Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Fallacy of False Options: A Gospel of Grace Option For Thinking About Homosexuality And The Bible

In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party.    --Abraham Lincoln
These words are from an unpublished manuscript found among Lincoln's papers after his assasination.  Scholars generally refer to is as his "Meditation on the Divine Will," and consider it a source for his Second Inaugural Address.  Lincoln makes a good point.  We often look at two options and wonder "Which one is God's Will?" when in truth it may be that neither are.

I thought of that - call it the Fallacy of False Options - after watching a documentary last night that Netflix describes in this way:

Director .  .  .  . goes to the Bible to examine the ways in which conservative Christian groups have used -- and sometimes exploited -- scripture to deny human rights to gays and lesbians around the world.
The film is produced as an emotional tsunami.  There are 95 minutes of rapid cuts between members of five different families from different religious backgrounds as they experience a child coming out as homosexual interspersed with Jimmy Swaggert outtakes.  WOW!!  It all happens faster than I could process and left me with net effect of being totally overwhelmed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Take Another Look: Young Adults Are Not In Church

 You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church...and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman is a recent publication by the Barna Research Group.  You can read a summary of the study called Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts by clicking here.  It’s an article well worth reading.  I’m guessing that it will leave you shaking your head with agreement if you are under 30, and shaking your head in disbelief if you are over 40.  Still, it’s helpful to see life as it really is.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Externally-Focused Church in Acts

I've been praying and thinking a lot about "the externally-focused church" of late.  (Click Here to see a recent one.)  In the course of that, I reviewed the book of Acts as well as notes and observations from my recent sermon series on the same and came to some fresh observations.  Specifically, I see three different "patterns" of how the earliest believers lived out an externally-focused, missional life together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Your Brain on Grace

I was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC this week while huffing and puffing on my Nordic Trac and heard Tina Brown talk about an upcoming feature article in Newseek on America's "spending addiction" and our need, as individuals and as a nation, to make some changes.  Click here for the article itself.

What caught my attention was her comment to the effect - I've not been able to locate the segment on video - that researchers are able to identify differences between "spending brains" and "saving brains" at the level of brain chemistry and synapses.  There's more in the article, and I'll leave the policy implications to others, for now.

Since then, I've been pondering the prospect of potentially similar differences between a "grace brain" and a "works brain."  The flights of fancy on this theme appear endless!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Doctrine and A Gospel Heart

I've been a Christ-follower for forty years (!) now.  In that span, I've earned lots of degrees.  Studied in lots of places.  Preached for years.  Taught the Bible in all sorts of settings to all sorts of people.  I have  pretty firm convictions about what the Bible teaches and what it doesn't.  Though I would not kill for my convictions - That's actually a biblical conviction of mine, but I digress! - I do think I would die for a number of them.

Needless to say, I've been in some pretty sharp disagreements with folks over the years regarding those convictions.  I left one seminary as a student and one denomination as a pastor over my convictions.  Plenty of folks have left churches I was leading because of my convictions and preaching.
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