All Posts (Page 43)

All Posts (Page 43)

Invincible?

When I was caught for eating a bit of icing from one of the cupcakes planned for the Fifth Grade party, my principal was incensed. "What’s that on your shoulders?" she demanded. I didn’t have a clue what "that" was. She asked again, but finally had to inform me that it was a head with a brain inside. She was sure that any one with a brain encased in a head resting on his shoulders would have better sense than…

October 31st, 1517 Wittenburg, Germany

It was October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany. Martin grasped a hammer and a long piece of paper covered with his writing. He walked out into the street and straight over to the castle church door. It was here that community messages were often posted. Martin nailed his 95 points of discussion on the door. He only wanted to lay out his newly discovered views of the Bible to other church leaders in the Medieval Catholic church. He thought he…

‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly?

"’Tis the Season to be jolly?" Well, maybe. The business of Christmas, that is, the hard and cold commercial trade of the Thanksgiving to Christmas sales window, is a measure of how well America is doing. It’s the thermometer in our corporate mouths. Needs are created through the media in order to entice the buyer into purchasing more this year than last. No one is to be disappointed at Christmas, after all. The manipulation is as blatant toward children as…

Writing Down Our Thoughts

It is a well-known fact that the spiritually facile New England pastor and revival leader, Jonathan Edwards, was taught by his father to write down almost every new thought he had, a method he practiced throughout his life. His “Miscellanies” are now an invaluable source of wisdom. In his written out thoughts are found the embryonic form for many of his sermons and books. I keep a “Commonplace Book” as well, as so many did in the past. And though…

Entertainment Evangelism, a Response to a News Reporter

Hello, this is B____ L_____, religion reporter for the W_____ E____. I am writing an analysis story on a trend we see hear of "entertainment evangelism." D____ C____ of Current Thoughts and Trends magazine said you would be a good person to talk with. In a couple of weeks, a group called "Impact World Tours" affiliated with Youth with a Mission will have a crusade here. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the group but they will put on…

Is God Angry Anymore?

When I was in public high school, we had to read part of a famous sermon called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, by Jonathan Edwards. He graphically pictured sinners as spiders dangling by a thread over the fire of Hell. He also asserted that God is angrier at this moment with some who are living than with others who are already in Hell. Do you believe that? Is God angry? I don’t believe my teacher thought so.…

Knowing You’re In

There was a troubled look on the student’s face as I finished my talk. “I believe that Christ is who He says He is,” he stated, “but I just don’t know if I am really a Christian. What if I’m deceiving myself?” The question is a reasonable. After all, God put up a huge billboard in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that says, “DO NOT BE DECEIVED!” So, how do you know you’re a Christian? First be sure that you understand the…

Sooner Than You Think

A few years ago a Chicago news station reported a local skydiving incident. The video showed the skydivers jumping out and maneuvering into position from the vantage point of the open door of the plane. While still filming, the cameraman made his jump. Within seconds the camera was jerking wildly up and down and side to side as it plummeted to the ground. Reaching for his ripcord, the terrified diver discovered that in his excitement he had forgotten to put…

The Imperative of Preaching: A Theology of Sacred Rhetoric

John Carrick commences with a declaration from Dr. J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism: “Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative” (7). The truth of this statement is a leading premise of this “theology of sacred rhetoric.” Carrick is Assistant Professor of Applied and Doctrinal Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is also one of its preaching instructors. He graduated from Oxford University and has had pastorates in the U.K. and in Greenville, North Carolina. This is his first book.…

The Island of Nis

James, the youth: Must Christians always be narrow? The wiser Mr. Brockton: Christians are both pluralists and exclusivists simultaneously. James: Do you mean that Christians accept other religions and faiths? Mr. Brockton: We permit them to be wrong. My story will explain. The island of Nis was considered a religion-free zone, and most of the younger inhabitants had not even as much as heard of formal religion. To be sure, some primitive ancestors had ventured that way in earlier days,…

The Lofty Grosart

James, the youth: Must all those who call themselves Christians understand the Bible? The elderly and wise Mr. Brockton: No, only those who will go to heaven. To call oneself a Christian is not the same as being one. James: But I call myself a Christian—no, rather, I am a Christian, and I don’t understand very much of the Bible at all. Brockton: How do you know that you are a Christian? James: The Bible states that those who radically…

The Way to God

Years ago, two cousins were visiting near the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. Although they were told by their parents not to venture into the swamp, they disobeyed. As the sun was setting, they decided to head home in hopes that their absence would not be detected. Neither boy made it back. When they were found dead a few days later, a note was attached to one of the boys. It read, “I thought I knew the way, but I was…