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Photo Credit: peterskim via Compfight cc

I recently had an email conversation with a brother who shared some valuable insights with me concerning the Church, God’s purpose, and where it all may be heading in our day.

We were talking about certain messengers of the Cross and various movements which have arisen over the past century… pioneers who opened wide a vision of God’s eternal purpose which multitudes of people are now catching sight of, if only second-hand.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Ricardo Machado via Compfight cc

Yesterday I ran into a friend who had recently begun her first semester in seminary (both the friend and the seminary shall remain nameless).

My friend is a woman, and a bit of an egalitarian; the seminary in question is neither.

As we talked I found out she had already quit school. Why? Because she was quickly overwhelmed by the institution’s male-dominated ethos. She was even kicked out of one class because she, being a woman, was “not qualified” to fulfill the duties (pastoral, I assume) for which the class was offered! So she quit. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: geezaweezer via Compfight cc

If you are ever to have a song of deliverance, it will come in the night time of suffering and loss. Elihu reminds us that this is when God does His best composition (Job 35:10).

Are you suffering now? Do you feel like you are losing ground on every front? Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

When Moses recounted to the people of Israel the purpose of their sojourn through the wilderness, he said that God “allowed them to hunger” in order to prove what was in their hearts (Deuterononomy 8:2-3).

Obviously God knew what is in their hearts. He knew they would turn on a dime despite any prior commitment they had made to Him. So you might say the wilderness was there to teach the people about themselves. It was the people who did not realize what was in their own hearts. The wilderness served to draw it out of them and make them face up to it squarely.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: mbgrigby via Compfight cc

It’s no secret that the culture in which the early Christians lived was saturated with Greek thought. You’ll never really appreciate this fact, though, until you delve into the actual history and writings of the philosophers which shaped Greek and Roman society.

For instance, in the fifth century before Christ there lived a man named Empedocles. Empedocles was an engineer, a statesman, an aristocrat, a poet, and a philosopher, and as a philosopher he sought to harmonize the contrasting strands of idealism and materialism which were at odds in his day. His resulting philosophy was a primitive form of Hagel’s dialectic, where forces of nature and history attract, separate, and combine in a kind of evolutionary tension that holds the world together. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: six steps  via Compfight cc

“Discipleship” is all the rage these days. But I wonder, in so many circles, to whom people are really being discipled.

When the Lord Jesus charged the Twelve to “go into all the world,” he told them to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). But disciples of whom? Themselves, or Christ? You know the answer, but I wonder how many Christian ministers know the difference.

Here is my point, right at the outset: If your intent is really to serve people and not just to use them for your own gain, you will give them what they need and not what draws them to yourself.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: geatchy via Compfight cc

I hesitate to share this post with you simply because it contains a glimpse into something that is exceedingly precious to me–my personal relationship with God.

You see, having a “personal relationship” with God has lost its flavor in many evangelical circles. The concept is so familiar that it is foreign. In fact, I wonder how much it is really practiced rather than just preached and talked about.   Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: yewenyi via Compfight cc

A few days ago I was going to the grocery store with my kids. When it came time to get out of the van, they scrambled to get ahead of one another and be the first to get out. This is something they do often, always competing to be number one. Human nature, I suppose.

Anyway, just as it escalated to the point of a fight I intervened. I took the opportunity to tell them about Jesus’ parable of the man who chose to sit at the head of the table: Continue Reading…

Here is the second section of notes from my study on the first century church. Slowly but surely we're continuing to work our way through it locally, and the full manuscript is almost ready for printing. If you would like to help in the editing process I'd be happy to send you a digital copy for review. Just shoot me an email.

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Photo Credit: zamito44 via Compfight cc

THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING & FELLOWSHIP

Read: Acts 2:42-47, 1 John 1:1-4

Suddenly there was a housing crisis in Jerusalem. The bulk of new believers were Jews from out of town who decided to stick around after being baptized into Christ (that’s a couple thousand people without a place to lay their head). So the local disciples began to sell their extra property and belongings in order to accommodate their new brothers and sisters in Christ. It was a tremendous display of love that attested to the reality of the kingdom of God. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: chris.chabot via Compfight cc

When God deals with an individual, He always has the corporate in view.

After finding the one lost sheep, the Shepherd brings it back to the fold. Likewise, the prodigal son is restored to the Father’s house with all the familial relations that involves. And so on.

The individual is of supreme concern to the Lord, but the purpose of God does not end with personal salvation. On the contrary, it only begins there. Continue Reading…