Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s Close the Looney Tunes School of Theology

The picture of heaven that floats around in most people’s minds is more dependent on Saturday morning cartoons than it is the Bible. When Elmer Fudd gets blown to bits and finds himself in heaven, what do we see? Forlorn … Continue reading

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Pulling the Lever: The Content and Connection of Faith

Theology is not meant to fill our heads but to better our lives. Theologians tell us that when a person trusts in Jesus Christ a great transition takes place in his or her life. That person is literally connected to … Continue reading

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Will Give You the Desires of Whose Heart?

To what degree, I wonder, are our desires shaped by other people’s desires? How many things do we need because other people have them? How have our tastes been shaped or even reshaped by the tastes of others? People eat … Continue reading

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The Church: Deconstructing or Deteriorating?

Today, many Christians, especially those under 40, are asking tough questions about the faith. They are questioning assumptions taught by, or caught from, their parents. This is particularly true of assumptions regarding sexuality and racial justice. The process is known … Continue reading

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“I Have Sinned”: A Study in Repentance

I used to think of repentance as a thing to be avoided. I thought it was all about feeling so bad about what I had done that I would never do it again. Now I think of repentance as a gift and a blessing.

What changed my mind? The Bible.

St. Paul regards repentance as something that God “gives” – it is a gift and it is priceless! That gift impacts the whole person: emotions, mind, and body—or you could say, feelings, thoughts, and actions.
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Things I’m Glad My Dad Didn’t Teach Me

(For Father’s Day I am posting a piece first published in 2015 by Gatehouse Media.) After reading an article by Peter Scholl, a forty-something married man with kids, living in Australia, I find myself grateful for the things my dad … Continue reading

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Cover Up: What Is Your All-Time Favorite Cover

In your opinion, what is the best cover of all time? Here’s a short list just to get the juices flowing: Jimi Hendrix doing Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower; Aretha Franklin covering Otis Redding’s RESPECT; Cocker covering the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends; the Beatles themselves remaking the Marvelettes’ Please, Mr. Postman; or possibly Janis Joplin’s cover of Kris Kristopherson’s, Me and Bobby McGee. Continue reading

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When Does Happily Ever After Start?

In faith-friendly books and movies, principal characters always face struggles and frequently experience doubts. As their circumstances worsen, their doubts grow and then, at some critical moment, they face a difficult decision. Will they trust God or will they go their own way?

In the few movies and books in this genre with which I’m familiar, a secondary character usually models the wrong choice for the reader or viewer. The protagonist then models the right choice by trusting God. After that moment of faith, the suspense grows greater still. The question of whether the hero will trust God is already decided. Now the question is whether God will prove himself worthy of that trust. Continue reading

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Committed to Christ

This sermon is the first of a four-part series titled, What We Are All About.

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What We’ll Find in the Future (According to the Bible)

The promise of God’s presence has sustained his people. To Jacob: “I will be with you” (Genesis 26:3). To Moses: “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). To Joshua: “I myself will be with you” (Deuteronomy 31:23). To Gideon: “I will be with you” (Judges 6:16). To his people: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2). The promise of the New Covenant, which was brought into effect through Jesus, was: “I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:10-11).

These are promises we cherish and yet how often God has seemed far away! Like Zion, we say: “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14). God-with-us has been, because of sin, God-away-from-us.

But here is what the future holds (Revelation 21:3): “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with people, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

But here is what the future holds (Revelation 21:3): “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with people, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

But if God has desired to be with us all along, why hasn’t he? Because we couldn’t endure his presence. I don’t mean just emotionally but in every way. Sin has so unraveled us that the near presence of the holy God would unmake us entirely.

Well then how can he be with us in the future? What has changed? Continue reading

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