Author Archives: salooper57

About salooper57

Husband, father, pastor, follower. I am a disciple of Jesus, learning how to do life from him. I read, write, walk, play a little guitar, enjoy my family.

The Secret of Gratitude: Receiving Life as a Gift

G. K. Chesterton wrote, half in jest: “The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.” Never having been an atheist, I cannot know whether this is true, but I find it doubtful. I do know, however, that it is a bad moment when a believer who does have someone to thank is not thankful. Continue reading

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Wide Angle: You Don’t Get to Know God in an Easy Chair

…nowhere in the Bible do we find God calling people by saying, “I have a no-hassle life-plan for self-fulfillment, and it has your name on it.  All I ask is that you do me the honor of signing up.”   God’s call stretches people.  Continue reading

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Wide Angle: The Line Begins

We’ve been using the image of a panoramic picture to help us in thinking about the coherence of the larger story of what God is doing in the world. But it may also be helpful to think of the biblical … Continue reading

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Consider Yourself a Disciple of Jesus? Don’t Make This Mistake

If you spend five minutes a day with your Bible, spend less than five minutes with news media. If you spend an hour a day with your Bible, spend less than that – half of that – with news media. Mind your mind and the information you take into it. Otherwise, you will never “have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Continue reading

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Is the Bible Relevant to Your Life? Maybe Not

…many people use the Bible like the box top to a jig saw puzzle. They look at it, then try to order the pieces of their lives according to what they see. The trouble is that the pieces they are working with came from a different box. They try to use those pieces to construct the picture of peace and joy as it is presented in sermons, but no matter what they do, they cannot make the pieces go together. Continue reading

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Wide Angle: Fallen (and Still Falling)

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden, humanity’s authority over creation was ripped from them. They were divided from God, divided from their inner selves, divided from each other. God had warned them, “In the day you … Continue reading

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Evangelicalism Commandeered: A Cause for Concern

17 percent of American Muslims who attend mosque at least once a week now identify as Evangelicals. Despite the Evangelical label, they would not say the Bible is authoritative on all matters of faith and practice, nor would they insist on a decision for Christ.

he fact that so many American Muslims are now identifying as Evangelical is not the only surprise. The number of Catholics who identify as Evangelical has more than doubled in the past decade. Continue reading

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Proof of … Faith (1 Peter 1:6-7)

I don’t know what you think about proof of vaccine (and I hope you won’t feel the need to tell me), but the Bible reveals that God also has a “proof of” requirement—and no one is going to pass legislation … Continue reading

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What to Do When the Bible Bothers You

Why has this bothered me? Because it sounds as if Isaiah – and worse, Jesus – is saying that God doesn’t want people to hear or to see and so to turn to him and be healed. Such a calloused deity seems incompatible with the God I have known in Jesus, who loves even messy people and offers them his blessing. Nor does it fit with other passages in the Bible that unambiguously state that God wants all people to come to repentance and to be saved. Continue reading

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Wide Angle: Presenting God as a “Cosmic Spoilsport”

I have always assumed, when I read this passage, that the entire temptation took place in a day, even in a few moments. But the text does not really say this, and I suspect that it is not so. Perhaps this temptation continued at intervals for days, or weeks, or even months.

The serpent began by asking a question—not that he cared how the woman answered the question. It was not an answer he was after. He only asked the question to prepare the ground of her mind for the seed of doubt he intended to plant. By prefacing his question with the words, “Did God really say,” he introduced uncertainty into the situation and into her mind. Continue reading

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