Co-illumination: Preaching from the text of life

This Sunday, I'll be starting a new series at our church entitled, "Every Square Inch:  Blessing the World through Culture Reading and Vocation".  In this series I'll be preaching from the book of life, a book that's declaring eternal truth, every day, all around us.  In spite of this constant revelation, the reality is that our hearts and minds are so fragmented that we usually don't hear what God is saying to us through culture.  We're grown up believing that God's truth is found in the Bible, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Fashionistas: It’s not about the clothes – it’s about the body in the clothes

I just returned from a worship service here in Austria on this 2nd Sunday in Advent.  Though I understood only a few dozen words, I wanted to be there both to worship, and because of my friendship with the pastor (we had a discussion about Austrian church history, and you can view it here).  It was beautiful and by beautiful I mean many things, not the least of which is that it was utterly appropriate for the Austrian culture.  The church choir sang two numbers, and Austrian singing is di … [Read more...]

Obama, God, and Wrong Conversations

Obama failed to give thanks to God in his online Thanksgiving address.  He thanked God in his written address.  He thanked God last year.  He closes speeches, as every president ever has, with "May God bless the United States of America".  None of this matters though to Fox News, who obsessed over his Bush like omission (Bush also failed to mention God in his final Thanksgiving address).  The failure was offensive enough that one paper wrote  his comments are "just what we would expect from a Mar … [Read more...]

While you were protesting…

Luke 19:10 offers an interesting perspective on the word "occupy" because this is where Jesus tells the parable of the talents.  A master hands over some money to various servants and tells them to "occupy" (King James) until he returns.  Then, of course, some do that well, and bring the master a return on his investment, and others, not so much."Occupy": to fill or take up space.  The word can mean many things I suppose, and there's a sense to which the occupy movement is giving us a li … [Read more...]

What’s more damaging than “No Faith”? Mindless Faith

Listen to these words by St. Augustine, which have the contemporary ring of today's science vs. faith debate to them:Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and …this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.  Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing s … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]