“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

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Separation of Church, State and Twitter

This is a follow up to a post from June 15, 2010. I am pleased to report that Shimkus is still tweeting Bible verses (https://twitter.com/RepShimkus) and his followers have grown to over 15,000! Below is the original post in it’s entirety. Continue reading

But On the Other Hand…

Jeremy Myers of Redeeming God asks Christians to please quit using these clichés. On the one hand, I get it. Clichés are statements that are overused to the point they have lost their original value. They are easy go-to statements, perhaps knee jerk reactions, that require little thought. Christians need to be careful about creating our own Christianese language, words and phrases we often use in-house that may have little meaning to non-Christians, the people with whom we need to communicate the Gospel. Like I say, on the one hand I get it.

But on the other hand… Overused is highly subjective; if a word of phrase is truly overused there may be a good reason we were saying it so much in the first place. We don’t want our worship to become a collection of tired old repetitions, but what about liturgy? What about biblical truths that are unchanging? Some of the things on Myers’ list I never say but there’s a couple on there I would like to put back on the table. We’re not talking about revising the dictionary here, at the end of the day Myers and I are both bloggers. He does have a tongue in cheek sense of humor that I can appreciate. But these are my submissions for consideration: Continue reading

Preaching the Hell Sermon

Screenshot 2015-10-08 at 1.39.55 PMI have been the pastor of Unity Baptist Church for one year. (We have an anniversary luncheon coming up this Sunday as a matter of fact.) I have preached 51 of the past 52 consecutive Sunday services without preaching a sermon on hell. It may have come up but was never the subject. The Master’s Table has been online since 2008 and there is not a post with hell in the title. And when I did finally preach that sermon (link here for those interested) it was a message about heaven, hell and an exhortation to share the Gospel. Continue reading

And Then Jesus Said…

Yesterday I suggested (in this post) that the people reading Newsweek magazine were not the same people reading Al Mohler, Daniel Wallace, etc. I drew the conclusion that some people would make a decision without giving Christianity a fair shake. Jesus himself may not have replied in so many words, but here is a very timely Coffee with Jesus comic strip that just cannot wait until the next Happy Monday post:

coffee with Jesus, newsweekClick the image to view full size.

Coffee with Jesus copyright/produced by Radio Free Babylon.

 

The Bible According to Newsweek

Screenshot 2015-01-06 at 10.07.18 AMBy now you have heard about Newsweek magazine and their take on the Bible. Kurt Eichenwald, normally a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, levies a scathing criticism not only of the scriptures but also the evangelical Christians that believe in them. The entire piece is an attack on the faithful, or as Eichenwald seems to see them, anyone stupid enough to still believe. There have been many well-worded responses from the Christian perspective and I will not endeavor to write another here. Southern Baptists may have read Al Mohler’s response, cited many times in this Baptist Press article. I recommend this post by Daniel Wallace, linked to last week on Twitter by Bible Gateway. Wallace offers a very systematic, well thought out and scholarly response to not just the content but to Eichenwald’s methodology.

But here is my take – no matter how many thoughtful responses are written are by Christians, the damage is done.

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Looking Forward to Reading the Bible

Bible store I have been bragging on the ESV Bible for a number of years, but my working philosophy is that to understand the message of scripture as fully as possible one needs to read a variety of translations. I grew up in churches that were “King James only.” Sometime around 2002 or 2003 I read through the Bible in the New Revised Standard Version. I was considering which version to read next – possibly even the NIV, if you can imagine such a thing – when I was introduced to the ESV. Mike Jones, the pastor at my ministry ordination, gave me a thinline ESV (after asking which translation I would prefer) and Michael Spencer later gave me an ESV Study Bible when that was released. Continue reading