Posts

Showing posts from September, 2010

Malicious Witnesses

Our culture finds truth boring.   Dysfunction is sensationalized.   Controversy brings ratings.   Our favorite callers to the radio talk shows are the most critical ones.   No one is very concerned with how their statements may fair in the family of their neighbor.   We fan the flames of exaggeration, criticism, and slander with little thought that the coach or the politician we loathe has children, a mother, and may or may not (any longer) have friends.   We are malicious witnesses. The covenant community of God relied heavily on truth.   The penalty for perjury in a court of law was severe. [1]   The question of the culture and courts was not what was more believable, or even what was more entertaining, but rather what was true?   After all, these same people who tell stories about one another are also responsible to tell the story of God.   If they “bear false witness” against their neighbor, their fellow countryman, some kid’s dad, can they be trusted to witness before others about

A Biblical View of Nukes

Image
My first computer was the size of a VW Beetle.   The monitor was high resolution green.   When you printed a document you had to tear a mile and a half of perforated feeder bands off the sides of the paper.   Before there was photoshop, there was printshop.   You could ink "Happy Birthday" across three sheets of continuous feed perforated paper and when you looked at the graphics really close you realized the entire design (what we now call pixels) was brought to you by the letter "n."   Today I am typing on a bluetooth keyboard to an iPad with no moving parts, gigs of storage, on an HD screen.   The whole thing is the size of a photo and weighs about 1/2 a pound.   To look back and see where we were in the '80's and where we are now is surreal.   My only disappointment is that the Jetsons turned out to be false prophets.   My Xterra does not fly.   Yet, there was a movie in the '80's that may have been a bit prophetic.   At the very least it asked

Living on Gentile Time (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

As Gentiles, we exist outside the covenants of God with His people the Jews. However, through grace we have been given a time to enter into the promise brought about by salvation. God made a way for us to be included while His own still reject Him. This is our time, our opportunity, to repent, cleanse, share, and worship. God will redeem His own, as promised; but for now we are to follow Him and be ready for His return. Listen to Audio

Gentiles, Jews, Israelites, and Hebrews

Lord willing, the next two Sundays will deal with prophecy as it relates to current events.   What is God doing now?   A primary text for these sermons will be Romans 9 – 11.   This passage speaks repeatedly of Israel and Gentiles.   This morning I received a great list of questions seeking clarification on the terms Jew (Israelite) and Gentile.   Given the topics for the next couple of weeks here is some simple information that may help. Q:   What is the difference between Jews and Gentiles? A:   Technically the Bible only distinguishes two ethnic races, Jews and Gentiles.   Jews are descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.   Everyone else, regardless of nationality, skin color, or modern ethnicity is Gentile.   Q:   What is the origination of the name “Israel?” A:   Jacob’s name was changed to Israel in Genesis 35:10 Q:   What is the difference in the terms Jew, Israelite, and Hebrew?   A:   The answer is yes and no.   Most commonly, people do not make a distinction.   Yet, st

Promises that Rock the World part 2 (sermon audio: Sun. am.)

God takes His covenant with Abraham and brings it into greater focus with David. He reveals that there will be a son who will sit on the throne forever. We know this Son to be Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of covenant and prophecy. However, what does this mean for us today? We did not vote for this king, nor does he vie for our approval and affections. Yet, we try to approach our holy God as a political process. Jesus has been established as Lord over all things and our response should be surrender. God’s plan for the ages and His people will be accomplished regardless of our opinions, but always for the ultimate good of those who love Him. Listen to Audio

Promises that Rock the World part 1 (sermon audio: Sun. am.)

God promised Abraham a blessing that we benefit from even today. Whether we are Abraham’s seed by lineage or by faith, we take part in this blessing. However, in this promise there are conditions. We must have a direction and path of obedience, a community of people who encourage us as we journey through this life surrounded by temptation, and a distinct purpose of being a conduit of the blessing by sharing the gospel. Listen to Audio

BurnaKoranoPhobia

A few weeks ago Bobby Ghosh of TIME magazine diagnosed Americans as suffering from Islamophobia - an irrational fear of Islam.   The powder keg of the controversy is the Park 51 project which proposes to build an Islamic mosque in the vicinity of Ground Zero.   The call of our country’s great minds came for us to demonstrate the American spirit, observe the constitution and allow freedom of religion to prevail. Last week Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida intended to burn a stack of Korans (the holy scriptures of Islam) on 9/11.   The pastor of the small church painted the words "Burn a Koran Day" on the side of a white trailer and subsequently appeared on every major news network.   Like the Park 51 project, this unknown pastor garnered the attention of America's greatest minds.   Pastor Jones and Park 51 went from obscure places and people to instantly recognisable equals.   Pastor Jones' actions have been publicly denounced by significant Christian evange

Does Israel Care About Peace?

Image
While the White House hosts a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Jews enjoy the beach.   When it comes to peace, Israel is apathetic according to Karl Vick in his article, “The Good Life and Its Dangers” which appears in the 9/13 edition of TIME Magazine.   Vick’s article and its accompanying illustrations of families in the park, conversations in coffee shops, and lazy days at the beach, paint the picture of an Israel that is economically booming, secure, and happy.   “In a 2007 survey, 95% of Israeli Jews described themselves as happy, and a third said they were “very happy.”   I interpret Vick’s point to be that Israel is too happy to care about peace.   The cover of Time reads in reference to the article, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”   For Vick, a prosperous and happy but otherwise apathetic Israel is detrimental to peace.   “Deep down (you can almost hear the outside world ask), don’t Israelis know that finding peace with the Palestinians is t

Sin and the Son (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Two things are shaping our existence, sin and the Son. Everyday our bodies and minds are influenced because of these forces. From the very beginning, man and woman experienced temptation and sin in the garden and the curse it brought with it. Since that time, we have been thoroughly ruined and blinded by the same. However, through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, redemption from the curse of sin was made available and is changing lives still today. From this we know we have all been impacted by sin, but what will we do with the Son? Listen to Audio

No God Needed According to Hawking

Image
Famed physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking ’s new book The Grand Design, set to be released on 9/9 is a rebuttal to Isaac Newton ’s idea that the design of the universe cannot possibly be explained as a the result of chaos and chance. Newton postulated that there must be a designer. There must be God. Hawking, reportedly says this is not necessarily the case. I have flipped through the net this morning looking for more excerpts of the book, but this is about all I have found so far: (from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/02/stephen-hawking-god-not-n_n_703179.html ). In his “1988 book "A Brief History of Time," Hawking appeared to accept the possibility of a creator, saying the discovery of a complete theory would "be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God."But "The Grand Design" seems to step away from that, saying physics can explain things without the need for a "benevolent creator who made th

Being Biblical - A Process for Topical Bible Study

When we refer to something as “biblical” we obviously mean that we are seeking a way of doing things that (positively) pattern themselves after the way the Bible teaches us things should be done and (negatively) does not contradict Scripture.   We should seek to do things Biblically because 1) as sinners we are prone to believe and do things wrongly and 2) as redeemed people God calls us to go about His work correctly.   The Bible helps us to alleviate false ideas and adopt right ones.   Because we are sinful and God is Holy, His ways are the right ways.   As the record of His ways, the Bible is our standard of truth (as opposed to our own opinions, thoughts, or feelings which can easily lead us astray). If we are seeking to be biblical with any subject, the obvious question is then, “What does the Bible say about ___________________?”   As an example of the process, let’s ask this question about prayer.   Here is a simple process for a topical Bible study on prayer. [1]   One could ap