Oh the Times They Are a Changing…

The times are changing but the Gospel does not. One of the hardest tasks of the church is to stand firm on scripture while also adjusting to our changing status in the world. It is also a challenge to know which message fits the season we find ourselves in. There are times the world needs a prophet (a voice of challenge) and other times the world needs to see the church in the role of pastor (shepherding, caring, loving and consoling). Still other times call for both. It takes discernment and a close connection and relationships with God to know which one is called for at any given point in time, in a given culture and to a given person or audience.

There will be times when Christianity will be lived out in an environment friendly to faith and open to Christian dialog and conversation. There will be other times when Christianity will be despised, rejected and even persecuted. In the grand scheme of things both of these environments and everything in between exist in the world at any given point in time…I just depends on where you live as to which one you experience.

It is important to remember that the marginalization of Christianity by the world is to be expected. It is no surprise. We just continue to live faithfully, make adjustments (in our tone, our approach and our how we deliver our message as well as which parts of the message need emphasized) and keep pointing the way to Jesus.

All of that to say, we do not measure the success of Christianity based on how the world reacts or receives it. The world’s reaction to God has never been an accurate measure of the kingdom and its impact on the world. If the world’s decisions disappoint you or derail your faith then maybe your distance from identifying with the world distinct enough.

Habakkuk and Lessons for Today’s World

Habakkuk starts not with God’s charge against Judah but Habakkuk’s. He complains that God’s people have been wicked, vile, corrupt, and dishonest. He cannot tolerate watching it any longer and he doesn’t think God should or could either. The opening verses of the book of Habakkuk are a call on God to punish his peopleContinue Reading

Logos Review: Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey

The Theological Interpretation of the New Testament, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, is an attempt in compiling this collection of writing on the theology of the various books of the New Testament is to get back to a search for God in the scriptures rather than just trying to reconstruct social, historical and religious contextsContinue Reading

Why Did Jesus Heal the Guy Twice? The Importance of Context

In Mark 8 we get the story of a man Jesus healed twice. The first healing only enabled the man to see partially. The second healing allowed him to see clearly. What is going on in this story? Either Jesus’ power was a bit off that day or he was up to something. I voteContinue Reading

Fear and Pain

If we were truly honest with ourselves, how much of our inner and outer life are governed by those two words? Those two words are, obviously, related. Fear often has to do with the avoidance of pain. Fear governs us by influencing our decisions away from those things that might result in pain or rejection.Continue Reading

The Jesus Job Description

When churches post job descriptions…it feels like they want Jesus to come and be there minister without the person actually taking Jesus “all the way.” Here are a few things that would be on a job description that actually describes Jesus: Must be single No kids No more than three years experience.  Hangs out withContinue Reading

My Post Over at Wineskins

I wrote something over at Wineskins that I wanted to make you all aware of. Here is the link – Shawshank, Selma and Churches of Christ. Like this:Like Loading…

Christianity, Creeds and Churches of Christ…No Creed But the Bible?

The last post looked at who the inspired apostolic writers saw as “false teachers.” Next, let’s look at where things went after that in the early church and then spend a few minutes on Churches of Christ. This post is longer than usual but I hope by the end it has made sense out ofContinue Reading

What the Bible Actually Says About False Teachers, Heretics and Apostates

I have heard the words, false teacher, heretic and apostate more times than I would like to think about. These terms can have a place in our discussion but not typically in the ways I have seen those terms used. As best I can tell these words are often used as code for “anyone whoContinue Reading

Mission

Like ministry, mission encompasses many things. It is tempting to define mission based on your passion or skill set. To the evangelist, mission is reaching the lost. To the humanitarian, mission is feeding the hungry. To the legalist, mission is defending the church from error.   But mission is more than all of these things.Continue Reading

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