even when they would appear to be in opposition to one another? Life’s just too complicated to have a two-possible-outcome view of God’s interaction with the world.
    And having read some of his articles, I KNOW he can do better than that.

  4. Trey…Mouw can and does do much better than that. I would be hesitant to judge his theology from an excerpt on my blog. I might also add that just because it’s linear, doesn’t make it wrong…though I’m not sure it’s linear either.

  5. OK, going to come out of hiding and comment here. I hope that Mouw can do better than that. That’s such a linear approach to communication with a God who is beyond our comprehension. We don’t understand how he listens to our prayers, much less answers them. To assume that competing prayers represent competing priorities for the God of the Universe is pretty lean theology.