Your experience with liturgical worship probably depends on the denomination you are part of. Liturgy is probably associated with high church in Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist denominations, less so with Baptists. When I say probably I mean chances are, in most cases, all other things being equal, the odds are in favor of what I’m saying… but it all depends. Style of worship and what constitutes worship are highly subjective to individuals and individual congregations. When we start generalizing about denominations there are so many flavors within each and there is bound to be some bleed through around the edges, to mix metaphors.Continue reading
Category Archives: religion
The Asbury Revival has been trending on social media and religious newspapers for a couple of weeks. I mentioned it Saturday only to say that I had no comment but maybe later. That story has been well covered, it has the nation’s collective attention, every armchair theologian has weighed in. The response to the Asbury Revival has become its own story. Everyone with internet seems to either be a critic or a supporter of what is being done and how. Jimmy Humphrey wrote a post and made that the subject of his weekly podcast and I finally did reply to his comment. Without looking back that went something like this:Continue reading
It’s been three years since I first saw Wasabi Baby. My advice is watch it at least twice.
Pope Francis is visiting Iraq. The main objective of his visit is to encourage the small number of Christians there and encourage Muslims to live at peace with those Christians. Some notable places Christians read about in the Old Testament, such as the Garden of Eden and Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, would be located in the modern nation of Iraq. Francis is expected to visit Ur on this current trip. Click here to read more about the pope’s visit.Continue reading
The Gospel Changes Things
A few years ago we tried something new that just didn’t work out. I have decided to spare you the details but we made a few slideshow presentation videos and since I never throw anything away the ones we produced still exist on YouTube.
As we begin Holy Week here is a sermon titled “The Gospel Changes Things” with scripture texts and images. To share the Gospel is why Jesus came into the world. The Church has the potential to do a lot of good in the world but above all else sharing this message is what we are called to.
We Need to Go Back to Church
I was listening to the Jimmy’s Table podcast this morning as he interviewed a local Charlotte, NC pastor. They discussed the recent wave of Facebook Live and other video/streaming church services and that brought up a few questions. Will church members go back to church when this is all over? Why send tithes to a church in your city when you could watch a live stream or listen to a podcast from a pastor anywhere?
Here is my response to why we need to go back to church. Continue reading
We Need Something to Push Against
Whether you believe in a literal six day creation week 6,000 years ago or evolutionary processes that took eons, conservative Christians and anthropologists agree that before societies developed humans were hunter-gatherers. During times of plenty the human body stores extra in fat cells, using those reserves in times that are lean. Evolution at work or God’s providence? Since you’re reading a religious blog, and I’m a Baptist preacher, we’re probably on the same page. We probably agree on what happened next. Technology improved, life got easier, and since none of us have to spend the majority of time making sure we have enough to eat we have to go jogging or walk a treadmill to stave off morbid obesity. We are designed for the struggle. When we are provided an abundance, with no hard labor required, we get fat. Continue reading
Book Review: The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God
Anson Hugh Laytner is a retired Jewish rabbi. One’s initial reaction might be “This is not Christian theology.” Firstly, Laytner anticipates a Jewish and Christian audience. He describes himself as a skeptical but spiritual person thus the intended audience may go beyond Christian or Jewish to include anyone struggling with questions and looking for answers. More to the point in this context, Christian theology grew out of Hebrew history, ritual, literature and Jewish theology in the first century. Laytner is aware of the relationship. As he begins a section describing Radical Monotheism he mentions the Tanakh and then inserts in parenthesis “the Jewish Bible, similar to the Christian Old Testament.” The search for meaning and understanding is practically universal among people everywhere and Laytner’s process may benefit any reader wrestling with the same issues. Continue reading
I Just Want My Blessing
A post from guest blogger Jimmy Humphrey.
I think we could all agree that we want to live lives that feel “blessed.”
We want to feel that God’s fortune shines upon our lives. We want to feel favored. We want to feel like we lack for nothing.
Yet, many of us do not in fact feel that way. Continue reading
Heaven, Hell and the Gospel
A short Facebook exchange this morning led me to search The Master’s Table for references to hell. The only post with hell in the title was a link to a sermon on the Unity website. Here is the full text of that sermon, preached at Unity Baptist Church on October 4, 2015. The scripture text is Isaiah 11:1-10. Continue reading
Opinion: Rebuilding Notre Dame
Hopefully the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral is not news to anyone. I don’t try to cover breaking news and share you heard it hear first stories because many times the first things you hear are wrong. Now that everyone has had a chance to hear and digest the facts, and many people have shared their opinion, I would like to reflect on a few things. Continue reading