If being born again were all that mattered, then much of the NT's letters would have been shortened, because there'd be no need to address the mess/foolishness of our attempting to live independent of Christ and the issues of the flesh.
I so much appreciate your taking the time to write to me with your concerns. :) Please know that anything I write to you here is not an attack in any way, okay? You are quite a thinker, and I really love to see it! I plan on stimulating your thoughts, so I hope you don't mind.
You're making some pretty heavy-duty assumptions here! First, you pose this as if I have said or insinuated that "being born again (is) all that mattered." I didn't ... and I don't. Now, if I didn't, then you have posed the rest of your letter based on an assumption that I don't hold. Hmmm? Could be?
Another assumption I think you're making is a limitation on being born again. What I mean is that, by your question, you don't think the reality of being born again applies to a good portion of the letter. Now, I think I know where you're coming from, for I used to say much the same. Where I came from I understood being born again as how we got eternal life ... or how we secured our place in heaven. The sense of it evolved over the years for me, but the concept of it being the entrance into this life is how I saw it. That concept is very foreign to me anymore ... praise God! I think you oughta consider that some more. :)
Thirdly, your assumption suggests that I don't deal with the mess/foolishness of our attempting to live independent of Christ and the issues of the flesh. I find this very strange in view of the fact that our attempts at living independent of Christ is mostly what I deal with in my writings ... for the lies and deceptions we hold to are what I challenge. As I get to know people and I begin dealing one on one with them (or even in small groups I meet with) I will get right in their face about issues of the flesh and how these things are so totally absurd. If we continue to correspond (which I hope), expect to be confronted on some specifics. :) Please don't take that the wrong way. Actions reveal what's happening in you. If you are believing lies about yourself and about those around you then you act correspondingly. The problem is that it is not usually apparent HOW one thing relates to the other and it is much easier to deal with the sin than with the person. That's how we live legalistically toward each other. The reality is that it ALWAYS comes back to how we are viewing life ... either by the flesh or by the Spirit; either death or life.
To tell you the truth on my study habits in the past few years, I have found myself enjoying the passages that are often called the practical sections of the letters of the apostles. Such as in Ephesians, I've definitely been reading the last three chapters the most. Same with many of the others. As far as the Revelation, the part of it I read the most is the letters to the Churches. Seeing the reality of Christ in such a life-giving way has given new life and insight to passages I shied away from in earlier years. The context of each individual letter as a whole has opened my eyes to the life Paul spoke of to the people he wrote. One of my favorite letters is 1 Corinthians! Talk about some heavy-duty stuff he dealt with there, huh? But I love it! I love seeing WHY he addressed the issues he did and HOW he addressed them is NOT how most believers address similar issues.
Any way, I will be dealing with a lot more about the will of God in upcoming Shoveletters. I forgot to mention that at the end of the last one, which turned out to be pretty cool as the possibility that I was finished may have elicited a few extra letters than had I written that in there. This has given me a little more insight to how people are viewing what I have written. I need the response in order to better address the things I do as I want to be more relevant to the needs of others.
I do very much appreciate what you wrote to me and hope that you will respond again! :)