Saturday, August 29, 2015
Friday, August 28, 2015
But every time I approach this subject, I walk away thinking of the responsibility of headship, no the authority or the power. Roberts says this in the set-up to his brief discussion, emphasis added:We noted that Ephesians 5 associates headship with the sacrificial love of Christ, as well as with his nurture and care for the church, the body of which he is the head. When one leads something, and being the head is certainly about leading - our head leads the rest of our body - it means that person is responsible, wholly and completely, for the health and well-being of the entire enterprise. That carries authority with it, but far more it carries responsibility - which in Christ's case meant sacrifice of His very Lordship.
These passages are about leadership in the church and in a marriage. Leadership is a practical need, it is not a measure of worth. Doing away with it, or avoiding the subject creates chaos. There have been massive problems historically with leadership, but that does not mean doing away with it, or softening it is the issue. The issue is bad leaders - leaders that do not understand it is a sacrificial role, not a reward, award or measure of worth.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
From Whence Growth
Being a nominal Presbyterian, Methodist, or Baptist is easier; though there are some outward expectations like baptism (among credobaptists) that can mark a spiritual commitment. But Pentecostal believers and churches constantly emphasize spiritual practice and engagement. -- That helps make a more robust faith.
Not only does a valued distinctive encourage participation and growth in the local body, but it also provides an imperative for growth outside of the local body. When you appreciate what you have as much as Pentecostals do, you aren’t satisfied to experience it yourself. You think others should have the same opportunity to partake of the movement of the Spirit of God.
Pentecostals believe in their approach. Their Christian walk has benefited, and they think everyone should have access. While others are figuring out what to do now to achieve growth, Pentecostals are focusing on who they are and are achieving growth.
So, from my perspective, one which believes in manifestations of the Holy Spirit without believing them mandatory for genuine faith, the question becomes how to capture something like this in other faith expression.
Can't character be as big a mark of faith as tongues?
Pentecostals character growth
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
One. Comic books are serious literature. Yes, there are a huge number of insipid, silly, pulp comic books, but the same thing is true for novels. For every Moby Dick there are hundred of Harlequin romance novels. Get over it - there is good stuff out there. This, by the way, includes the super-hero genre, which I think it can be argued comprise the great American epic.
Two. Because comics largely reflect pop culture, much of this is anti-religious. Just once in my life I wish someone who is not religious would take religion on its own terms. But then, of course, those that do end up religious. Oops.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
You say you are writing to both believers and non-believers. What do you hope these two audiences will come away with?"Awesome" is one of the most overused words in worship today and yet I truly wonder if we understand what it really means. Are you "staggered" by your awe of God?
I want to challenge and inspire both. A believer should say, I am not enough in awe of God. Every breath genuinely is a gift. That’s not a cliché; that’s something I need to think about because science helps us understand how real that is. The way God designed the universe is a staggering thing, and I ought to be in awe. I ought to be praising God for this more than I probably am. And the same thing with the miracle stories I tell in the book. A believer should think, wow, I don’t know if I buy every one if these, but gee whiz, look at the welter of evidence just from people that Eric knows. I need to think about this. Maybe I ought to pray that God would speak to me in this way.
If not, it might be time for a rethink of your use of that word.
Monday, August 24, 2015
We Need Heros, And History
Christians throughout history have interacted with saints in various ways. Eastern Orthodox believers gaze at them through icons and pass down their stories via hagiographies. Some Roman Catholics pray to them and ask for their help interceding with God. While such practices might make a good Protestant squirm, we can all benefit from viewing saints like Jacques Douillet, as “those who march in front and give the example.”Amen - we do not need intermediaries as the Catholics think of the saints, but we need heroes in a big way. Actually, most protestants just need church history. We tend to think everything is unique and right now, when there really is little new under the sun.
Jesus ministry was steeped in the history of the Jewish people. He made constant reference to the scriptures of the Old Testament and part of His claims stemmed from his ancestors. We, however, tend to act as if Christianity sprang up, fully formed about the time of the Reformation. Many Evangelical churches think Christianity started about the time their pastor rented that first space in a strip mall.
History matters. It is more than just avoiding mistake previously made. It is also a matter of understanding on the deepest possible levels who we are and what we stand for. The church seems lost is a miasma of self-fulfillment, and yet it is supposed to be so much more. History is one more way to take us out of our own mind and concerns and place us in a larger context.
Like the epic heroes of Greece and Rome, like King Arther and Gilgamesh, we need heroic saints of the church.
church history saints selflessness