Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why Plant Churches?

I heard a number of startling facts and figures last week at the meeting of the EPC Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic - my regional accountability structure and "church planting support group."  For instance: There is an annual net loss of churches in the United States of about 2000.  Click here for more.

Let's put aside for a moment all the issues related to making statements like these: the challenge of counting churches, determining what are the churches you want to count, etc. etc. etc.  Even as difficult as it is to ascertain the particulars of the data, the conclusion is one that most people would affirm, even intuitively.  Fewer people in the United States today have a meaningful relationship with Jesus and His community than in years not too far past.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jesus is LORD - Mark 1:3, the Divine Name and the Divinity of Jesus

There is a clue given to readers in all of the good translations of the Bible that often goes unnoticed.  Read the Old Testament carefully and you will notice that sometimes you read "LORD" and other times you read "Lord."  These are two different words, and noticing that difference has expanded my awe and reverence for Jesus.

For example, look at Psalm 8:1 - "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Meditation - Confused by the Death of Duty

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"  The two angels raise a penetrating question of those first followers of Jesus to arrive at the tomb, but it would have taken a moment for it to make sense.  At first encounter, grace can be very confusing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday Meditation - Forgiveness is "Picking Up the Tab"

Votaire, the 18th century French skeptic has said that "God forgives because it is His business."  It is hard to look at Jesus dying on the cross and think that forgiveness is a business with an attractive return on investment.  Instead, I think that God forgives because He loves.  And love is willing to pick up the tab.  For forgiveness to happen, someone must pay a price.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday Meditation - The Lord's Supper

How do you picture the Last Supper?  I suppose I am not the only person who sees that last night of Jesus before His crucifixion as da Vinci's painting by that name.  A quick look through history at other artists' renditions of this moment present the same basic image: Jesus and His twelve disciples around the table. Even ignoring the recent silliness of Dan Brown's novel The da Vinci Code I think it's time to reconsider the image in light of what was really going on.
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