weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!

18 02 2010

…and off we go on the journey! I’m in the thick of my thesis research and, well, it’s a blast and its a drag all at the same time. Some of the reading can be a beating. I mean, if someone would just write what I want to say, then I can refer to them and be done with it! No, instead I have to try and piece various peeps together to basically say…”see, I’m not the only one who thinks this!” Why can’t I be “an authority” on the matter?? And then there is the blast…I mean I did we did pick the topic, so it is what I am interested in! Oh yeah, in case you forgot, something along the lines of “An Evangelical Comparison of Biblical Demonolgy and Mayan Spiritism.” Anyway, I have to have the bulk of the research and a written outline of my paper done by March 15…it is looming up ahead (cue impending doom music)

I am also taking another journey, with the Sunday School class. We are traveling back to the time of the Early Church to study developments in Christian thinking. What a great series, huh?!? I’m sure into it!!! As I was prepping the intro, came across this great quote about studying Church history:

Studying church history…is like being at a Bible study with a great company of people who thought about those questions that were bothering you and others.
— Alister McGrath

Isn’t that great?!? So, we are joining a bible study of Christians from the first 5 centuries of Christianity. The main focus is to look at how they contended for the Christian faith (see challenge here). As our faith is bombarded, how do we respond? Let’s take a gander at how the early brothers and sisters responded…


2010 resolution (or whatever)

27 01 2010

Lose weight…get out of debt…more time with family…quit smoking…get organized…the annual resolution list that surfaces each January. I’ve never been much into making new year’s resolutions, or goals, or whatever you want to call them. I’m not particularly against the idea, just never participated much. And yet this year I’m moved to challenge myself and others to, in the least, make one resolution: Get in a fight!

Fight?? Yes, fight!

Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Jude 3

Resolve to fight for the faith in 2010! The Christian faith is not the “natural” way of life. Thinking Christianly is not the first thoughts that flood our mind. Acting Christianly is not our first impulse, nor is it modeled often for us to observe. We must contend for the faith, lest it become but a faint whisper that is drowned out by all that surrounds us.

Jude is not alone in his appeal to the early church. The Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast to the faith that has been passed on to him (1 Timothy 6:12). To the church at Ephesus, Paul instructs them to put on the armour of God (Ephesians 6)…who puts on armour unless he is going to battle? May we remind ourselves, constantly, that we cannot afford even a moment of passivity in our faith!

Oh that this year I would heed the exhortation to contend for the faith!

The Discipline of Discipline

17 08 2009

Have you ever thought of our Lord’s discipline as a spiritual discipline??

My Sunday school co-teacher helped us investigate this. What a great perspective! Sure, as far as a discipline goes, we can’t exactly practice this one on our own since, well, it is God who disciplines. But, consider enduring God’s discipline. Cannot this be a discipline? As we grow in spiritual maturity, don’t we learn to endure discipline from the Lord because He is shaping/teaching/growing/molding/forming/loving us?

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons…Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we sumbint to the Father of our spirits and live!…but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:7-11

God’s discipline is often our suffering. Do you remember Paul’s challenging words to us?

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

I am moved as I consider the suffering (in all shapes and forms) that my friends are enduring…for I see the hand of God at work in your lives! I see brothers and sisters in Christ enduring discipline as God grows them and shapes them, more deeply, into passionate Christ-lovers who increasingly reflect the glory of God! I believe that in suffering we are reminded that we are people of faith…there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else to hold on to in these times!! There is nothing this world can offer to make such suffering worthwhile! Only Christ is worth this… I am privileged to be in community with you!!


6 02 2009

our sunday school class, like any “true” evangelical group is studying Romans…okay, i jest. but we really are working our way through Romans. we have just climaxed with chapter 8:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (8:37-39)

Now we enter what can be the dark valley of chapter 9 (and following)…dark not because of what it reveals about God, but because of the warring battle that the heart & mind of man fights. It is a battle that I still fight, to a differing degree depending on the day. And I suspect, as with the confession of many a revered pastor, theologian, and Christian who has gone before me, it demands FAITH, then a lifetime of seeking understanding, if the Lord permits.

I am excited about the journey we as a group are taking, though well aware of the dangers that lurk as we delve into God’s Word! As we gather together to devour this slab of meat that is before us, may the Spirit help us digest the hunks lest we choke on them (ewww)!!


4 02 2009

To claim the risen Jesus as ‘son of god’ in the sense of ‘Messiah’ was the most deeply Jewish thing the Christians could do, and hence the most deeply suspect in the eyes of those Jews who did not share their convictions. [727]

But that misses the point the early Christians were eager to make, the point that brought them quickly into confrontation with the authorities both Jewish and pagan. To imply that Jesus ‘went to heaven when he died’, is to miss the point, to cut the nerve of the social, cultural and political critique. Death is the ultimate weapon of the tyrant; resurrection does not make a covenant with death, it overthrows it. The resurrection, in the full Jewish and early Christian sense, is the ultimate affirmation that creation matters, that embodied human beings matter. That is why resurrection has always had an inescapable political meaning; that is why the Sadducees in the first century, and the Enlightenment in our own day, have opposed it so strongly. No tyrant is threatened by Jesus going to heaven, leaving his body in a tomb. No governments face the authentic Christian challenge when the church’s social preaching tries to base itself on Jesus’ teaching, detached from the central and energizing fact of his resurrection (or when, for that matter, the resurrection is affirmed simply as an example of a supernatural ‘happy ending’ which guarantees post-mortem bliss). [730-31]

The Resurrection of the Son of God by N. T. Wright

Book Review Intro

30 03 2008

If interested, here is the introduction to a book review that I wrote. It is not a specifically Christian book, though it is written by a professed believer with a political background. I used it to evaluate concepts of God, Man, and Sin. The book is Voice of Many Crying by John Munday.

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