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Showing posts from December, 2014

Acts 28:11-15: Is the Success of the Church Directly Proportionate to the Abilities of its Members?

After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.
Acts 28:11-15
Many people consider Paul to be the natural choice for a New Testament model for ministry.
He always had the right words (consider the epistles).He has a proven track record (a successful string of church plants). These are just a couple of the reasons that people often think of Paul as a model for ministry.  But I would co…

Genesis 2: The Command that Brings Freedom

God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil at the very center of the garden, and then he commanded Adam not to eat of it.For, He said, “The day you eat of it you will surely die".

But why did God do it that way?It seems like it would almost certainly guarantee our inevitable fall. At the very least, it would mean that disobedience would always be an obvious, present option. When I brought my son Wolfie home from the hospital I had to make sure that all of the things I didn’t want him to eat were either discarded or out of reach. This was my responsibility as a loving Father.We’d expect God to do the same. If His only purpose was to keep Adam from eating the fruit, why put it there,right? Why not hide it? Why create it at all? The tree seems to serve no other purpose than to be a temptation, to be the occasion for a commandment.Is that what this is really about?

Let’s think about this for a minute. Adam and Eve were placed in idyllic conditions. As far as we know, there we…

Genesis 1: The Image of God and the Blasphemy of Sin

Then God said, “Let us make a human beings in our image and likeness, to govern the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the heavens, the livestock over all the earth, and over every creeping creature that creeps on the earth.” So God created humanity in his own image. In the image of God, as male and female, He created them.
- Genesis 1:26-27 OSBT  What does it mean to be created in the image of God? There are a three main views.
The substantive view tries to find some attribute that separates us from animals, as a sign of our divine likeness.The relational view holds that the "image" resides in our capacity for relationship with God and one another (i.e. God is a "relational being" and therefore we are created to be "relational beings"). The functional view interprets the "image of God" as a role in the created order, where humankind is made to be a ruler over creation. Whatever it has come to mean elsewhere, I think the "function…

Genesis 1: A God of True Power

What does ultimate power look like? That's a tough question. If you had ultimate power, what would you do with it?  For most of us, I imagine, the only purpose we could think of putting it to is bending the universe to our own desire. To be a tyrant.

That's because our desires are shaped by a nature that is inherently incomplete. We experience need, and want, and constantly strive to use what power we have to meet these ends. It is only natural that we would imagine using even greater power the same way. What else could such miserable creatures think to do with it?

This is also what you find in the gods of the nations surrounding the ancient Israelites, the god's of the Egyptians and the Babylonians. Their gods are said to have created human beings to be slaves, to serve them, to feed them. They were terrible and demanding, projections of human imperfection written to monstrous proportions.

The God of Genesis 1 is different. He doesn't need anything from us. He is s…