Everyone changed

What do those outside of Christ need? Sometimes I get the impression that Christians think those outside of Christ only need to rely upon Christ. At other times, if a disciple perceives that someone is engaged in certain types of sin then I might hear a comment about the need for repentance.

Does anything about all of this strike you as odd? It does me. Continue reading “Everyone changed”

False confidence & kingdom expectations

The gospel announces good news. Yet, for those not yet in Christ it also contains bad news. Jesus is the only road to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Until they become a new creation in Christ, they do not have hope.

We expect Jesus’ message to confront pagans. However, what happens when people who worship the one true God discover they are not yet in the path leading to life? How might they react?

Continue reading “False confidence & kingdom expectations”

Hope outside

Years ago Crabb and Allender identified four questions hurting people ask: What’s wrong? Who can help? What will the helper do? What can I hope for?

I also appreciate their observation that not all therapies are created equal. Those offering help as well as the tools they use are built upon assumptions and beliefs. Counseling therapy, even a socratic approach, is not neutral.

Here’s a question of my own. When people seek help, from where do they think hope arises? Continue reading “Hope outside”

Hope inside

He sat in his car for over ten minutes struggling to enter. His story is familiar although he might have felt as though he was unique.

The scenario plays out in that surreal colorless shadowlands where shame, fragility, hopelessness, fear, guilt, feelings of failure and confusion reign. And yet, from within a car or from the motionless stance on a sidewalk the possibility that hope dwells within urges taking the first step.  Continue reading “Hope inside”

An indomitable human spirit: good, bad or neutral?

The television screen displayed a would be narcissistic tyrant berating his listeners while demanding their obeisance.  Throughout the movie this villain, who viewed himself a god, now proclaimed people are born to serve.

The heroes, filled with an indomitable human spirit, save the day because they refuse subjugation. One of the heroes smacks the tyrant around before muttering, “puny god.”

While exploring the producer’s intent behind this scene would be interesting, a more intriguing question is: Is an indomitable human spirit good, bad, or neutral? Such a question deserves a context to avoid over-simplification.  Continue reading “An indomitable human spirit: good, bad or neutral?”

A lesson from Jonadab’s house

We can sense the LORD’s frustration. “I have spoken to you (Judah) over and over again, but you have not obeyed me. I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. … But you did not pay any attention or listen to me” (Jeremiah 35:14,15).

These words grapple with a thorny and seemingly unchangeable problem. The lives of God’s people had not budged an inch in spite of God’s servants faithfully proclaiming God’s message. Godly transformation was nowhere in sight.

What can be done in such a situation? God resorted to a lesson from Jonadab’s house. Continue reading “A lesson from Jonadab’s house”