The Phenomenon of Billy Graham

Screenshot 2018-03-01 at 10.36.05 AMI don’t know how many tributes have been written, published, posted or tweeted this week about Billy Graham. I am not writing because I think there needs to be another one; sometimes the writing process is how we work through things. But in the process of thinking about it, maybe I can share with you some things to think about as well. Continue reading

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Phil Robertson, A&E, and the Beliefs of True Christians

phil A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from the reality series Duck Dynasty, and the Internet is blowing up. It has nothing to do with anything said or done on the show, but remarks he made in an interview with GQ magazine. Here is part of what Phil said:

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

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Yes I Am Southern Baptist

sbcIn lieu of yesterday’s post I wish to clarify a couple of issues (before anyone asks).

1. I am Southern Baptist. While I did not grow up in the SBC I have been a member of SBC churches since 2000. I was ordained as a deacon in 2002 and as a minister in 2004. My wife and I served full time on the mission field (stateside) for nine years, 2003 to 2012. I graduated from a Baptist college, attended BSU as a student, taught in a private Baptist school, and led BCM for seven years. The Master’s Table is listed in SBC Voices, a directory of Southern Baptist blogs. This very week my wife and I are teaching 5th and 6th graders during Colossal Coaster World and I’m driving the church bus to VBS. While I may not always agree with everything the organization does as a whole, I am certainly still a part of it. The reason I can say so much about the SBC’s response to the Boy Scouts issue is that’s the denomination I know the most about. Continue reading

For Us or For All?

torah scroll Some of Jesus’ teachings were meant for multitudes of followers, while at other times he taught only his disciples. There are some occasions we cannot be sure who he was talking to, nor if he meant the present time or prophesied of future events. Did you know that sometimes the Apostles wondered about the same things?

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Luke 12:41-43 Continue reading

The Read and Share File

I normally share a few links with a few comments.  Here’s a few links and a short sermon.

When we confess Jesus as Lord, via The Gospel Coalition.  This is one of those posts I wish I had written.

Here is a whole collection of verses and quotes on Thanksgiving.  Christians should be all about Thanksgiving.

Harvey Turner at The Resurgence writes You Are Not Jesus.  He claims that the gospel is good news, and news must be proclaimed.  You cannot, therefore, live the gospel or be the gospel, a premise which troubles me greatly.

Yes, the gospel is good news.  But when we are transformed by his redeeming power old things pass away and we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).  It is no longer we that live but he lives in us (Gal 2:20).  Our goal is to conform to the image of Christ, who himself was the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15).  We are filled with the indwelling Holy Spirit, and are commissioned to carry the gospel to a lost and dying world.  I am not Jesus, but if I give a cup of water to the least of his children Jesus says it’s as if I gave water to him.  We, the church, are the body of Christ and he becomes the head of the body.  Jesus says his believers become one with him just as he and the Father are one.  We are grafted into the family of God through a glorious adoption. Continue reading

The Illusion

I grew up in the 80’s.  Before David Blaine and Chris Angel there was David Copperfield.  Over the course of several prime time specials he made the Statue of Liberty disappear, walked through the Great Wall of China and escaped from Alcatraz.  Part of his appeal came from his sense of humor and showmanship on stage, but people tuned in to see the “magic.”  The magic of course was really illusion; he wasn’t really sawed in half on stage.  But you know what they say – Seeing is believing.

It is so easy to believe what we see.  Illusion, special effects and camouflage all depend on it.  That very fact can also get us into trouble at times.  We had to see bacteria with a microscope before germ theory really caught on, and there’s an ever-present warning in your side mirror not to believe exactly what you see (objects are closer than they appear).  We all know there is more going on than can be seen. Wind, gravity, magnetism, microbes, radiation, DNA and so on cannot be seen, but we either perceive their effects through other senses or else detect them with scientific devices.  The earth appears flat, and the sun seems to move across the sky from east to west.  Our understanding is no longer limited to what we can see with our eyes; but the tendency to do so will always be there. Continue reading