HOPE…

25 01 2013

hope graphic

…the difference between life and death.

I just finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It is a tale of the almost unbelievable ordeals of POW Louie Zamperini. I was fascinated by the contrast of Louie who had hope, and survivd, and others who did not, and death quickly came. It was a real life example of the power of hope. I was challenged to consider how Christians speak of hope. Often it seems that our use carries connotations of wishful thinking, or wispy desires. But that is not Christian hope! No. Our hope is grounded in Christ, giving us certainty! Hope grounded in Christ truly can be the difference between life and death.

 

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Thoughts on church

21 12 2009

There are times when a certain topic takes root in my mind, and like weeds it pops up in all sorts of places, shading most of what I think about and talk about. I see it in things I read…in conversations I have…in studies I do…EVERYWHERE! So has it been with church. In one sense, I am not sure why. In another sense I know exactly why. In regards to the former, I am not preparing for a specifically “church” ministry. By this I mean that I am not preparing for a vocational ministry within a church (like a senior pastor, minister to a specific age group, youth pastor, etc). So why the obsession? In regards to the latter, all Christians need be part of a church because this is the body of Christ…this is the family that I have been placed in…this is part of my new identity…it is created/instituted/ordained by God…so how can I not think about it??

I found these interesting statements regarding challenges to the church…issues that I find dangerously real.

The truth is that without a biblical understanding of why God instituted it, the church easily becomes a liability in a market where it competes only with the greatest of difficulty against religious fare available in the convenience of one’s living room and in a culture bent on distraction and entertainment.

The constant cultural bombardment of individualism, in the absence of a robust theology, meant that faith that had rightly been understood as personal now easily became faith that was individualistic, self-focused, and consumer oriented. That was the change to which the church marketers attuned themselves.

–David Wells, The Courage to be Protestant

For many Christians, a biblical understanding of the church is rapidly disappearing.