Showing posts from July, 2011

Hand Picked: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 1.

Today my aim is to begin a five part series of posts on 1 Peter 2:9. In this one verse we have a beautiful explanation of who we are as believers in Jesus Christ and children of God. Not only that, but at the end of the verse Peter tells us exactly why God has made us and called us to Himself. The inspiration for this series came to me, not from the book of 1 Peter itself, but actually from 1 Corinthians 3:3 which says,

for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are walking like mere men?

To understand this verse it is important to know that Paul is admonishing the Corinthians church and at this point is basically telling them that they are not living like who they really are. Therefore, the question arises, "Who are we in Christ?" I will say that there have been many, many people who have done an amazing job at discovering what the Bible tells us about who we are in Christ. People like Bill and Anabel Gillham, the fo…

Behind the Podium vs. In the Field

I have mentioned before that one of my passions is the discipline of Christian apologetics. I even went so far as to write my master's thesis on the subject and I believe it is extremely valuable for Christians to be able to defend and explain their faith in ways that make sense to the world around us. Of course, there are many who disagree with this position stating that our faith is just that, faith, and reason has no place in it. On the contrary, I believe that the Bible is full of teachings that encourage the defense of the faith using reason, science, history, etc. Peter tells us to be ready at all times to give an account for the faith that dwells within us (2 Peter 3:15). God even tells Isaiah that they should "reason together" (Isaiah 1:18) and we are told that Paul reasoned in the synagogue with the Pharisees (Acts 17:17).

With all of that being said, there are some pitfalls to apologetics that we could fall into if we are not careful. I want to take a few momen…

Book Review: Crazy Love

In the Christian culture here in America we love our books and every so often a book comes along that sweeps over our collective radar like a wave of B-52's heading for enemy territory. Over the past couple of years Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan has done just that. In nearly any church or Christian circle of friends you will find someone who has read this book and been blown away by it. After reading it it is easy to see why.

If we can compare reading a book to a boxing match then the first few chapters of Crazy Love is Chan feeling us out, throwing a few calculated punches but for the most part just dancing around while we try to get a bead on him. Then, around about chapter four, he lands the first punch that lets us know he means business. In fact, after beginning the book I was almost underwhelmed and found myself wondering what the fuss was all about. Then he began to hit me where it hurt. In the chapter entitled "Profile of the Lukewarm&quo…

What if He is leading our Nation?

I was having some prayer time this morning and written on my prayer list, as I am sure it is on many of yours, was a note to pray for our nation's leaders. Whether we agree with their policies or not most Christians would say that it is important for us to lift up our national leadership to God in prayer and this is something that is practiced by thousands, if not millions of Christians across our country. This morning something unique happened though. As I was asking God to guide and direct the leaders of our country I was struck with this thought; "What if He is?" Now, am I claiming that this was placed in my mind and spirit by God? Maybe, maybe not, I don't know for sure. What I can tell you is it didn't come alone and a wave of implications filled my mind as I contemplated the idea that God may be directing our leaders already. For now, I want to look at this in two ways that, I pray, will not make anyone upset but rather push us beyond the box a little bit.

Unless the Father Draws

If Shakespeare and Hamlet could ever meet, it must be Shakespeare's doing. Hamlet could do nothing. C.S Lewis in Surprised by Joy.

Compelle intrare, "compel them to come in."

It seems that I've been on a bit of a C.S Lewis kick here lately but then again I can't envision a scenario where that would be a bad thing necessarily. The quote above comes from Lewis' account of his conversion to theism in 1929. It is found in the second to last chapter of his autobiography Surprised by Joy: The Shape of my Early Life, which is appropriately titled "Checkmate." Along with being a conversion account that only a literary great like C.S Lewis could pen, there are also some powerful truths found in his imagery. In a sense it is not unlike the way he explains the Christian faith through the medium of Narnia. Of course, this is no fantasy novel or anything remotely related to it. Rather, what I mean is that Lewis has a flare for using deeply meaningful metaphors ev…

The "how" doesn't really matter.

Theories about Christ's death are not Christianity: they are explanations of how it works.
C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity.

One of the books that has had the most profound impact on my (and I suspect many others) spiritual life is Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. It is, at once, accessible to most believers and a beautiful example of how the English language is not so vulgar after all. This may stem from the fact that Lewis, over and above being a philosopher, was a student and professor of Literature, and indeed the author of one of the finest fantasy series' ever written, The Chronicles of Narnia. What Lewis sets out to accomplish in this book is, not to expound something I could call 'my religion,' but to expound 'mere' Christianity, which is what it is and what it was long before I was born and whether I like it or not. This is one of the things I appreciate the most about this work. He is not telling us what it means to be Baptist or Methodist or even Anglic…