Last Sunday, I did a live Question and Answer session for the second half of my message. Here are the questions I was asked along with my answers.
For a few weeks now, I have been teaching in my church on the topic of belief and doubt, so I have been on a personal journey to understand the mind of the atheist so I can better understand the mind of the serious person who cannot cross the line of faith and possibly understand the mind of the person who wants to believe but is having difficulty taking the final step of commitment.
In the process, I have been learning things about the Theory of Evolution that have really interested me. I’ll get to a couple of those things in a moment, but first, let me tell you my perspective on the whole evolution and creation issue. Continue reading
Okay, it’s finally time for me to begin tackling this question. The problem is that I don’t really know the answers so this is going to be a general musing with some of my own hunches. Therefore, I’m really interested to know your opinions on it too. Perhaps together, we can figure some of this out.
That is how I started writing this post, but that was two weeks ago, and I still don’t have any really good answer for this question, so I’m posting this now just to let you know I’m still working on it.
I’m going to be reading a book called Surprising Insights from the Unchurched to figure out the major factors leading people outside the world of church to explore the church world in the first place.
This last Fall, we took a survey in our church asking people to rank our church from “ick” to “wow” on various categories. This is a non-scientific study, of course, but the vast majority of our church attendees gave our church a “wow” on our preaching and mid to high marks on everything else. Also, my own anecdotal research shows that the vast majority of people in our church found our church because they were intentionally looking for a church.
As a result, I have a few ideas on why Christians go to church when they go. Please weigh in with your perspective as well. Continue reading
Yesterday, I started a series of posts on why people go to church. Studies show us that large portions of the population claim to have a strong relationship with Jesus yet studies also show that large portions of the population rarely or never go to church.
Today, I continue that discussion.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Why Christians SHOULD Go to Church
The writer of Hebrews gives us two reasons people should go to church and two obstacles that must be overcome. Continue reading
This morning, my wife heard on the Christian radio station that a recent study reports 67% of Americans claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus that affects their daily lives.
However, just last weekend, I heard a statistic that currently 17% of Americans go to church. I think that means specifically that on any given week, only 17% of Americans attend a religious service. The number of people who attend at least one service a month is surely much higher than that, but still, the number is astounding to me.
If two-thirds of the population feels they have a life-altering relationship with Jesus, why is church attendance so low and apparently going down? Continue reading
What’s the issue?
The question of Biblical “inerrancy” has been raised a number of times particularly in the past 50 years or so. Before answering this question, I think it’s important to simply highlight what the real issue is. Continue reading
This post is part of a series on explaining the whole bible.
The kingdom of Judah ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the brightest young people to Babylon. However, Jeremiah had predicted that the exile would last only 70 years, and Isaiah even predicted a king named Cyrus would be the one to return the Jews to their homeland. It turned out that both were exactly right.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…
Of course, knowing the Sunday school answer and being okay with it are two different things entirely, but this week, I have gained a new perspective on the question that I thought I would share with you. Here are some significant verses from my devotional reading this week:
UPDATE: This film has been posted to YouTube if you want to watch it. link
Tonight, our life group skipped our normal routine to watch a documentary purportedly on the relationship between homosexuality and religion called For the Bible Tells Me So However, the documentary was actually on the relationship between homosexuality and the conservative/fundamentalist “Christian right.”
Basically, the title calls to mind the song Jesus Loves Me (which should communicate that God loves us) in contrast to the words of those who would claim homosexuality is an “abomination” simply because “the Bible tells me so.”
Since I have already written a few articles on the topic, I won’t take the time to rehash my position. However, I need to make a couple comments.
Since I wrote an article on this very topic (see Is There Recovery for the Homosexual?.), I thought it would be good to have a link to this new article here and to add a few comments of my own.
It just seems that the secular world is trying to ignore the truth that SOME people who self-identify as homosexual are able to ADJUST desires or at least find fulfillment outside the homosexual lifestyle.
What if we lived in a society with a VERY vocal and VERY strong lobby promoting the use of smoking? What if in the context of that society, a report was done testing the effectiveness of anti-smoking programs? What kind of news articles would we be reading? “Programs to change smokers to non-smokers don’t work, report says”
It’s the combination of a VERY vocal lobby, a VERY supportive society and the inherent attractiveness of sexual sin that wage war against any “change” programs.
It’s exactly the same as when you read about how “Abstinence Programs Fail Among American Teens.” If the society fully supports something that’s pleasurable, all programs opposing that position will fail more often than not.
This week at my Life Group, we looked at the clearest teaching in the Bible regarding the rapture, and I’ve become even more convicted about one particular position. This post is intended to guide you through the same study we considered this week and to give an inside track on what I’m currently thinking about the matter.
What is the Rapture?
Before I talk about anything else, I should probably define what I mean by the rapture and why I want to talk about it now.
The Rapture refers to the event described in the Bible of Christ returning to earth and his followers being “caught up” to meet him in the air.
The major biblical controversy is twofold:
- Do the biblical statements on the rapture event indicate a literal and physical departure from the surface of the earth?
- When does the rapture event happen in relation to the rest of prophesied end-time events? Continue reading
If you are a Calvinist:
- you believe that God has “elected” or “chosen” those who would be saved from before the foundation of the world.
- you believe that those whom God has chosen have been predestined to respond to the gospel when God woos them.
- you believe that salvation comes entirely without regard to human works or merit.
- you believe that “elect” and “true followers of Jesus” are two ways of describing only one group. Continue reading
Apparently, with the legal pressure provided by pro-homosexual lobbies, there is a threat that churches will be liable to lawsuits for anti-homosexual practices unless our position on the issue is clearly stated in religious terms.
The recommendation is that we amend our statement of faith to describe our core convictions in this matter. Therefore, I’m putting here what I’m preparing to present to our church leadership on the matter. Your comments will be helpful.
What’s wrong with premarital sex?
One of the questions I get a lot is the question about sexual morality as it relates to the Bible, and it’s one I have thought a lot about as well considering that I do quite a bit of marital counseling and also considering that I’m a guy and I think about these issues myself!
Of course, the biggest question about sexual morality is whether the Bible actually prohibits premarital sex, and if it does prohibit it, why?
I’m going to try to answer that question simply from three angles: What does the Bible teach about sex? What effect does sex have on people? Where should the limits be drawn (i.e. what is the Biblical definition of “sex”)?