Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” They replied, “some say you are John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Jesus pressed further, “but who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God.” Jesus answers, “Blessed are you Simon, Son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”
Likewise, Moses asked God: When I go and tell the Israelites the God of their ancestors have sent me and they ask me your name, who do I say has sent me? God replies, “I AM WHO I AM.” Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
Unlike idols, and man-made gods, the Creator of the Universe tells us who He is. Continue reading Our Father Speaks: God’s Masculinity
The Devil likes to redefine and repurpose words so that we reject them and lose their intended purpose in the process. He has attempted to hijack the word “nationalism.” The word has become politically and racially charged because it is being used incorrectly.
We first saw this with Hitler when he tried to make the world German. But what Hitler was doing was not nationalism, but imperialism. To quote Author, Speaker and Reformer, Vishal Mangalwadi, “German Fascist imperialism was able to hijack words such as nationalism in the 20th Century, because Continue reading Restoring The Word ‘Nationalism’
The evangelical vernacular has adopted and old word “Reformation.” For many our thoughts immediately go to The Protestant Reformation. We think of Martin Luther and the 95 Theses being nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church in what would become the nation of Germany. This history is not only church history, but world history. The world changed through The Reformation. It did so because biblical theology came to bear on the practical world of institutions.
Today the term is used in conjunction with the historical meaning, but we are no longer talking about a protest, but a return to an integrated truth. The Church has been crying out for revival, asking the Lord to heal our nation. But we have not been applying the Continue reading What is Reformation?
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 . . .
Jesus said that the world will know that we are His by the way that we vote. Jesus said He would one day separate the elephants from the donkeys. Anyone with any Bible knowledge at all will recognize the blatant misquotes above, but now I have your attention.
The Bible gives us theology for nations, government, law, justice, etc. However, the Kingdom is neither synonymous with a particular nation nor a repudiation of all nations into one big globe.
The Bible provides the theology for nations. The Kingdom provides the supernatural power to reform nations to the reality of heaven. It brings the transformative power of truth to the natural undiscipled infrastructure of a nation. The Kingdom of God does not just heal a sick person, but also a sick institution or nation. Continue reading Biblical Theology of Nations
Every year I set out to read 52 books. I usually make it to between 32-38 books in a year. This year I read only 24 which is an exceptionally slow reading year for me. Unexpected turns came in 2016 and 2017 that slowed my pace in both writing and reading. I hope to get my groove back in 2018. I am off to a good start having finished reading my first book of the year on January 2.
Below are some of the highlights of my 2017 reading: Continue reading Book Review of Books Read in 2017
Truth does not change, but our worldview should. If our worldview is not changing, we are not maturing in our knowledge of the truth.
Repentance is changing the way you think to line up with or turn around to truth. Practicing repentance changes our worldview. Thus, our worldview ought to be changing as we mature. If we still think the exact same way we did a few years ago, we are not practicing repentance.
When we learn something new it does not necessarily fit in to our worldview like a missing puzzle piece. We may have the wrong piece already wedged into that slot. We already thought something about the subject and either intentionally or unintentionally placed a bad piece into our puzzle. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 3
I did some exploring today. I visited Christian Worldview blogs. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but I discovered something. It may be more accurate to say that I remembered something I once knew to be true. Most of what falls under the category “Christian Worldview” and packaged as THE Christian Worldview is merely a Christian Worldview. Moreover, it is merely addressing social issues FROM a Christian Worldview rather than getting into the meat of how to have a Christian Worldview. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 1
The problem with the me and Jesus Gospel is that it is all about me – it is about Jesus – but my Jesus. It’s about my personal experience with Jesus. It is about my going to heaven when I die. It’s about you – only in that it is about your personal relationship with Jesus and you going to heaven when you die. It’s about me living in a way that honor’s Jesus, but it isn’t about me living in a way that loves my neighbor for my neighbor’s sake.
We say it’s all about Jesus. And while that is true — it’s not true usually in the way we mean it. There is an entire narrative of Scripture that is leading up to a whole new world. A new Kingdom full of new creations in Christ. Continue reading It’s Not Just About Me & Jesus
Truth and love have a symbiotic relationship. You cannot have one without the other less we confuse truth with facts. You can have true facts without love – in the church this looks like religion. Truth is a Person. Jesus lived is a fact of history. Jesus lives is a truth of eternity. His life is the great message of love. Jesus is the expression to the world that God is love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus . . .
Truth, by its very nature, is exclusive of all that is false. Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life, means that all other like claims are false. Jesus doesn’t give life, He is life. He gives Himself. Jesus doesn’t show us the way, He is the way. Jesus is not just a truth teller, He is Truth. Jesus excludes that which is not Jesus from being the truth. Buddha, Vishnu, Mohammed, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are all excluded.
Love, by its very nature, is inclusive – For God so loved the world. . . Continue reading The Relationship of Truth and Love