Today, we’re talking about sin and its impact. It will be a little bleak, but don’t worry: things will brighten considerably next week when we talk about the cross. This week, we’ll talk about the problem; next week, we’ll talk about the solution.
Now, we use the word “sin” to refer to a few different ideas. The word “sin” can refer to an act, or the consequences of an act. “A sin” is something you do: “sin,” in theological terms, can refer to the repercussion we face because of it. Perhaps the most helpful description is this: when we describe something as “sinful,” it means it’s contrary to God’s nature.
As we talked about last week, God is a God of holy love. He’s both merciful and just. He’s a moral being; His character is what defines good, and therefore evil. He is our standard.
We can find an illustration of sin and its effects very early in the Bible, unfortunately. Let’s turn to Genesis 2, and the story of Adam and Eve. 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
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’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