Category Archives: Faith

Patriots and Exiles: Why #NeverTrump?

NeverTrump.pngIt seems that Trump has won the republican nomination. I know the game is not over yet. But after taking Florida as one of his 18 wins, he is no longer an unruly house guest overstaying his welcome, he now has more right to the space than anyone else in the room. He is flat-out winning, and no appeal to a divided voting block changes the simple fact of his clear and consistent march to victory. He keeps winning, which puts many people I know, love, and respect into the awkward position of voting for a man they detest in order to uphold the conservative principles of the party they love.

I don’t feel a hint of that awkwardness, though, because I can firmly, without hesitation, say I will never vote for a man like Trump. And I want to tell you why.

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Spiritual Warfare: My life as case study

spiritual_warfareHave you seen or experienced spiritual warfare? Until my family and I began the process of planting a church, I don’t know that I ever had any experience with spiritual warfare outside of battling my own sin, hearing missionaries talk about their battles, and sharing and hearing with other Christians the stories of demonic oppression told to one another like ghost stories around a campfire. And that was the extent to which I understood spiritual warfare – fighting with my own pride or bad attitudes and stories of the creepiest, unexplainable stuff that happened somewhere else in the world. I only understood Spiritual Warfare as something small or something remote.

I really didn’t understand spiritual warfare.

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Living in Light of Eternity

fearlessMy life does not end at my death. That is the glorious reality of the Christian faith. Adam brought death into this world, and Jesus, the second Adam, absorbed death into himself, offering eternal life to all who find their hope in him. He is my only hope, and I therefore have the promise of life everlasting.

Eternal life is truth, and death stands as a small barrier over which we all climb into eternity.

Almost all people fear death, the great equalizer of all men, the fight no mere man can win, the great destroyer of hope, health, and happiness, the unspoken motivation for much of our world’s workings, the most certain end to the life which every man shares. Death. Death is the enemy of mankind. But he is an enemy on the long slow walk to his own death at the hands of the life of all men, Christ.

If this is true, what then should I fear in this world?

I think the only logical answer is that I should fear God. And my fear should be empowering. It should empower me to live a life marked by fearlessness of all lesser things than God. Which equals everything.

Should I fear failure? No, fear God.

Should I fear ridicule? No, fear God.

Should I fear disappointing those around me? No, fear God.

Putting fear in its rightful place propels me to try something new. I can let go of my fear, and when I let go, I am free to grasp tightly onto God. I am free to try things others deem risky. I am free to follow wherever my shepherd leads. I am free to run as fast as I can into the darkness of uncertainty with confidence in my stride.

Christian, Christ has taken your greatest danger and has made it into a door to your greatest good. Run towards that door with abandon. Cover as much ground as you possibly can, and try something great for God.

What is the worst that could happen?

Focus as You Fast

fastingToday, the youth ministry at my church is fasting all day in preparation for an event tonight that involves 6 hours of INTENSE bible study known as Secret Church, led by Birmingham pastor David Platt. A number of adults in our church have also committed to fast today, praying for our students. It is a beautiful thing to see students denying themselves in pursuit of God, and even more beautiful to hear of others who are denying themselves on the behalf of those students. I am praying for both the students and those joining them today, and I thought of a passage from C.S. Lewis that applies to the spiritual practice of fasting. I want to share it with you to keep you focused as you fast.

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Is Christianity Exclusive? Yes and no.

midcentury-modern-doorsOne of the most common critiques of Christianity in Western culture comes from an accusation of its inherent exclusivity. The cultural, social, and political elites of our age have judged the values of our time, and have thus decided to exclude exclusion from polite society. As such, a religion marked by one way, one truth and one light fails to open enough doors to include everyone. This anti-exclusive dogma is the most dangerous type of nonsense imaginable – nonsense turned common sense.

Therefore, I would like to explore two functional definitions of exclusivity followed by a response to the charge of Christian exclusivity as evil. Hopefully, what is common sense will be displayed as nonsense.

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The Creation Debate

CreationIn the aftermath of the creation debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham I wanted to offer up some of my old writings about creation and evolution. These were originally posted at The Veritas Network, a blog now populated by my friend, Greg Gibson, and worthy of your following here. I have reposted them here on my blog, so you can brush up on your understanding of creation versus evolution.

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Science and Religion: Worldly Wisdom vs the Foolishness of God

CreationIn other posts I have examined the presuppositional nature of the arguments between science and religion. In this post I will examine the various explanations offered by theologians on how to interpret Scripture, specifically Genesis 1-3, in light of modern science. I will start with those most influenced by a scientific/naturalist presupposition and move on from there, giving precedence to those arguments which should be most palatable to someone with a Biblical worldview.

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The Seven(ish) Days of Creation – What to Believe

CreationOne month ago I had the opportunity to hike into the Grand Canyon with my beautiful wife. It was awesome (I actually meant to use that word according to its actual definition)! It simply inspires awe as you behold something so expansive, stretching into the distance in all directions as far as the eye can see.

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5 Reasons to Never Join a Small Group

small groupsI posted yesterday about 5 Reasons I think you should be in a small group. But, being a modern pastor in a culture of tolerance marked by absolute fear of absolutized anything I want to give space for those with legitimate reasons they should not join a small group. Because I am cool, I get where you’re coming from, and I certainly, by no means, under any circumstance would ever dare to suggest with the teeniest bit of conviction that any individual should feel compelled to do anything beyond talk about their faith. Never.

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5 Reasons to Join a Small Group

small groupsWe are in the midst of launching another season of small groups at my church, The Bridge. I am a very serious proponent of small groups in the life of a believer, so I want to give 5 off-the-cuff reasons you should join a small group in your local church.

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Living Stone Community Church

All of Christ. For all of life.

Kingdom 1st

a blog by Greg Gibson

Denny Burk

A commentary on theology, politics, and culture

The Gospel Coalition

Tid-bits and Trifles on Faith, Culture, and Church from Whitney Clayton

The Gospel Coalition

Tid-bits and Trifles on Faith, Culture, and Church from Whitney Clayton

The Gospel Coalition

Tid-bits and Trifles on Faith, Culture, and Church from Whitney Clayton