Why We Gather (RJS)

I had the privilege of attending a Celebration of Life (i.e. memorial service) earlier this summer for my uncle, ’54 MDiv Northern Seminary, for 35 years a bivocational pastor in rural Illinois. Growing up I knew him as my uncle the pastor, this is what shaped his identity.  His work as a teacher and school [Read More…]

A Story Carved In Stone (RJS)

I’ve been reading a new book that uses the geology of the Grand Canyon region to outline the evidence for an ancient earth, The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? This book contains abundant pictures and diagrams to educate the reader about geology and the shortcomings of flood geology. If you have little or no scientific training, and have wondered how geology works and why the overwhelming majority of Christian geologists have little patience with Flood Geology this section is for you. It is informative and easy to read accompanied by great illustrations and pictures. [Read more…]

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our … Politics? (RJS)

Despite the title this isn’t a post about the current US presidential election – although I hope it gets people thinking about how they frame their position, whatever that may be. In fact, the title may distract from the theme of the post. But it is an attention grabber. “They,” that is the non-Christians in [Read More…]

Testable Truth (RJS)

All of us have some kind of worldview or philosophy of life. It may be a carefully reasoned position, or an organic entity that we grew into (or up in). In any event it can be helpful to examine the elements of our worldview and put them to the test. Truth should survive the test. [Read More…]

A Literal Reading, Please (RJS)

A common question raised any time the question of creation and evolution comes up is the impact of this discussion on our understanding of scripture. After all, if we can’t take Genesis 1 literally why take any other part of the Bible literally? This is one of the three common questions Tim Keller reports from [Read More…]

Rules of Engagement (RJS)

How can we hold a reasonable conversation on a controversial issue? There are many issues on which reasonable, dedicated, and devout Christians disagree. The form and intent of the Lord’s Supper (communion or Eucharist), the appropriate age for baptism, the mode of baptism, appropriate roles for women in the church, politics, economics, the age of [Read More…]

Why Don’t We Push the Storehouse Theory of Rain? (RJS)

The Bible teaches that God governs the weather including the rain (image to the right from wikipedia). Many passages make this quite clear. Not only this he keeps rain, wind, snow and hail in his storehouses to be sent forth out of his bounty or wrath. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of [Read More…]

Abraham Laughed (RJS)

God promised Abr(ah)am a son in his old age, and then elaborated that the promised son would come from his wife Sarai, now Sarah, a promise that made both Abraham and Sarah laugh.  I have heard a multitude of sermons over the years on Sarah’s laughter (generally casting it in a negative light – occasionally [Read More…]

Our Rock (RJS)

There are two common ways of looking for authority and certainty in the Christian faith. We can turn to the church. In this view authority is vested in the institutional church and our faith is founded on the inerrancy of church tradition and church hierarchy. This is the rock upon which we stand. The search [Read More…]

And God Said “Let There Be Light” (RJS)

Genesis 1 is a marvelous passage – highly stylized literature if not technically poetry. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be [Read More…]