It is an intriguing idea. First examine Paul’s reasoning. Second, imitate it in order to use that process to navigate what it means to live and worship as a contemporary Christian. To be sure, such an approach would generate information. Can we do what Paul did? Would the results be reliable? Is this all that we need for a path forward?
This possibility introduces some interesting questions. Would reasoning like Paul in today’s culture lead to different conclusions? Could this provide a path around inconvenient cultural trappings of the first century? Might reasoning like Paul allow us to jettison what Paul actually taught?
Continue reading “Reasoning like Paul compared with teaching Paul’s message”
Do you long for the beauty of community dwelling in peace? Sick of divisiveness? Many are. What’s the solution? We would do well to take a page or two from the apostle Paul.
Continue reading “Unity – taking a page from Paul”
Have you ever seen anyone rise from the dead? Nope? Neither have I. So it would appear that the idea of someone coming back to life from the dead is less probable than more probable.
This can raise a good question. Which is harder to believe: that Jesus rose from the dead or that Jesus never came forth from the grave? In other words, which scenario is more unlikely? Continue reading “Unlikely scenarios and a special Sunday morning”
In Nashville, Tennessee stands a full size replica of the Parthenon. Although this structure contains many noteworthy features, one of its most impressive characteristics to me are the two enormous bronze doors which stand about 30 feet high each weighing seven and a half tons. Each of these mammoth doors swing on a huge hinge which provides them with a system of counter balances making it possible for even a child to move those behemoths. Each of those doors literally depends upon its one huge hinge. Without that hinge, the door would be transformed into a useless mass of metal. But because of that hinge that enormous lifeless mass of metal becomes a magnificent door.
There is a way in which Christianity can be likened to those immense doors. For Christianity, everything depends upon whether one event is historical or not. Continue reading “A huge hinge and the resurrection”
The New Testament contains over 2500 allusions and quotations from the Old Testament. The bottomline is the New Testament writers seem to expect us to know the Old Testament well.
Such an understanding is repeatedly rewarded. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is no exception. In this letter the apostle describes God’s foray into overcoming evil and how we are to be at work serving our Lord in a dark world. Before we consider what Paul wrote, let’s take a look at part of this letter’s background Continue reading “Encountering evil”
It is a question that pierces to the heart of our being. Why do we serve God? This question deserves to remain at the forefront of our minds. However, another question can dominate our thinking. Continue reading “Why do we serve God?”
I suspect if we were to share stories about what I have witnessed, the details might differ from your experiences, however common traits would emerge. Here’s a few examples of what I have seen. Continue reading “What do we make of our experiences?”
In response to a recent presentation of the gospel, someone responded, “That was good, but I’ve never heard it explained that way before.” You might find it surprising that on the one hand I value presenting nothing more than the original message, while on the other hand his comment did not surprise me.
The typical gospel presentation is clear, concise and accurate. We learn Jesus can save us. It instructs us how we need to respond to Christ. People need to hear this message.
When a presentation of the gospel is combined with explanatory power, it can resolve the questions of the curious as well as dissolve the harpoons of its detractors. When Jesus established a memorial for his death, why did he speak of a covenant? What does Jesus’ story have to do with the rest of scripture? Why are we called to respond to Christ with baptism?
Continue reading “Gospel – what and why”
After God completed his creation having made humanity both male and female, God saw it was very good. The differences between men and women range from our psychological make up down to our physiology.
When comedians highlight the stark contrasts in how we think, perceive and interact with our world, audiences break forth in hearty laughter. Why? Because they recognize the truth in these stereotypes. We are different.
Expressions like, “Can’t live with them. Can’t live without them,” give voice to spousal tension and frustrations. Yet, God saw all these differences as being very good! In fact, it is because of these differences that marriage can be a tool promoting spiritual development. Continue reading “Wonderful differences”
Isn’t faith the opposite of fear? If we want to overcome fear, shouldn’t we focus upon faith?
Yes, however greater clarity is needed. To overcome fear we need to focus upon a form of faith that is obtainable and reliable in every situation – thanksgiving brimming with faith fulfills the needed prescription. Here’s why.
Continue reading “Overcoming fear with thankfulness”