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
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Both of my boys love playing with Lego toys. Eli especially loves building, tearing down, and rebuilding with his Lego's. His love also extends to video games where he loves to play Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and Lego Indiana Jones.
Over the last few months, Eli has also become interested in playing with the instruments at the electronics and games stores. (He is pretty good at "Eye of the Tiger"). Well, it looks like those two worlds are now coming together. For this Christmas, you will be able to buy a Lego Rock Band game with more family friendly songs.
So, what about you - how do you think the two will combine?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
When I really realized I was on the fence, I dove into the medical books, I dove into the scientific research. (learning for yourself is Prustice) What I learned is at the moment of conception a new life comes into being.
The DNA the genetic blue print is there, the sex is determined, the blood type is determined. I picked up the phone and called Planned Parenthood and said, ‘Help me out here, give me our best arguments!’ And the best arguments they gave were, ‘Well, it’s just a clump of cells. If you get it early enough it doesn’t even look like a baby.’ We’re clumps of cells. That unborn human being does not look like a baby, the same way a baby does not look like a teenager, the same way a teenager does not look like a senior.That unborn human being looks exactly like they’re suppose to look at that stage of development.
Monday, April 13, 2009
One of Amazon's bestsellers right now is Bart Ehrman's Jesus, Interrupted - a book about his theory of discrepancies in the Bible. As you would expect, some top evangelicals have weighed in on the book. Ben Witherington offers a strong critique on his blog (here and here). This morning, Al Mohler also discusses the book in passing in his blog post for today. On Thursday, however, defense of the Bible came from a rather unexpected source. On his nightly talk show, Stephen Colbert, challenged Ehrman on several points from his book. In the video below, you can see some classical arguments about the unity and diversity of the Bible being used in a much more modern and contemporary way. (And for those thinking Colbert might just be playing Devil's Advocate here - he is a devout Catholic that teaches Sunday School who has stated that he believes in the traditional doctrines of Christianity)
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Pujols may go down as the best player of our generation. He is one of the best hitters of all-time in his first eight seasons. He has hit towering home runs at critical moments in the highest profile games. But he has also shown that he plays with heart. His exploits on Buddy Walk Day (fundraiser for Down's Syndrome) are becoming legendary.
In the current steroid era, it is difficult to trust any of the players completely. Even men like Andy Pettite (a Baptist Sunday School teacher) have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, and it seems foolish to believe anyone who says they haven't cheated.
But I choose to believe Albert. He asked me and all baseball fans to believe a few weeks ago in Sports Illustrated. Stories over the last several days have chronicled the biggest reason I want to believe him - he seems genuinely passionate about his faith. Both USA Today and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have chronicled how the greatest player in the game has a very public faith.
The USA Today article states -
It's about meeting his future wife, Deidre, in 1998. She brought him to church, the steppingstone for a life-altering experience that framed much of what he believes: He knew baseball was hard work, but he had no idea that God's gift of eternal life was free.This season I will continue to root for my Cardinals. I will pull for Albert every at bat and will cheer for the player he is on the field. I will also pray for him - our society loves nothing more than a hero that falls from grace. I am praying that Albert is one who is who he says he is.
He and Deidre set up the Pujols Family Foundation in 2005.
"As he gets older, he realizes how important that is," Deidre says. "He hungers to utilize his resources to empower others. He believes that if God is going to promise salvation as a free gift, he's going to do what God requires. It is that simple. That's the kind of person he is. That's what makes him special."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This morning I ran across an interesting blog post by Micah Watson from Union University talking about Scottie Reynolds, a guard for Villanova. In the blog he references a story on CBS Sportsline that tells of Reynolds' adoption:
"She knew she wouldn't be able to take care of me, so she gave me up," Reynolds told the media recently. "It's the most unselfish thing she could have done for me. The people I'm with now are the greatest people in the world. Without them, I wouldn't be in the position I am now. I thank God every day that they gave me the opportunity to live."
Stories like this one remind us of the importance of acting on our pro-life convictions. Not only must we challenge issues like abortion in the public arena - we must also provide solutions for the people that will find themselves walking down the path. What have you done in actions to support your pro-life convictions?