Saturday, October 25, 2014


Comic Art


Friday, October 24, 2014


There Needs To Be A Tenth

Scott Brown (Christian Post editor) writes about "Pastors and Sin: Nine Ways Church Elders are Held Accountable." His list is so typical of the independent Baptist/Evangelical church that I could not help but think there should be a tenth item on the list - hierarchical structure - a place to which to appeal.

I am not fooling myself here, such structures are as corruptible and corrupt as anything else, but so often pastoral sin is small and comes down to the pastors word against one other person. Such situation demand a fully independent and higher appeal. Old adage says "You cannot investigate yourself."

Such a word against word situation leaves the congregant feeling powerless. God empowers.

I have seen much church corruption in my life - the most destructive has been in the situations described in this article. They cannot be allowed to stew in their own juices.


Illuminated Scripture - Friday Edition

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Thursday, October 23, 2014


We're Still Sinners

Jon Acuff asks "Why do Christians lie so much?" If you are not offended b the question, you ought to be. The reason he states:
Non Christians get grace. Christians get judgement.

I think far too often, if we're gracious, we're gracious to people who don't believe and then judgmental to those that do.
There is a whole lot of truth there, but there is also a deep danger. You see, in order to achieve internal graciousness, I think the church has made of itself an eternal evangelistic meeting and pretty well done away with anything else.

The key os not simple graciousness, the key is to learn how to be gracious while calling people forward. We need to learn how to be gracious while at the same time, urging, admonishing, calling and nudging people towards holiness. We are all still sinners, but we we need to be moving in a direction that is away from that.

You see, I think we have redefined graciousness. We seem to think that graciousness is about not pointing out peoples faults. I think graciousness is more about making people stare their faults dead in the eye - staring at them with them - and then still loving them. That's a very different thing than not pointing them out. In order to do that we need to stare at our own faults - and that's the problem.

Yes, we forgive those that do wrong things, but that does not mean wrong is not wrong and they we do not say it is wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



Alissa Wilkinson on Mark Roberts blog quotes Stuart Scadron-Wattles:
There is no algorithm for “show me something I didn’t know that I wanted to see.”


In other words, I get to read what I already have read. Amazon gets to sell me something, and—assuming I repeatedly click the right button, my reading life begins to resemble life in these American suburbs: safe, familiar, smooth roads, with pre-approved credit limits, brand names, and architecture to match.
So true - you cant note this in the increasingly limited inventories at brick-and-mortar stores and if you travel much in how homogenous the experience can be, even if what you are looking at changes. (Honestly - is shopping in a mall in New Jersey really any different than shopping in a mall in California?)

I cannot help but reflect on what that says about spirituality and Christian growth. To grow you must experience new things. You have to go outside your comfort zone and you have to try different things. And yet, as churches we so often act as the internet - we homogenous. The Mainlines look like the Evangelicals who look like "TV church."

At some point aren't we reinforcing our own limitations?

I astonish myself at times becasue I find myself thinking more and more frequently about becoming Catholic. There is so much I disagree with in Catholicism, but at least it will stretch me. At least there I can learn new things. At least their tradition is broad enough that I can continue my explorations and not hit the end of the road that seems so common in Protestantism.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014



Mark Roberts:
Is Christianity primarily a matter of doing, thinking, or being? Chances are you know the "right answer." It's "all of the above." Christianity embraces doing, thinking, and being. That's clear enough.

I agree. But, in practice, most of us tend to lean strongly in one direction or another. If you grew up in a Christian home, there's a good chance you learned to think of Christianity as a matter of doing (and not doing)....

Then, somewhere along the way, we discovered that Christianity had to do with thinking. We learned that theology matters, that having the right theology is vital to authentic faith....

Then, perhaps a little later in life, our hearts yearned for something more. We wanted to go deeper than just doing and just thinking. We sought to know God more experientially, to learn what it meant to be God's child,...
That's a good description of my journey to date. Although I will say that often The doing is not base upon which I build, but an approach which I abandon. I think it is right and good that we go through these stages, but we cannot abandon what we have learned for the sake of what we are learning. That is the hard part. It is also the secret to becoming a whole Christian.

Lord. make me a whole Christian!


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Monday, October 20, 2014


What's God Up To In Your Life?

Mark Roberts:
Sometimes, we can think of the Christian as a minor remodel. When we put our faith in Christ, we add a few new beliefs and behaviors. But, for the most part, we think and live much as we did before receiving God's grace through Christ.

This minor remodel approach to Christianity falls far short of the biblical vision.
Being a Christian is radical stuff. Not "workers of the world unite radical," rather radical in the sense that what God is about in our loves is not adjustment, but re-creation.

As I sit here thinking and praying about this I am tempted to write about what this means for my life personally, and your, I hope. But the thought keeps also running through my mind about what this means with regards to how we invite people to join us. We present the world with a kind of Christianity Lite becasue we think the world will be afraid of the real stuff. But what I keep wondering is if Christianity Lite is really that appealing. It looks so much like everybody else, just in churchy clothes. You have to be a sheep for the sheep's clothing trick to work and people are not sheep.

But as I think about that, maybe I really am thinking about what this means to my life personally. Maybe present Christianity Lite to the world is the excuse I use to prevent God from making the real radical changes He wants to make in my life. Maybe if instead of worrying about the image I present to the world for the sake of evangelism, I worried about what it is God is doing in my life and let the image thing take care of itself my life might actually attract people to God.

Or is that too radical a thought?

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