Here’s the last lesson in the series. Hope it’s been useful!
Last week, we talked about personal disciplines, actions we can take to grow in holiness. We know that it’s the Holy Spirit that changes us from the inside out, and disciplines simply help us cooperate with what He’s doing.
Now, holiness isn’t just an individual matter. God is a God of holy love, and He wants us the world to become holy again. And He wants us to help Him accomplish that. That’s why He created the church.
To be clear, the word “church” can mean a lot of things. It can mean the building we’re in, or the property we’re on. It can mean the people we’re surrounded with. It can mean the collection of churches that we’re a part of. It can even mean the collection of all the churches of all time.
Today, we’ll be talking about the church largely on the local level. We’re talking about the group of believers you spend your time with. it’s not really about the building: it’s about the body of Christ. Why do we call the church the body of Christ? Read the rest of this entry
The second XLM Bible Study was a lot of fun. Thank you so much to Avrom at Adventures in Comics and Games for welcoming us!
Our next event will be in early December. Details soon. For now, here are my notes from the lesson.
Last time, we talked about the power of the cross. Some people stop there when they talk about Christianity. Thing is, that’s just the beginning. Jesus was clear about that.
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, and not just that we could pray to Him or know about Him, but that He would live in each of us. Now, make no mistake: the Holy Spirit is God, just as Jesus and the Father are. So what we’re saying is, God Himself lives in us as Christians.
That’s what we’re talking about today. Christianity doesn’t end at the cross. The Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us accomplish what we could never do otherwise. Read the rest of this entry
I hate being wrong. Even so, I know I sometimes need people to call me out when I am.
On Wednesday of last week, I taught the Bible study. We talked about one of the hardest but most necessary means of spiritual growth: accountability.
Do you have someone that will tell you when you’re messing up? Someone you’ll actually listen to?
I had a feeling that the conversation would cover a range of toics, so I tried organizing my notes a little differently than I usually do. They are below.
So, we’re gonna continue through this period of Israel’s history when the kingdom is split in two. We have the Kingdom of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. You heard about Elijah a couple weeks ago. Elijah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom Israel and had some trouble with King Ahab and his wife, who are doing a very poor job of following God and leading the nation. In fact, in this period of Israel’s history there were lots of ups and downs as far as following God, from King to king, or even for individual Kings.
During this period, God sent prophets to the kings of Israel and Judah to try to keep them and the people on track. Or, at the very least, accountable for the bad choices they were making.
Have you ever had a friend call you out on something you were doing wrong?
Did it ever save you a lot of trouble? Still, was it hard? Read the rest of this entry
When we pray, I think we sometimes try to think of the most holy thing to say. For some of us, there are certain subjects that just don’t come up when we talk to God.
If we want to have a deep relationship with God, we need to be totally honest with him.
That was the subject of my sermon this morning at Crossroads.
Below is the sermon as I wrote it out. There are only a few additional comments in the audio. Also, the recording started a little late, so my intro is cut off from the audio.
Good morning, everyone. And good day to everyone listening on the podcast, whenever you’re getting it. I am Pastor Brian, and those of you who don’t know me very well may be wondering, “why is that guy the head of geek ministries?” Those of you who know me a little better are not surprised at all.
No Rocky Horror reference intended.
Here is the audio from the past two weeks of my apologetics series at Crossroads. Last week, we discussed the Church. Is it just an antiquated religious institution, or something more?
This week, we talked about the clash between science and Christianity. Do you have to pick one and discard the other?
I’ll have one more lesson in the series. Then, I’ll be preaching in the main service on the 12th. After that, I’ll get back to regular blog posts.
There will be some other changes around the site soon. Good stuff, I promise.
Below are the lessons as written.
Today, we’ll be discussing the church. Now, I’m well aware that I hardly need to defend the church to a group that actually shows up for a 9:00 Sunday School class. What we’ll focus on this morning is arguments we can use to defend the church to two groups of people.
Now, what do we mean by church? Some of us still think of the building. More likely, we think of the Sunday morning service. I’m not really talking about either of those. What I mean, basically, is the body of believers: the Church. That may look somewhat different in different denominations, or areas of the world, or cultures. That’s fine.
First, we’ll speak to the believers who say they don’t need to be part of the church to be Christian. That’s technically true, in a sense. If you’re in solitary confinement, for example, and are prevented from meeting with other Christians. Read the rest of this entry
In this morning’s Sunday School class, I tackled one of the most troublesome questions in religion and philosophy: why is there evil in the world?
To hear my answer, click the links below. To save either file for later listening, right-click the link and select Save Link As… or Save Target As….
Feel free to argue with me in the comments or send me an e-mail!
Below is the lesson as written.
Today, we’ll talk about what may be the biggest philosophical question people struggle with day-to-day: the problem of evil. Whereas some people will look into the historicity of the Bible, and some will dig into deep theological issues, everyone wrestles with this issue. Everyone has had something bad happen to them, and frankly, everyone has done something bad to someone else. We feel the impact of evil every day. It affects our lives. And it’s often one of the issues that keeps people distant from God.
We’re going to talk about the philosophy of evil this morning. But before we do, we have to recognize that this is a very emotional issue for some people. Some people have been hurt very badly – either by other people, or just by circumstances, or even their own choices – and they’re angry with God because of it. Read the rest of this entry
I taught the Bible study at Crossroads last Wednesday.
I think Christians often think of “being in God’s presence” as comforting and peaceful by definition. It isn’t always. If we expect Him to guide us, and change us, we’ll experience Him more deeply and avoid a lot of angst.
Here’s the audio.
Below is the lesson as written.
We spend a lot of time talking about the presence of God. Seeking it. We know it’s important. But what does it really mean to be in the presence of God?
What do you think?
We may think of it as a feeling of peace. An attitude of worship. Maybe being able to hear His leading or correction. All those things are good signs that you’re in His presence.
When someone is present, what does that mean? They’re right there. They’re in your immediate area. When we talk about God’s presence, we’re usually speaking in spiritual and emotional terms. There was a time in the Old Testament when they spoke of God’s presence in physical terms. Read the rest of this entry
I’m teaching a class on apologetics at my church. It’s Sunday morning at 9:15 am, for the next few weeks. Here’s the first lesson!
I invite your comments.
Below is the lesson as written.
The idea behind apologetics is to offer a defense of the faith. The idea is to use well-formed, well-founded arguments to demonstrate the truth of Christianity.
The idea is not simply to win arguments. It shouldn’t be our goal to use this approach to pick intellectual fights just so we can feel smart. Apologetics is not for beating down people who disagree with us. Read the rest of this entry