Public Prayer and the Church

Public Prayer and the Church

The state of the church can easily be measured by her prayers. The shallowness and lack of breadth of prayers in the church serve as a diagnosis to a lackluster and spiritually flawed church. While preaching is certainly another litmus, the church should not ignore praying as an important and essential element of corporate worship (In an article a few years ago, I have published a church self-evaluation here: http://1drv.ms/1TcxUvm to help us think through every element of Church Worship). Too often,…

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Are Calvinists Determinists?

Are Calvinists Determinists?

Recently, I had a dialog with a scholar about whether Calvinists are Determinists.  He had written an article on the Determinism of Calvin that I read and commented on (though, the comment was not directly to him but to someone else about him).  He was gracious and challenged me.  We still disagree   Dr. ________ Thank you for your thoughtful response. Addressing the issue with you is an honor and I take it in the light you meant it. While…

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What is Christian Self-Actualization?

What is Christian Self-Actualization?

In my Ph.D. work, I am studying the humanistic psychologists and among them, the view of self-actualization among some like Maslow.  My professor asked us, “What does self-actualization look like from your faith perspective?  My response is as follows: The Christian Humanist Tradition I am a Christian who holds to a particular tradition—namely the tradition of what some entitle the Reformed perspective. Within this tradition is another tradition championed by the late John Calvin and where we get our Historic…

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Denominations Matter

Denominations Matter

I love denominations. In our modern era, denominations are four letter word. However, I happen to appreciate them, enjoy them, and relish them for what they were meant to be—symbols that truth matters, fellowship is important, and we should be mission focused. Call me the “odd man out,” but I love denominations. A Misconception of Denominations Some wrongly think denominations are problematic. Believing denominations violate Jesus’ words in John 17 that his believers would be “one,” some view denominations as…

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Liberty

Liberty

 The United States is united around a common ideal for society; the ideal summed up in the word Liberty.  From the Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” to Patrick Henry’s cry, “Give me Liberty or give me death,” Liberty is the cornerstone of the American experiment. Unfortunately, in explaining what it means, America is far from united.  The divisions we face today are often rooted in the disagreement over the meaning of Liberty. Christians, dedicated to Scripture,…

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Trump: At least he is not Hillary

Trump: At least he is not Hillary

He is most divisive and immoral while his supporters belt the mantra ~At least he is not Hillary He can brag about his most illicit sexual exploits and demeaning of women but they say ~At least he is not Hillary Living with one woman who is not his wife and demeaning another is “okay” because ~At least he is not Hillary Buying politicians with his ample money and selling political offices for endorsements… ~ At least he is not Hillary Exploiting women…

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Three elements that should be in every sermon

Three elements that should be in every sermon

Exegesis The word exegesis (ex-ug-jee-sus) sounds confusing but it basically is telling the congregation what the text means and how it fits in the context, or particular book, you are studying . A pastor should carefully exlain the text to the congregation so they can answer three basic questions: How does this text fit in with the rest of the book? What is this text saying? Why is this text important? Redemption The Bible is a story about Jesus and his…

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Three Important Creeds

Three Important Creeds

The Apostle’s Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty,       creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,       who was conceived by the Holy Spirit       and born of the virgin Mary.       He suffered under Pontius Pilate,       was crucified, died, and was buried;       he descended to hell.       The third day he rose again from the dead.       He ascended to heaven       and is seated…

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