Archives for October 2011

The Problem of God – The Solution of Christ

I watched a movie recently entitled "God on Trial", which recounts a trial held in an Auschwitz bunkhouse by Jews who have accused God of breaking His covenant with His people.  The dialogue, questions, and accusations, are not for the faint of faith, for they bring questions about God's character to the surface.  God sanctions, and even commands genocides, inflicts plagues, makes David's son die for David's sin, and calls for children who disobey their parents to be executed.  We read these st … [Read more...]

Imperfections…the soil for intimacy

When I was in high school, I went to a conference where I received a red notebook which contained important and life-changing information about self-image.  It was there I learned the powerful truth of Psalm 139, that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that I could wake up and look at in the mirror every morning believing that God had made me "just the way I am."  I tried, but could never quite get there because in my most honest moments, I knew that there were things about me that I'd w … [Read more...]

The whales and Isaiah: finding God’s vision for living (Part I)

Back in the '80s, I moved from Los Angeles to a small island, a jewel of green set amidst the glorious beauty of Puget Sound.  I moved there to lead a small congregation of evangelical Christians as we, together, tried to learn what it meant to be the presence of Jesus in that place.  At the time, Christian's ire was directed against a vague emerging spirituality that was labelled "the new age movement." Those railing against the movement taught that you could recognize this dark spiritual by c … [Read more...]

The political problem: policy trumps people

I posted this picture on my Facebook account recently and oh my!  People do feel strongly about Wall Street, and the Wall Street occupiers, about personal responsibility, government incompetence, and who's to blame for the mess we're in.  My friends fall broadly into two camps:BLAME THE GOVERNMENT. We're in this mess because the banking system is greedy and corrupt, and the government is either: a) spending too much; b) beholden to special interest groups; c) in bed with a global economy t … [Read more...]

Churches are dying because young people are shut out. Let’s fix this.

Churches are strange. If a steel plant closes in a Rust Belt city, you can be sure that there won’t be a new one opening in the same town where the one shut down.  And yet, when it comes that thing called “church,” we’re living in an era when 3,500-4,000 churches are closing their doors in America every year.  At the same time, there are roughly the same number of new churches opening their doors each year.  As a result, we’re in this very strange time when established churches with histories, p … [Read more...]

Science vs. faith? Try this third alternative.

In anticipation of an upcoming teaching series I'm doing on Genesis 1, I posted the first in a series of considerations on the relationship of faith and science.  You can read the initial post here.  A great discussion ensued in the comment section, and there was one significant comment that's should be pondered in some depth.Regarding the importance of our beginning assumptions they wrote:  Do they start with God’s word, or do they start with man’s ideas? Everyone has a bias (only some are w … [Read more...]

People are hungry–is the church feeding them?

NOTE:  I'm going to be blogging over at Patheos, at least for a few months.  If you're a Patheos regular, welcome to my blog, I'm a pastor, teacher, author, writing about how Christ changes everything."Today’s generation are demonstrably less content, and consequently less optimistic, than those that went before. They work longer hours, with less security, and less chance of leaving behind the social background into which they were born. They fear crime, social breakdown, overdevelopment, env … [Read more...]