Monday, August 10, 2009
Yesterday, I gave the Prologue to a new series called "Story." We looked at the existence and nature of God. The audio below is the audio from yesterday. Just press the play button:
If you're interested in digging a little deeper into the topics from the sermon - here are some helpful resources to consider:
On the issue of defending the existence of God:
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Case for Faith, The by Lee Strobel
I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
On the character and nature of God:
The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life by A. W. Tozer
Knowing God by J. I. Packer
God As He Longs for You to See Him by Chip Ingram
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I have posted a couple of times on this blog about a video called 99 Balloons that tells the story of the Mooney family and their son Eliot. The couple was recently on the Today Show with a follow up video including their new daughter Hazel. I hope you enjoy the update. (BTW - the video of 99 Balloons on the Today Show is a shortened version of the one linked above. I highly recommend the original.)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The other day I stumbled upon this video of one half of the magical act Penn & Teller. In the video, Penn who is an outspoken atheist says that he does not begrudge Christians from trying to proselytize. In fact, he says, "How much do you have to hate someone (to not tell them about eternal life)?" He makes a couple of interesting points from a man who has not belief in God. Watch below and let me know what you think.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
My favorite online Bible has traditionally been Bible Gateway, but I may have a new favorite. Lifechurch.tv has just released a new version of their online Bible community - YouVersion. What makes YouVersion different from other online Bible sites is the community aspects of the site. The developers are really trying to incorporate a community experience like Facebook or Twitter into reading and studying the Bible. YouVersion allows readers to make comments on passages or verses of Scripture. Those contributions can then be viewed by anyone. While on the surface, this seems like a great opportunity to share with one another exactly what God is communicating through His Word, I am concerned about the lack of doctrinal accountability inherent in such a model.
Other features I do like are the journaling and reading plan. These two functions allow you to follow a daily reading plan and then write your thoughts down about those passages. I could foresee churches using the site to read through the Bible together and commenting back and forth on the daily passages.
Check out the site and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Yesterday I posted a link at Twitter and Facebook about a very serious petition that calls us to reconsider our most important commitments.
Today it is time for something a little less serious - Jimmy Fallon has been campaigning on his show to reunite the cast of Saved by the Bell to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I grew up with Saved By the Bell on Saturday morning and still find myself stopping occasionally to watch an episode on TBS. Watching those episodes takes me back to a time when life seemed simpler and problems were wrapped up in 30 minutes or less.
Last Friday, Jimmy Fallon had a "Save the Max" telethon staged with a surprise appearance by an original cast member. Watch the video below and then sign the petition.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A firestorm has erupted over an answer to a question at the recent Miss USA pageant. Miss California Carrie Prejean had the audacity to say that she believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The question was asked by self-described "Queen of the Media" Perez Hilton - a homosexual man who has become a pseud0-celebrity through a gossip blog. While there are many levels to this story and the fallout that has resulted (the intolerance of the tolerant - our obsession with "internet" celebrities - the sensationalization of everything in our society), I was impressed with a simple statement made by Miss California in a follow up interview with Matt Lauer. She simply stated that she was not trying to be "politically correct but biblically correct."
For his part, Hilton says she should have left her beliefs and religion out of the answer. While that sounds great on the television - it is simply impossible to do. Hilton did not leave his beliefs out of the question. Nor did he leave his beliefs out of his expetive ridden rant on his blog following the pageant. Nor has he left his beliefs out of the subsequent interviews on the subject. He just wanted her to leave out any beliefs that were contrary to his. If she had answered the way he believed - he would have applauded her for her courage (and she probably would have won the title of Miss USA). It is interesting that a member of a community that is desperately trying to have their voice heard is attempting at the same time to silence the opposing view. As Roland Martin says in a very good commentary, we have stopped asking questions to get answers.
As a fairly new member of the Twitter community (@268pastor), I have been able to read the tweets of celebrities that are weighing in on the issue. What is perhaps most troubling to me is the response of some people who openly talk about their faith in Jesus on Twitter, but are now joining in the parade of criticism of Miss California. Using words like "this blond Christian believes in gay marriage" and "I am a Christian and I love you - gay or not," they seem to suggest that a homosexual lifestyle is completely acceptable.
Now, let me say that I completely agree that God loves everyone on this planet. Scripture is clear that God loves the "world." But Scripture is also perfectly clear that he hates sin. And as much as our world would like to redefine what sin is in our own image, Scripture is clear that homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin like many other sins, but a sin nonetheless. While we as Christians can do much better in the way that we love people, we must always stand on the convictions of Scripture.
So, let me join in the chorus of those weighing in on this controversy and say that I applaud Miss California for answering boldly - but more than that I commend her for continuing to stand by those principles in the wave of attacks that have come.
Check out the video below to hear more.