Why does it seem like being a disciple of Jesus is so challenging? Why does it seem like such a difficult undertaking? Continue reading “They were “only” fishermen!”
In John 15:1-17, Jesus speaks to us about abiding in Him. He draws a beautiful picture of an olive vine with its many branches. We expect to see each branch filled with beautiful fruit but it’s not. Instead, we are confronted with branches that are failing to produce, branches that have the potential to bear fruit, but for some reason they are empty.
Some time ago, I had lunch with a dear friend and fellow elder. We always have a great time and just as important, we always have challenging discussions about the church and faith. This friend has shaped and challenged my thinking regarding faith and the church for many years yet, this specific conversation has stuck with me more than normal. I want to share this with you and even solicit your help in fleshing this out.
How many times have we heard someone say that? How many times have you asked that question yourself? Typically, the question is the result of someone saying or advocating a position on scripture that is different than our traditional understanding. I believe this is a good question and it gets to the heart of most sermons, bible classes, and bulletin articles. Continue reading “What is he trying to accomplish?”
“23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (ESV)
Last week, we spoke about this push within the church toward a more grace-centered faith. As I said in the articles, I have enjoyed this gentler and more compassionate aspect to the church. The church, embracing the fullness of Jesus’ heart, and loving each other has made church, worship, and my own faith much more enjoyable. I hope you have noticed this and are happy about it as well.
But today, I need to express a word of caution. Just because we have embraced a softer, gentler side of the faith. Just because we are focusing more on God’s grace and mercy doesn’t mean that we are free to stop doing the things we have been doing.
Embracing a softer, more compassionate side of the faith is great as long as we stay balanced in our theology and actions.
Last week we started this article on becoming grace centered. I believe that this is a necessary and long overdue shift within the church. A move toward a gentler and more compassionate faith seems to be more in keeping with the heart of Jesus himself. Today we will continue with the second half.
Recently, I have been reading a lot of materials about this movement within the churches of Christ toward becoming more grace centered. It is quickly becoming the most important and at the same time, the most controversial movement within the church today. Continue reading “Grace Centered”
I want to share with a problem that I have been struggling with recently. Now that I aware of it, it seems like I see it in everything. The problem I am talking about is generally called “knowledge” or if you have studied the Greek NT; it is called “gnosis.” Within the church, there is this push toward “my personal knowledge.” It’s so pervasive that it’s almost to the exclusion of everything else. Propose any problem and the answer almost always, “just read more or study more.” Are you struggling with faith? Read more! Are you struggling with depression? Read, study, and pray more! Or as one person said, “The greatest need in the church today is more knowledge.” I couldn’t disagree more! The greatest need of any generation is Jesus.