Friday, May 1, 2015

Honesty With Our Sin...

If my sinfulness appears to me 
to be in any way smaller or less detestable 
in comparison with the sins of others, 
I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. ... 
How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility 
if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer in "Life Together"

The Near Future of the Church

The cultural trends and current trajectory for the local church that will endure, strongly indicates that it's participants will only get smaller, but more core-committed; less programmatic but more relationally organic; minimally corporate but more familial; intentionally counter-cultural ideologically and missiological; priestly and prophetic; theologically conservative and orthodox in it's praxis; teaches and lives Christ as Savior and Lord, as well as Prophet, Priest and King; exists peacefully with the tension of Truth and Love, Justice and Grace; is apolitical but socio-politically astute in regard to worldview; led by pastors who can seamlessly live Life and Faith among their people; and finally: is lovingly submissive enough to sacrifice "the blood of her martyrs as the seed of the Church" (Tertullian) - in order to be a more perfect Bride of Christ...

Conviction and Absolutes

When I was a full-time professor, I found it necessary, to teach my students to question convictions; that they held, and were absolutely sure of...

Then, when I became a full-time pastor, I found it necessary, to teach my parishioners conviction for absolutes; with surety, and held without question...

The former was necessary in order to uncover Truth...

The latter is necessary to cover in Truth...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Good Friday Meditation

"… In the day you eat from it... you will be like God…” Genesis 3:5
“… Who told you that you were naked?” Genesis 3:11

"... He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15
"... The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
"... I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. Psalm 22:14
“… Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"* Matt: 27:46
"... Jesus said, "It is finished."** John 19:30
* I.e. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
** I.e. "Paid in full"

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Truth, Friendships and Surrender Obedience to Christ

The conventional wisdom of our day, even within many Christian circles, 
Blithely advances the truism:

“That there is no Truth worthy enough 
For which one should ever risk the loss of a friendship,
Or surrender the sense of belonging, to a community for…”
Those who support this kind of thought could not be more perilously wrong...

For there is no clearer path towards utter idolatry
Nor an easier route that will lead to chaos;

Than the one lined with friends,
Or that courses through a community...
That for the sake of “relationships,”

Affirms and gives permission, for the belief in almost anything...

Loving friendship and surrendered obedience to Christ is the nonnegotiable canon…

There is a unyielding difference between loving those fully, like Christ loves
And “loving others,” despite the nature of Christ…

Scriptural Encouragement:

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6
23 And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it…
Luke 9:23-24
4You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?…
James 4:4-5