Archive for December 2007

Dave’s Christmas Wrap

December 25, 2007

This is a great video by David Stephenson, a member of Connections.

Barney’s Sunday School Lesson

December 17, 2007

Many of you wanted to follow up on Barney’s fine Sunday School class. The paper, by Tim Keller, that he referenced can be found here. The Summary Points he makes are:

1. Evangelism needs to change. We don’t live in a Christian World any longer. We need to be “Missional”.

2. Missional churches discourse in the vernacular; they translate “church” language in to language people understand.

3. Forsake moralism and interpret the culture (literature, plays, music, etc.) through the gospel. Explain freedom as being in Christ.

4. Focus church training on equipping people for “public” life. Give them a worldview to share.

5. Create Christian community which is counter-cultural. Be compassionate and provide a different view of sex, money and power.

6. Promote Christian unity on the local level. Don’t try to define yourself as different from other churches. People don’t understand that.

What comments do you have?

Golden Compass and Lack of Responsibility

December 8, 2007

The furor over The Golden Compass is overblown. I have read the book, which is more antichristian than the movie. I have also seen the movie. I guess fantasy just doesn’t do it for me. I only read The Hobbit, and skipped the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I missed the whole Narnia series. I only read one Harry Potter. So, my comments on the movie about lack of plot, poor character development, etc., may have more to do with my disdain for fantasy than anything else. I will avoid a movie review here, and save it for my blog at Jib Sheet.

The one part of the book/movie that I find most “dangerous” is the concept of ” Age of Accountability.” The premise is that kids aren’t in danger of being responsible for sin until they reach adolescence. This idea is strikingly like a similar teaching that runs through the Christian churches. And, it is not biblical. (Practically speaking, is there any question that babies are selfish from the start?)

The Bible teaches that since Adam, all people born are born as sinners. Even before they do their first sinful act, they are credited with Adam’s sin; original sin is the term used most often to describe this fact. In Romans 5 (10-21) Paul develops this idea that Adam was our representative, and sin has been a part of our nature ever since. Even the newest baby is a sinner in the sight of God. It is, as Dylan (Bob) says, “running in our veins.” I Cor. 15:22 says this simply, ” For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” In other words, everyone needs a savior.

The Bible also gives us the account of Paul being changed from sinner to saint in the twinkling of an eye. Those with retardation, or too young to hear the Gospel are, if they are saved, saved the same way. God works how and when He will.

So, my point is this. When the book says that sin is good, I don’t expect most Christians to buy it. When the book or movie talks about the age of accountability, I am more concerned that this idea will strike a familiar note with God’s people who have heard this before. I hope that on a Wednesday night we can discuss the idea of original sin more, and be better able to help others appreciate even more the need all of us have for a Savior.

Bad calls happen outside of football

December 5, 2007

All the fuss about Golden Compass got me thinking. We are so inconsistent in our thinking. Every _____________(fill in the blank appropriately if you are a college fan or NFL fan) we shout at the television when an official fails to get a call right. We insist that the rules be followed, especially when it helps our team or cause. Yet, we get it wrong regularly outside of sports.

When we read or watch movies, we are manipulated by authors or actors to like or dislike characters and actions. Yet, if we took the time to think about it, we would know that the character or act was “against the rules.” By that I mean the character, as likable as he may be, is ungodly, or is involved in acts which we shouldn’t champion. By being emotionally involved, we sanction whatever it is that we should (and do) know is wrong. We would go nuts if an official ruled that way. For example, when a receiver acts like he caught a pass after it has hit the ground, we don’t like it. We reallly don’t like it when the official is tricked by the acting. So, why are we so gullible when we read or watch?

It might be a good idea to have a reading/watching uniform consisting of black pants and a vertically striped, black and white shirt. What do you think?