Showing posts from September, 2013

For The Cross

Not a terrible way to start your week. [youtube=]

Go and play, and tell people about your Daddy

This sermon is for you. Take the 30 minutes to watch it. The best line is at the end... [vimeo]

Seeking a culture of grace not just a corrective

"Satan greatly approves of our railing at each other, but God doesn't." - Charles Spurgeon Grace is so amazing why would we ever desire to preach or live under any other truth. But we do. We accept grace for a conversion and lose it in our own self-righteousness. And it isn't pretty. Then comes the freshly minted, grace eye-opened, Jesus pursuing, type A personality to "correct" us. To get us back on course. To preach hope instead of burden... but with a strong dose of correction over the grace they proclaim. Hi, I am Jonathan and I just described myself. I have to be honest, it irks me when proclaiming Christians fall for and the regurgitate the trash that is often slung as if it is true faith and actual Christian obedience. I then in that irked state want to be quick to correct and open scaled eyes to the truth of grace that is the core of the Bible. But too often it comes off as arrogant and mean rather than gracious and gospel driven. Instead I want to h

How holy is holy enough?

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16, ESV) If you are in Christ, you are called to holiness. The word sounds spiritual but it simply means being set apart, being different from the culture around you and kept for something better. Often this idea of holiness is lived out through our thoughts and behaviors. And that is obedience. Responding to the truth of what Christ has done we chose to live better than we would have before we realized that work as a gift. At this point though things get sticky. This is the point at which the preaching of a free gift and the absence of our own work for salvation turns to something of work again.

From the phraseological to the real

Every Tuesday morning at 6:30am our young adult ministry hosts a group called Theological Life. We discuss theological ideas and think through how they inform our lives. We have just started our fall session and are embarking on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together. This is from the introduction: (Bonhoeffer's writings were characterized by) "an insistent realism, a 'turning away from the phraseological to the real,' for him Christianity could never be merely intellectual theory, doctrine divorced from life, or mystical emotion, but always must be responsible, obedient action, the discipleship of Christ in every situation of concrete everyday life, personal and public." This truth was big in the life and ministry of Bonhoeffer and it should be for us as well. It is far too easy to get the intellectual depth of understanding or the emotional surge of church environments but not allow it to drive the real, the everyday life. I talk about the gospel a lot. I attem