Wiley Richards is a retired professor of theology and philosophy at The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville.
Latest Articles by WILEY RICHARDS
May 19, 2013
We’ve heard our share of glib advice such as, instead of a hand out the other person really needs a helping hand. Instead of giving the needy a fish, teach them how to fish. Implied in this is the assumption that those in need do better with more apt instruction. Easy answers almost never solve the problem for those in genuine need. Deprived children of drug addicted parents are helpless to improve the quality of their home life. However, the thrust of our lesson from Proverbs has to do with verbal advice to some one who may need an attitude adjustment. For example, how do we communicate the fact that the other person always has bad breath? Will the offer of a breath mint be understood as a corrective? We preachers with supportive wives keep our preaching habits in line. It takes a strong preacher not to squirm when, on the way home after a sermon, she clears her throat and says, “Now about the sermon….” What strategies can be employed when another person needs correction?
May 12, 2013
I don’t know that I have ever consciously taken a course of action on the theory that I might be needed along the way. But I can vouch for the fact that God took care of my needs in a special set of circumstances. Back during the Korean War, my wife and I were traveling in a 1941 Chevrolet one Sunday night. We took turns driving. She roused me awake with information that the car lights were growing dim. The problem had to be with either the battery or the generator, but what to do? She kept driving until we suddenly came to an all-night filling station, as they were then called. I went inside and began with my tale of woe. A customer overheard the conversation. He noted what we were driving and told me to wait. In a few minutes he returned with a set of brushes, gave them to me, refused to let me pay him, and left. He happened to be the owner of the car dealership in town. In a short time I had changed the brushes, and we were on our way.
May 5, 2013
Vital to how we speak is what we speak, the choice of words. The time was when we made a radical destination between house and home. The house was the physical building while home referred to the family in the house. I still do a double take when I see a sign which says “Home for Sale.” The desire for a higher standard of living entices parents to spend longer hours to earn more money while turning the children into “latch key” children who fend for themselves until the parents can arrive with prepared frozen or a bucket of chicken which all can eat while watching TV. Home life is laid on the altar of expediency. Some of our former characterizations of the home still resonate: The father is the head of the home. The mother is the heart of the home. The children are the hub of the home. Our main emphasis today centers on the heart of the home.
Apr 28, 2013
A prominent Baptist leader is quoted as having said he read the Book of Psalms to help correct his relationship with God and the Book of Proverbs in learning how to get along with others. Perhaps an introduction to Proverbs may be helpful since we will have four lessons based on those sayings. As for authorship, most of them, 1:1-9:18, are attributed to Solomon.
Apr 21, 2013
As we take a look at the blessings of holiness, we can identify with the sentiment of Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) as he contemplated becoming a Christian. He asked for cleansing, “but not just now!” He had a few more wild oats he wanted to sow before taking up what he considered the austere, joyless life of a Christian. In all honesty, we have to admit that’s just about the way the world views us. As we meditate on the benefits God promised
Apr 14, 2013
To be holy in a religious sense means to be separated from a life given to sin and being devoted or separated to God. As such, it can denote a quality of existence, character, or acts which set us apart from an evil culture. In calling Israel to be a holy people, God intended for them to demonstrate their differences from their surrounding nations in the way they acted as well as the character they demonstrated.
Apr 9, 2013
In studying the social and moral issues addressed in today’s study, we have to remember the circumstances the Israelites endured. Imagine over two million people at the base of Mount Horeb, boxed in on three sides. In the narrow, confined area, the people formed a huge tent city. Add animals of all kinds and children almost without number and conflicts between neighbors would be almost inevitable. Disputes would arise between families, some brought on by intermingling children trying to entertain themselves, animals violating someone else’s supposed turf, and other numberless disagreements. Who was to mediate these disputes and on what legal basis? The law given by God through Moses provided the basis for the civil and religious society.
Mar 31, 2013
The battles of the American Revolutionary War helped shape us as a nation. Just to mention some of them strikes a responsive thrill in many of us. To name a few, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Lexington, and Yorktown stand out. Some of the U.S. Navy types remember United States aircraft carriers named for famous battles. Yet, the date that defines us happened before the war began. July 4, 1776, is the day we celebrate the Declaration of
Mar 24, 2013
To make this study have the emphasis it deserves, I’m going to give an overview suggested by J. Sidlow Baxter in his commentary Explore the Book. He suggests that either by accident or design, the Book of John follows the topics given in the furnishings of the tabernacle. The outline is as follows: The Messiah-God, 1:1-18; The Brazen Altar of Sacrifice, 1:19-2:11; The Brazen Laver of Cleansing, 2:12-4:2; The Table of Showbread, 4:3-7:53; The Golden Lampstand, 8:1-13:30; The Golden Altar of Incense, 13:31-17:26; The Ark of the Covenant, 18:1-20:18; The New Covenant, 20:19-21:25, and 21:1-25, Peter’s call to the pastorate. Now, we look at John 20:1-18.
Mar 17, 2013
During my college days, we used to have a ministerial program with participating churches called “H-Day,” named after Howard College, now Samford University. We supplied “preacher-boys” to an association in South Alabama, which necessitated our spending Saturday at guest homes. I preached at my assigned church on the subject of a servant attitude. To my chagrin, all I could think about was the fact that I had not made my bed that morning. When I returned to the home, my bed was still unmade. I quickly corrected my error. The fact that the woman would have undoubtedly changed the linens mattered not. I had to live with myself to practice what I preached.