Posts Tagged With: Theology

What Sodom and Gomorrah has to say to the United States

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the most notorious stories of the Old Testament. Two neighboring towns highlight the epitome of what it means to rebel against God and to live in sinfulness. God’s anger boils against them, and God decides to destroy the cities.
God tells Abraham of the plan, and Abraham tries to intercede for the cities in order to save them. Continue reading

Categories: Cultural Reflections, Theological Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Friday Really Good?

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Good Friday.

What an unusual name to give this day. I know I’m not the first to make that observation, nor will I be the last, but if we read the accounts of this day that we find in the Gospels, it can be said to be anything but good. The stories are of heartache, violence, power struggles, and execution. A mother loses her first-born son, and many followers lose the very thing they had hoped in for several years. For us to call this day good seems strange. Continue reading

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Growing Up

This is adapted from a sermon I gave yesterday at Mars Hill University’s homecoming chapel service. The sermon text was 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. Continue reading

Categories: Scripture Reflections, Sermons, Theological Reflections | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something Bigger

“I’m tired. Is any of this really making a difference? Are we simply kicking against the goads? Are we just rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic? Are our efforts in vain? Are we simply biding our time until the world ends, fire consumes it all, and it’s over?”  Continue reading

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The “Meanings” of Christianity: Righteousness

Righteousness. What a confusing and misunderstood word. We use it and use it over and over again without much critical thought as to what it means. Thanks to our traditional focus on personal piety, this word has taken on overtones of a personal experience. One is righteous if they are upright, pure, above reproach in their personal morality. Clearly that is part of what makes someone righteous, but it ignores a whole side of the word that is of utmost importance, perhaps of even more importance than this personal side of the word.  Continue reading

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The “Meanings” of Christianity: Faith

Another frequently used word in our vocabulary is the word ‘faith’. “Do you have faith in Jesus?” we ask. He’s struggling with his faith. She has told me that she has doubts that challenge her faith daily. Faith can mean belief, trust, religion, or a plethora of other things. In this way, faith is a word that we need to figure out. What does this word mean? What does it have to do with following Jesus?  Continue reading

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Love that’s Worth the Pain

Why is it that we hurt so bad when we have to say goodbye? Why do we allow ourselves to become so attached to someone that separation from them results in actual physical symptoms? What is it about love that makes us enter into it in spite of our having full knowledge that it will invariably cause us pain at some point in our life? Whether it’s the sting of puppy-love gone awry or the deep sadness that comes with the  pain of death, our falling in love, our cultivating love, will lead to sorrow, heartache, and pain.

Yet we choose to love anyway.

Continue reading

Categories: Theological Reflections | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Church as Christ

I’m teaching 1 Corinthians in Sunday School, and I’m constantly being challenged and enlightened by this wonderful letter. Paul is worried by a church dividing, and in love he confronts, teaches, and encourages unity. He teaches tolerance, bearing with one another. He tells us to care for those who are weaker, deferring our freedom for the good of others. All of this with the goal that the church be healthy in it’s inner relationships as well as in it’s testimony to those outside of its walls. Continue reading

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The “Meanings” of Christianity: Gospel

I feel that “Gospel” is one of the richest words in the Christian vocabulary. That is probably evident in it’s widespread use across the theological spectrum. All the way from Roman Catholics to the most fundamentalist evangelical to the progressive, emergent movement, the word Gospel figures predominantly in our thought and speech. Pope John Paul II wrote the encyclical letter “The Gospel of Life,” whereas evangelicals speak of preaching the “Gospel” to the ends of the earth. There are Southern Gospel quartets and African-American Gospel Choirs. In spite of this extensive use, and perhaps because of it, the word ‘Gospel’ has lost much of it’s original meaning. Continue reading

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The “Meanings” of Christianity: A Series on Words

I’m currently reading Frederick Buechner’s devotional book, Listening to Your Life, and the following quote caught my interest.

“I shall go to my grave,” a friend of mine once wrote me, “feeling that Christian thought is a dead language – one that feeds many living ones to be sure, . . . but which I would no more use overtly than I would speak Latin.” I suppose he is right, more right than wrong anyway. If the language that clothes Christianity is not dead, it is at least, for many, dying….  Continue reading

Categories: Theological Reflections | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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