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A Reminder in a Tumultuous Election Year

In this tumultuous election year, all Christians need to ponder Isaiah 33:22. “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.”

Note that the LORD is all three branches of government, as defined Continue reading

The Lord & His Prayer – A Book Review

Lord & His PrayerThis book, first published in 1996, is available from Amazon.com for kindle at $7.60. For a book that old, this seems to be a bit high for a kindle edition (especially since the paperback is available for only $8.00) – but it is well worth it. There are six chapters, each focusing on a segment of the prayer. As is true of many of N.T. Wright’s books, this one began as a series of sermons, these during the Advent season of 1995. The prologue declares:

We live, as Jesus lived, in a world all too full of injustice, hunger, malice and evil. This prayer cries out for justice, bread, forgiveness and deliverance. If anyone thinks those are irrelevant in today’s world, let them read the newspaper and think again. Continue reading

QUESTION: What Is Kingdom Building?

The following question came to me recently via “The Question Box” at our congregation’s web site where I have answered hundreds of questions over the past four years.

Question: What is kingdom building ?

Put in its simplest form, kingdom building is anything that contributes to the purposes of God on this earth.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following: Continue reading

SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (24): Jesus – His Teaching

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. – Mark 1:15

These were the first words of Jesus that Mark recorded. These set the tone for His teaching, whether in direct sermons, as in the Sermon on the Mount, or in parables. He taught more about the kingdom of God than any other before or after Him – and He taught more about the kingdom than He taught about any other subject.

Yet, His teaching about the Kingdom of God was not very much like that of modern teachers of the kingdom. Today, much of kingdom-teaching has to do with when and how Jesus will set up His kingdom on earth, Jesus said little about the when or the how; He preferred to talk about what the Kingdom of God is and how it looks.

As Matthew recorded the early part of Jesus’ personal ministry, he wrote:

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. – Matthew 4:23

As a result of this, news about Him spread all over the country, people brought Him all who were suffering with any affliction, and large crowds followed Him. When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain where His disciples came to Him – and he Continue reading

QUESTION: From Which Kingdom Does Jesus’ Kingdom Derive?

The following question came to me via our congregation’s website, http://www.Plymouth-church.com where I answer questions from The Question Box. I hope it will be helpful to you as well.

From which kingdom does Jesus’ Kingdom derive?

After the death of Solomon, there was a general revolt against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son and ten tribes split off to form the Northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam the Son of Nebat. Jeroboam soon introduced the worship of the golden calves he built at Bethel and Dan, a sin followed by every one of the later kings of Israel. Because of this blatant rejection of God, the LORD brought on them the Assyrian Captivity, from which the ten tribes never returned.

The Southern Kingdom of Judah fared only a little better. Though each king of Judah in Jerusalem was from the house of David, many of them were men who Continue reading

The Prodigal God: A Book Review (4) – Redefining Hope

The first five chapters of Timothy Keller, THE PRODIGAL GOD: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (New York: Dutton, 2008) deal with understanding the parable of the prodigal son. The final two chapters have a wider purpose: Chapter Six uses the parable as a lens through which to see the theme of the entire Bible and Chapter Seven uses it as a guide to how we should live in the world now. In this installment, we look at Chapter Six, “Redefining Hope.”

Our Longing for Home

This parable in Luke 15:11-32 is so much at the heart of the Christian gospel that Keller uses it for us to be able to view the theme of the entire Bible. Continue reading

Simply Christian by N T Wright – A Review

Many of you will have read C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. In it this former atheist attempts to make the case for what he called “Mere Christianity” – that is for Christianity itself, as opposed to one of the different “brands” of Christianity.

N. T. Wright, a bishop in the Church of England, attempts to do for the 21st century what C. S. Lewis did for the 20th century in SIMPLY CHRISTIAN: Why Christianity Makes Sense.

An email correspondent recently forwarded information to me about Veritas, a program that began on the campus of Harvard University as a response by a group of students, faculty, and ministers to an emptiness on campus, namely the lack of attention to such ultimate questions as, “What does it mean to be human? Why is there evil and suffering?” Veritas brings outstanding speakers to campuses throughout the USA and around the world.

One of the speakers there (c. a 50 minute lecture plus a part 2 with Questions/Answers) was N. T. Wright speaking about his book at Georgetown University in 2006. I found it very interesting and challenging. You can hear this author lecturing about his book here.

In Part I of this book he explores what he calls Continue reading

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