Saturday, August 16, 2014
comic art comic books comics iconic covers
Friday, August 15, 2014
So what does it mean to "be evangelical?"...Those are all good things, but that's no where near enough to get the job done when it comes to being wholly and fully Christian. Those are all a "me and God" thing - there is nothing about the church or the other generally.
... the primary dimension of evangelical identity: a personal experience of faith. We use lots of language to describe it: being born again, being saved, conversion, and so forth. But the root of evangelical identity involves a personal commitment to Jesus Christ....
A second dimension of being evangelical relates closely to the first: evangelicals experience a warm, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. As one old revivalist hymn puts it, "He walks with me, and he talks with me."...
Third, most evangelicals have what I would call a "devotional" relationship to the Bible. By "devotional" I mean that we read the Bible with the expectation that it will address our lives in life-giving ways....
If Christianity end with me getting my goodies (personal salvation, a feel good "kick" from the morning devotional, feeling good about myself...) then it is little different that "self-actualization" or any of the other thousand of self-help programs and processes that fill the world today. Beign a Christian starts and ends not with us, but with God. Any discussion of being something Christian that does not have something in it about the nature of God and His sovereignty is short of the mark.
And somehow, I think that defines a lot of what is wrong with the church in America these days.
Christianity definitions sovereignty
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Truth and Love
Today, I'll begin with the question "What does it mean to speak the truth?" If you were to look at the original Greek of this verse, you might be surprised to find that the Greek verbs meaning "to speak" do not show up here. Instead, we find the verb aletheuo, which is related to the word aletheia, meaning "truth." An overly literal translation might read, "truthing in love." This has led some commentators to suggest that Paul has in mind both speaking and living the truth when he uses the verb aletheuo. Though there can be no doubt about the need for active living of the truth (as captured by the phrase "in love"), it's likely that aletheuo means "speaking the truth." Unlike those in verse 14 who deceive people with the falsities they utter, we are to speak the truth.And yet, how often do we hear the truth spoken clearly in a loveless manner? No place is that more evident to day than in the discussion of same-sex relationships. The truth is homosexual activity is a sin, but we are still called to love the homosexual. Indeed the world has come to believe that love and acceptance of the actions of the object of the love are the same thing, but has Christians we should be able to make the differentiation. The fact that the world cannot see our love in our declarations of the truth tells me that there is something very wrong with our demonstrations of that love.
The biggest part of that is, I believe, a failure to build relationships. Roberts goes on to say, "As he writes this, Paul envisions people who are close enough to each other that they can communicate orally. Face-to-face relationship continues to be a primary context for our truth speaking." How often do we talk "At" homosexuals instead of with them? Where are the ministries that seek to be among them as Christ was among the tax-collectors and publicans?
In times pasts places where homosexuals gathered were such highly sexualized environments generally that a Christian felt wrong simply entering it. However, in this age where the homosexual claims to want to be "just like a heterosexual couple" maybe the time has come to reach out a bit.
At least if we have learned how to love.
homosexual ministry love truth
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
What Do You Chase?
"While many churches acknowledge that they are in trouble, they too frequently come up with the wrong solutions. Some are chasing fads. Others are asking how to modernize biblical words, worship services, or even our theology so it will be more to the liking of the potential consumers. I believe that in the end, all these solutions will only end up dooming the church to the steady decline it is already on. Don't get me wrong: I am not against using words that people can understand or having music that appeals to a younger crowd. However, whenever we stray from God's Word, we will not have God's blessing, and without that blessing, the forces of hell will prevail against the church (see Matthew 16:18). Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church; He did not say any church. If the church is no longer His church, it has no protection from the Enemy. It cannot crash through the walls that protect the lost from the light. Walking away from the church is not an option either, particularly if we want to be a part of the Lord's plan to rescue the world. The church is God's idea, and we must seek to restore it to its purpose and blessing. Rather than swing the pendulum too far, let's get back to basics."'Nuff Said.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
What Does Leadership Require?
On the micro level to get together in a book group with a bunch of other guys struggling like you are is just silly - the blind leading the halt.
ON a macro level, I do not know where to begin. Conferences? Conferences? Of course, Edmondson in in the conference business so it is natural he would view that as the primary means of learning these things. But here is an idea that I think some might find pretty radical. Go out in the world and do something to develop, then come back and do church work.
Think about it.
Monday, August 11, 2014
He goes on to say that individualism, status, competition, all things proven to make us unhappy, but pursued nonetheless, are written into policy in the form of performance related pay or schools rankings. For this, Layard blames the unholy synergy between Adam Smith and Charles Darwin...If I read this right - happiness is counter-cultural so we need to choose to be counter-cultural. Not sure what to make of that. Honestly.
As people of faith we know that relationships, beginning with our relationship to God, make us happy and fulfilled. We also know that giving to others makes us happier than accumulating for ourselves does. Yet when it comes to prioritizing our time and use of resources consumption and wealth often win.
The question we all need to grapple with is If we really want to be happier, what should we do differently? and then we need to figure out how to go about doing those things.
There is a very reasonable point there about choices and sources of happiness - but why the arbitrary shots at Smith and Darwin? In some ways the world simply is the way the world is. Despite our delusions to the contrary, there are some thing we cannot control. Now about of political, social, or cultural model building can change it.
Happiness is a choice when we have no control. That's the deepest point. Another way to put it is - S*&^ happens. We just have to learn how to be happy when it does. That's the choice and that means happiness is from a source other than Darwin, Smith or any other ideology.
It comes only from Christ.
choices happiness sources