Values for the Church & Her Leaders (part 2): Community

The second value that is important to both the local church and to her leaders is community.  This is another word that has multiple meanings for various groups, so I want to offer the following summary: “Authentic relationships guided by love can change the world.” The values of community and missional fit together perfectly.  It [Read More...]

Values for the Church & Her Leaders (part 1): Missional

The bible is full of helpful character traits that could easily be confused with core values for leadership.  Being kind, compassionate, wise, or a servant; are all examples of these.  Rather than looking at various characteristics of a leadership in the bible, I want to suggest that a Christian leader is invited to derive her [Read More...]

11:11 for 2011 Book Giveaway Contest Results!

I want to thank all of you who participated in this contest.  It really helped me to continue to get the word out about this blog and the conversations I love being a part of on Facebook!  What a blessing it is to be a facilitator of Christ-centered dialogue!  Also, I believe that God is [Read More...]

End Times Board Game and Unbiblical Madness

(thanks to Michael Morrell for showing me this via FB *Also note that “madness” is not to suggest the insanity of the good folks who hold to the view being critiqued, but to the “madness” of playing a board game ) I am personally saddened that this is a real commercial by wonderful Christian folks [Read More...]

What is the Core Message of the New Testament?

This past semester I was in a Biblical Theology class at Fresno Pacific University’s Biblical Seminary.  We were challenged to write out what we believe to be the central message of the New Testament and to refine it throughout the semester, while keeping it under 100 words.  If you read this blog regularly, you know [Read More...]

11:11 for 2011 (Easy Book Giveaway Contest!)

11:11… this has been a haunting number in my life for the past 5 years.  Most of my college friends can attest to this.  It is a number that I see on the clock at the oddest moments.  For instance, I have seen it on my phone three times in a row, completely without intention [Read More...]

Jesus is a Liberal Democrat (Colbert Report)

Here is a video that I just had to share.  It is a bit sarcastic, but that is the point of this comical genius.  Check it out and then come back and give me your thoughts! The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat Colbert Report Full Episodes [Read More...]

Rediscovering the Lost World of Genesis One (Best Interpretation I’ve Seen!)

The most convincing interpretation of the passage at hand is found in John Walton’s, The Lost World of Genesis One.  After reading this book, my view of the chapter has evolved.  I am going to attempt to summarize Walton’s perspective, but would strongly urge you to read his prolific book in its entirety.  His basic [Read More...]

Thrift Store Theology (Guest Post: Megan)

I write about trash. Yup; I do. It’s the thing that makes me the happiest. When I was a kid, I saved containers that smelled good, like cinnamon bottles and other spices, and kept them in my closet. When I felt sad, I’d get them out, sit on the ground, and smell them. Smell is [Read More...]

When a Poor Baby in a Manger Overthrows the Empire

Many would consider the Roman Empire one of the greatest civilizations in history.  In regard to the New Testament, the story of early Christianity finds its setting under the shadow of a meta-narrative[1] that dominated most of the Mediterranean world and even beyond.  Caesar Augustus is the earliest figure of the Roman Empire that the [Read More...]

All Out War (Partnering with the God who is "gathering up all things!"), part 5

Today, I want to make some “big picture” observations about the Armor of God… 1. The weapons are not literal but meant to capture the reader/hearer’s imagination to understand the great resources of God at our disposal 2. The armor metaphor comes from mostly the book of Isaiah, and partially from the average Roman soldier [Read More...]

God’s Story, Our Stories, the Intersection of New Creation (A sermon on Domestic Violence)

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”  (Gen. 1.31a) The Scriptures begin with the declaration that God created the cosmos, and called it “very good.”  Unfortunately, many of us do not experience the goodness of God’s world on a regular basis because the goodness of creation has been overshadowed by [Read More...]

WikiLeaks and Pro-Life?

WikiLeaks has been one of the political issues dominating our news and radio in the last couple of weeks.  Almost daily, I hear this issue being discussed in my casual car rides while I listen to NPR. Interestingly, there are two basic opinions about the cables that are being released.  There is one side of [Read More...]

It Makes Plain Sense! Or So I was Taught…

It makes plain sense… or so I was taught.  When I was a youth and even in my undergrad program I was taught a phrase to guide solid biblical interpretation: “If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.”  What this advocates is to take the bible at the surface level of its meaning.  [Read More...]

All Out War: Investigating Spiritual Warfare, Part 4 (How Does God Deal W/ the Powers?)

How does God deal with evil powers? Let’s look at 2 biblical Images, connected to our passage in Ephesians 6, that I think will give us some insight into our questions. 1. Yahweh (God’s proper name) as the Divine Warrior In Ephesians 6 we read about “the armor of God.”  Paul seems to have drawn [Read More...]

All Out War: Investigating Spiritual Warfare, part 3 (your reactions to this topic and the powers)

Over the past week it has been interesting to see the kind of reactions folks have to discussing “spiritual warfare.”  There are three broad responses besides the “right ons!” and the “way to be academic and true to the spiritual realm!” type. 1) Abused post-Pentecostals who hear spiritual warfare and think “demon-under-every-bush.” I want to [Read More...]

Questioning the "Two Bucket" Approach to Scripture (Guest Post: Dr. Ron Martoia)

Today, I am honored to have a bit of a ‘hero’ on the blog.  Dr. Ron Martoia has made a lasting impact on my spiritual journey.  The same comment has been said by pastors throughout the world who appreciate his work in calling the church to her mission (ultimately, God’s mission) in the 21st century.  [Read More...]

All Out War: Investigating Spiritual Warfare, part 2 (a motivational speech)

The President's Speech Independence Day —   Independence Day is one of my favorite movies in spite of its themes of war and nation :-).  In this clip, we find the moment where it’s time to take action against the alien invaders.  So the president, after having lost his wife, gets up in the [Read More...]

All Out War: Investigating Spiritual Warfare, part 1

Our culture is obsessed with two realities.  Hollywood is intrigued by the idea of invisible spiritual powers.  Many examples could be brought to the surface, but my favorite would be “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”  A second cultural observation is that we also have a deep concern about systemic evil and global poverty.  Bono of [Read More...]