Had a very engaging conversation with a new friend on beliefs. He’s exploring the possibility of joining the start of Lakepoint Church, but first wanted to know where I stood on a particularly debated topic of theology.
He asked me what I believed. I told him. He agreed. I asked him to articulate his version, and I agreed with him as well.
Some how or another, despite believing the same thing, we found ourselves on pretty different pages, leaving me scratching my head.
I found it’s possible for two people to believe the same thing, but be on entirely different pages on what to do about it.
Appropriate emphasis is the stickiest part of theology. Knowing how much emphasis to place on any particular belief is as important as the belief itself.
Let’s place emphasis into four categories. Continue reading
Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.
– Ecclesiastes 8.17
“Why?” is probably the most common utterance directed toward God. As intrigued, even troubled, as we may be, we may do best to leave omniscience to God, and accept our place of limited knowing.
I have read Ecclesiastes several times over the past weeks in search of a more balanced life. As I mentioned in a previous post, I no longer see this book as the rantings of a depressed man. Ecclesiastes represents the boundaries of humanity tested thoroughly. Although the report of what is available to us this side of heaven is often discouraging, even troubling, the author has found goodness in balanced simplicity nonetheless.
As I make my next read through Ecclesiastes, I intend to blog my thought process along the way, chapter by chapter. For those of you who’d prefer not to get bombarded with my amateur commentary, I’ll be inserting other posts of the usual variety as I go.
I’m not one to make a big deal of style and formats, but I think it would be worth considering a revision in how we do communion. The fact that some people in 1 Corinthians 11 could leave stuffed, or drunk, or disappointed that the food ran out all tells me that communion in Corinth was a full meal deal. It’s not like we have to do it like them, but I think it might be fun, maybe even more meaningful.
Most churches have a natural alternative venue for communion through their small groups. Maybe you’d loose the big communal (no pun intended) atmosphere they had in Corinth, but I do think small group communion could foster a greater sense of community than what we currently experience on Sundays.
I wonder if Mary had a hard time putting her faith in Jesus. As I reread the accounts where Mary is on center stage, I very much get the impression for she had difficulty throwing her trust without reservation into her newborn son.
For example, as Simeon prophesies the difficulty all Israel will have in accepting their Savior, he drops Mary, who is holding her newborn, into the mix with the rest.
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” – Luke 2.34-35 Continue reading
There is a ton one could say about Luther and Calvin, but I believe you can boil down their contribution to “change by orthodoxy.” They weren’t leaders in the purest sense of the word, they were theologians. On account of giving sound theology in times when it was sparse, they changed everything.
Do our times need a fresh encounter with sound theology, or do we believe the right stuff already and fail to live it? Maybe we’re doing just fine?
In the midst of dozens considering themselves “Back to the Bible” movements, how do we distinguish those who are bringing us back to the heart of Jesus, from those who are doing little more than pushing their interpretive particulars?
Offensive prayer adds passion to expectancy. If the prayer really means something to you, passion or agony will be present. A deep ache that cannot rest until it is satisfied.
Fasting begins to take place not because we disciplined ourselves to do so, but rather that our want for the prayer was so singular that we forgot our want for food. Continue reading