“So this is what God’s really like.”

This summer, I’m preaching a very short sermon series from the Psalms on praying your emotions. Last week, I preached on Psalm 3, “Pray Your Fears.” In two Sundays, I’ll be preaching from the darkest Psalm, chapter 88, “Pray Your Sadness.” I’m re-reading parts of a few books as research for the sermon. One book I turned to was C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed. It is a tremendous little book about his journey after losing his wife Helen. When I read it the first time, I remember thinking that the book was one of the most raw, honest, yet refreshing books I had read. Essentially, A Grief … Continue reading “So this is what God’s really like.”

Calvin, Lewis, and Knowing Yourself

John Calvin and C.S. Lewis seem to be worlds apart. If they had a theological debate, there’s no doubt they would have many points of disagreement. Calvin was, of course, a Reformer, and he espoused his system known as “Calvinism.” Lewis was an eclectic of sorts, a self-professed lay minister, and he was decidedly “Arminian.” Calvin was a sixteenth century pastor in Switzerland. Lewis was a twentieth century literature professor in Great Britain. Yet at the same time, there is some overlap between these two men. One of the great things about Christianity is that the essentials of the faith make for … Continue reading Calvin, Lewis, and Knowing Yourself

Thoughts on Erwin McManus’s Talk at the Global Leadership Summit

I attended Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit this year at a satellite location here in Omaha. There was a lot to receive, some things to redeem, and others to reject. Today, Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic in Los Angeles, closed out the Summit with his talk about Christians being culture creators and creative story tellers. He exceptionally articulated the fact that because God is a creator, Christians are also called to be creative and enter into the redemption that God is working in the world. He told about the time he led Soledad O’Brien to Christ while describing a documentary he … Continue reading Thoughts on Erwin McManus’s Talk at the Global Leadership Summit

The Reason for God (Chapter 2)

These are direct quotes from the book. If it is my paraphrase, it will marked by an asterisk (*) after the page number. Chapter 2: How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? Just because you can’t see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesn’t mean there can’t be [a God]. Again we see lurking within supposedly hard-nosed skepticism an enormous faith in one’s own cognitive faculties. If our minds can’t plumb the depths of the universe for good answers to suffering, well, then, there can’t be any! This is blind faith of a high order. (23-24) … Continue reading The Reason for God (Chapter 2)

Atheism Doesn’t Do Much for Beauty, Art, and Love

If there is no God, and everything in this world is the product of (as Bertrand Russell famously put it) “an accidental collocation of atoms,” then there is no actual purpose for which we were made–we are accidents. If we are the product of accidental natural forces, then what we call “beauty” is nothing but a neurological hardwired response to particular data.  You only find certain scenery to be beautiful because you had ancestors who knew you would find food there and they dsurvived because of that neurological feature and now we have it too. In the same way, though music … Continue reading Atheism Doesn’t Do Much for Beauty, Art, and Love

Passion Week – Good Friday Meditation

Part 5 in a 7 part series. View series intro and index. 1 Peter 3:18: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus did not come to make you a good person with upstanding morals and decent ethics.  He came to make you a perfect person.  How does he do … Continue reading Passion Week – Good Friday Meditation