What does it mean to be Christian?

Generally, we classify a Christian as one who has surrendered his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Such a one is a born again believer designated as “saved.” In contrast, the unsaved are deemed not Christian.

Being Christian is more than a saved soul. Jesus is not only truth for your soul, but for every area of life. A person can give his life to Jesus and still not be Christian even though he has become a Christian. Discipleship is required for a new Christian to become Christian in thought and praxis.

An unbeliever can be Christian in Read more

Train up a Child . . .

“Train a child in the way that he should go, and he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Often, we think this means that if we raised a child to know Jesus, he will return to his roots if he goes wayward. But notice, the proverb specifically says the child will not depart from his training. It is much easier to place the burden upon the child for his waywardness, but what if what is truly at issue is the training. If a child is trained right, he shall go right, but if he is trained wrong, he shall go wrong.

This is not to say that there is not redemption for a child poorly trained or for the mother or father failing to train well. God certainly forgives and redeems us from our errant ways. But do we want to miss all the time it takes for us to get back on the right road by not being on that road from the beginning? Read more

A New Reformation

Christian culture is shifting in a myriad of ways to embrace the idea that the Gospel is bigger than personal salvation. We are beginning to see that its scale encompasses institutions, cities, and nations.

We are not talking about The Church swallowing up these spheres, but that God cares about nations. His truth is not confined to how we do church and how we live our individual lives but expands to how nations function. We are not looking to create, or at least we ought not be looking to create, another Christendom, but an expansion of the Kingdom into all spheres of society. There is a difference. Read more

Facts in Context of Truth

The Christian worldview is the best home for facts. The idea that one can have “just the facts” with no framework to judge them except “objective” human common sense is the worldview of naturalism. It is not Christian. We must get away from the idea that there is a neutral worldview. Truth runs deeper than mere facts. It involves interpreting the data within the framework of what is good and true. It is not imposing a cultural idea on the facts, it is receiving true truth from God’s written revelation.

As Christians we infuse God’s meaning on the conception of a child, calling the child a baby. Scientific investigation cannot provide that designation without operating through a Christian worldview Read more

Speaking the Truth in Love

HOW we say something can be as important as WHAT we say. It is not enough that what we say is true. We can say it in a way that is brash or in a way that is kind. Sharing the truth in love does not mean that we share the truth because we love, but that we share truth in the way that love shares truth. Love always hopes. When we share what is true we are not rattling off the negative facts like a pessimist. We share the truth with hope.

When we speak of a problem it is not the end of the world (or the nation), it is an opportunity for a solution. Before you call me an optimist, neither optimism nor pessimism is Christian. To hope is Christian. Without biblical hope, all we are left with is the world’s philosophies of optimism or pessimism based on our personal preference. Truth carries a substance that is otherworldly. It is the reality of heaven infused in our very words. It is the power to release hope where there was fear. It is the power to give life where there was death. It is the power to give freedom where there was bondage.

Love does not dishonor others. Just because something is true does not mean we can speak it in a manner that brings dishonor. Love always protects. It does not just protect family and friends, but the stranger we have never met that we are talking about on social media. It does not just protect the one whose name we know, but the whole group we may be discussing. It protects celebrities and governing leaders too. I Corinthians 13 is not only how we are to treat those in our inner circle it is how we conduct ourselves in the way of love. A mature believer is one who speaks truth in love (Eph 4). Love is the way truth is shared not merely the reason truth is communicated.

Love is not easily angered nor easily offended. It speaks in such a way as to set people free, not to keep them bound by their wayward ways. It does not point fingers, it shields the one under attack. Not because the one has merited the love, but because Jesus did the same while we were yet sinners. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Truth is not communicated in offense. Offense is communicated, and the truth becomes secondary.

Politics is not an excuse for negativity, dishonor, anger, offense, or ridicule. While truth can be partisan, love is not. This means that we still have the responsibility to communicate truth in love no matter what the position of the other may be. They are not idiots. They are not imbeciles. It is possible “they” are the ones who see something we need to see. It is possible “they” have never seen what we see and therefore cannot know what we know and think like we think. Most likely “they” are not doing anything to us on purpose. It is important not to assign motives to people. It only serves to maintain the culture of “us” versus “them” when we do that.

Governing how we communicate truth will require that we slow down and listen to ourselves and how we may sound to others. It also necessitates that we listen to how others hear what we are saying. I have found that communicating my ideas to people who do not believe them help me to learn how I sound to them. It matters. If I fail to understand how I sound to others, I cannot do better at letting truth be heard in a way that honors the one listening.

To be continued . . .

The Bible in the PostModern World

We cannot have truth without revelation. Without revelation all claims to truth are equally valid or invalid human inventions. No one can claim one idea as superior to another because all are equally human and who is to say one human’s thoughts about the world are any better than the next person’s?

However, God did not leave us in confusion. He provided us with revelation which is found in one book, the Bible. The Bible is real truth. It is “true truth” to borrow from Francis Schaeffer. Its author is God and its writers are people who wrote down what the Lord inspired them to write. It is true history. It is true science. It is true testimony. God really said what it says He said. He really did what it says He did. He really will do what it says He will do.

bench-1868070_960_720We have history and science today because the Bible gives us the foundation for these disciplines to grow in stable ground. The idea that we can measure, catalog, and classify the natural world is a creation of the Bible’s impact on our thinking. If we do not know our history we will make the grave mistake in thinking that we have always thought this way. When we think our thinking common sense, we will not work to preserve this special knowledge in our culture. Read more

America, Christianity, and Avoiding the Ditches

I have loved American history since I was a child. Preserving the stability of my nation is a deep passion of mine. America is my homeland. In so doing, I wish to address a topic that we face today in modern theology. There are always ditches on either side of truth.

One ditch is to equate all things Christian with all things American. When we do this, we make America the center of God’s plan and its strength or weakness the barometer of our end time theology. Doing so creates fear at elections, and at the moral climate of our nation for we think it directly tied to God’s count-down to the end of the world as we know it. We tend to spiritualize everything to the extent where we are uncertain where politics end and Christianity begins. The two get so intertwined and lost in each other that we equate our Christianity with a political party making the “other party” not Christian in comparison. We are then judged, not by our works, but by our votes.

Now here is the rub. There is a ditch on the other side. Read more