Pursuing Biblical God: reflecting on God, the Bible, his church, and us
Throughout the Bible We See Examples We Can Apply in Our World Today As we move toward the end of the book of Numbers, we see God allocating Canaan—the Promised Land—to the twelve tribes of Israel. First, God gives Moses the western, northern, eastern, and southern borders of the nation. Then he indicates which tribes … Continue reading The Book of Numbers Shows Us a Wise Step to Follow →
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A Vibrant Spiritual Faith Looks Inward and Shares Outward I have a Sunday morning routine. This gives me structure to how I start my day, and it provides me with the best opportunity to make it be a great one. Aside from attending to the normal needs of life, there are two parts to my … Continue reading What’s More Important: Spiritual Introspection or Spiritual Community? →
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Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter By Michael White and Tom Corcoran Reviewed by Peter DeHaan Are things not working at your church? Is your congregation aging and attendance dwindling? Are people just going through the motions and not engaged? Do folks arrive at the last minute and scurry off … Continue reading Book Review: Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter →
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When You Pray, In Whose Name Do You Pray? This isn’t a trick question or a pluralistic way to approach the god of your choice. This is a simple question. When you pray to the God who is revealed in the Bible, whose name do invoke at the end? When you pray, do you say … Continue reading In Whose Name Do You Pray? →
God Makes a Similar Promise to Moses In the book of Genesis, we meet Abraham. God takes a special interest in Abraham and gives him a bold promise. He pledges to make Abraham “into a great nation” (Genesis 12:2, NIV). What makes this promise even more incredible is that Abraham is seventy-five years old and … Continue reading God Tells Abraham He Will Make Him into a Great Nation →
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Don’t Go to Church with a Passive Perspective: Be Engaged on Sunday Morning As a teenager, I often complained to my parents, “but I don’t get anything out of church.” Though they tried to reason with me, and they may have secretly agreed, their attempts to change my perspective didn’t help. What I wish I … Continue reading 3 Keys to Successful Church Involvement →
There is an amazing little booklet, sporting a tongue-twister of a title. It is The Threefold Art of Experiencing God: The Liberating Power of a Trinitarian Faith by Christian A. Schwarz. In a stellar example of “less is more,” this diminutive book carries a profound punch. The central theme is that Christianity exists in three … Continue reading Pursuing a Balanced Trinitarian Faith →
God Loves Us and His Favor Lasts a Lifetime The book of Psalms gives us glimpses into God’s character and his love for us. Though some people view God, as portrayed in the Old Testament, as angry and vengeful, a more careful read gives us a different perspective. We see his love and his patience; … Continue reading God Is Slow to Anger and It Only Lasts for a Moment →
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Reading the Bible as narrative frees us to experience God in a fuller, deeper way Continuing in our series of why I love the Bible, we’re on reason number twelve. I often say that I read the Bible as a narrative. Simply stated, it’s a story, a grand, epic tale. It’s a story about God’s … Continue reading The Bible Presents Us with a Narrative to Inform Our Lives →
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Do You Want More From Life? A Spiritual More? I’m not talking about more money, power, or prestige. I’m not even talking about more love or respect. I’m certainly not talking about the latest gadgets, a new car, a nicer home, tastier food, or better sex. I’m talking about more from a spiritual standpoint. I … Continue reading Do You Want More From Life? Seeking a Spiritual More →
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When people talked to Jesus, the discussion was often about the same thing, whether broached with the phrase “kingdom of God,” “kingdom of heaven,” “eternal life,” “salvation,” or “saved.” Sometimes the people asked, what must we do? How can we receive it? And Jesus responded. Although his instructions varied with the person and situation, the … Continue reading When Asked about Salvation, Jesus Said, “Follow Me” →
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God Promises Rewards for Obedience and Punishment for Disobedience As we read through the book of Leviticus, which is a struggle for most of us, we read instruction after instruction of what God expects from his people. With precise detail, his commands come forth one after another. Then, in chapter 26, the book begins to … Continue reading We Must Listen to God and Do What He Says →
The Old Testament Law gets us started and points us to Jesus Why is the Old Testament Law in the Bible? How is it relevant for us today? Many followers of Jesus ignore the Law they read in the Old Testament, and a few people pick which parts of it they want to follow and … Continue reading How Does the Old Testament Law Fit Our New Testament Faith? →
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Christianity Today recently reported that there are 42,000 Protestant denominations. That is shocking. However, given that in the United States we have a consumerism mentality, this development is hardly surprising. Consumerism says that if you don’t like the church you are at, you keep shopping until you find one. If you can’t find one that … Continue reading 42,000 Protestant Denominations →
The Bible Gives Us a Framework for Why We Should Be Holy Reading through the book of Leviticus challenges most people. Its words fail to engage our imagination as they drone on with seemingly repetitious commands. But there are gems buried within its verses—if our minds aren’t too glossed over to see them. In today’s … Continue reading Be Holy Because God is Holy →
We Should Celebrate the Lord’s Supper to Remember What Jesus Did for Us Holy Communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist) is a time of celebration. In this we remember what Jesus did for us when he died in our place for the things we did wrong. In doing so, he reconciled … Continue reading Not Another Communion Sunday →
In my neighborhood, a fair number of people attend church. None of them go to the church I attend and, as far as I know, no one else attends the same church as their neighbors. Even more confounding is that there are two churches within a mile, but no one attends them either. In fact, … Continue reading Take a Step Toward Christian Unity →
The righteous walk in God’s ways, while the rebellious trip over his words As the prophecy of Hosea winds down he urges Israel (and us) to turn from our shortcomings and return to God. When we do this, blessing will follow: blessings for us and for others through us. Once again, we have this concept … Continue reading Walk with God and Do Not Stumble →
The Most Important Thing in the Bible Is Love Though the Bible has many commands, love is the greatest command of them all. Check it out: The Old Testament Law In the first five books of the Bible, sometimes called the Torah or Pentateuch, God gives instructions to Moses. The people refer to this as … Continue reading Love Is the Greatest Command →
The Western World, especially the United States, is largely an individualistic, narcissistic society. In applying this mindset to religious matters, the in thing is to seek spirituality in an individualistic, narcissistic way. We pursue the formation of our religious convictions as if we were at a buffet, a religious buffet. We pick a little bit of … Continue reading Feasting on the Religious Buffet →