jesushand

The True Message of the Church isn’t Traditional Family Values

15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would […]

Community-heart-all-one

Grace in Community: Group sins, Group redemption

Real love for one another is found in belief in group redemption and lavish grace. It means thinking, concerning everyone, that Jesus has died for us. He has loved us together and redeemed all of us with His blood. And this becomes the new way of doing community – belief.

mt_shuksan

Watching Trees Grow

We will in all likelihood find it impossible to see change in one another on a day-to-day or even a week-to-week basis. Genuine growth happens slowly, like trees, and not everyone is even a healthy tree in the first place.

kazoo symphony

Kazoos, Terrorists, and the Scandal of Grace

Here’s the real issue: do you really think that your strong moral stance is going to convince sinners to reform? Your harsh rejection is going to inspire them to get right? Isn’t that a little bit like the terrorists thinking that bombing the World Trade Center towers would help the cause of Islam? Mercy and kindness and acceptance and forgiveness are the things that lead us to repentance.

Preaching the Gospel with the Cool Kids

We live in a world where, if you are going to get your message across, you have to get hard and passionate and fiery. If you are trying to browbeat sinners and idiots and fools into right living, that would be the way to go. You’d be more like a football coach than an art […]

Choosing Kindness or Malice – Ephesians 4:32

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NASB). This sounds like a wonderful verse, when stripped of context like this! Who doesn’t like kindness, tender-heartedness, quick and beautiful forgiveness? In real life this can be a bit more of a challenge! […]

Innocuous Seeker Sensitive Legalism

Most churches would hesitate to label themselves as legalistic or law-centered. I want to take a look at a typical ‘seeker-friendly’ helpful life-focused practical sermon meant to help normal average people lead better lives. Let’s suppose our friendly and kind of cool pastor has chosen to do a series on marriage. This is a popular […]

Work out your salvation with fear?

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13, NASB. […]

The Church as a Gift Culture

photo © 1890 The Library of Congress | more info (via: Wylio)   I know I’m supposed to be doing a study through the book of Job, but I keep having these other ideas so I’m going to go with them. I wrote last time about the church as a gift culture. I’m going to […]

Predestination Pillow Talk

photo © 2006 James Diggans | more info (via: Wylio)   “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are […]