Monday, August 11, 2014

The Gospels as Liturature - Adult Ed.

Bill and I are presenting a three week course at Lewiston Adult Eduction on the Four Gospels as Literature. This is an exiting opportunity to introduce people in the public space to the beauty, form and message of gospel text.  If you are in the Lewiston Auburn area you may want to check this out: Class Link.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Coffee, Conversation and Mission

For the past nearly two years, I've been getting together for coffee and fellowship with another brother. In that time we have shared our frustrations and hopes for the local church. After much prayer and discussion we've formed a ministry partnership and are currently preparing for our first endeavor (more about that in another post). It's amazing what can happen just by sharing some time over coffee. Nothing complicated, just friends and open hearts to what the Spirit is saying to his people. 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Was Jesus a Zombie?


Those who follow Jesus claim that he died and came back to life. Based on this, some people might assume that Jesus was a zombie.

So.... does the evidence we have show that Jesus was a zombie?

Those in the zombie-Jesus camp and those who follow Jesus would agree on one point, that Jesus did return from the dead.
The most reliable historical document we have that tells of this event is the Bible. We will use this document to examine the behavior of Jesus after his return from the grave.
For information on zombies we will have to loosely base our rules on the “Romero Zombie.” George Romero is the “Godfather of all Zombies”. Though he never wrote a zombie rule book, he is known for the zombie classic "Night of the Living Dead". We'll use his understanding as our standard on what a zombie looks like.
 Based on the “Romero Zombie” and the biblical Jesus, let's compare zombies to Jesus.
Zombies vs Jesus
Zombies are human bodies that died and have come back to life.
Jesus died and came back to life.
Zombies only possess basic motor skills.
Jesus built a fire and cooked fish for Peter and a few of his other followers. – John 21
Zombies cannot talk, at best they can communicate through moans and groans.
Jesus spoke to several people after rising from the dead. – John 21 (for one example)
Zombies have one intention: to eat the living.
Jesus seemed to have no intention of eating people, we have no record of him eating any humans after rising from the dead.
Zombies are dangerous.
Jesus did not seem dangerous at all. On the contrary, people were happy to be around him. He traveled with two of his followers (without them even knowing it was him) and they asked him to stay with them when he was getting ready to part from them. If he were dangerous it would not make sense to ask him to stay. – Luke 24:29
Zombies are physical, they have no supernatural abilities.
Jesus was able to walk through walls and disappear. These seem like some kind of supernatural function which zombies are incapable of. – Luke 24:31, John 20:19
Zombies' bodies are decaying and rotting.
Jesus' body did still have the holes from the spear and nails, but surprisingly Thomas, one of his followers, was not afraid to stick his finger in those holes. If Jesus were a rotting corpse it seems unlikely that people would be so willing to eat the food he prepared or stick their hands in his side. John 20: 27, Luke 24:42-43, John 21
Zombies are not capable of complex actions.
Jesus could prepare meals, explain complicated doctrines, ask tough questions, perform supernatural acts, and did several other things that demonstrated problem solving and complex thought processes. His actions and words demonstrated something beyond human, not subhuman such as the living dead.
ZOMBIE OR SOMETHING MORE?

So.... whether you believe in Jesus or not, it is clear from Scripture that the risen Jesus it describes is certainly not a zombie.

We can disbelieve the Bible and write off the resurrection all together, or embrace the Bible's story and realize that the risen Jesus was someone who was raised in glory, not decay.
Whichever you choose, a zombie Jesus is clearly not an option.

Big Question
Is it possible that a man came back from the dead? Do we have any evidence that this event actually could have taken place? You could take my word for it or you could read it for yourself. Check out the book of John, it's in the bible. You know that book those nice people leave in hotel rooms. You may be surprised at what you find.

About this post
This post is based on an article written by Dan Allen and is published with his permission (thanks Dan!). I thought this would make a great discussion starter to get people talking about Jesus so I rewrote the article to use as a handout. You can check out the original: Was Jesus a Zombie? 
Thanks to "K" for the great Zombie artwork. 
I also created a pdf version suitable for printing. If you would like me to send you a copy of the pdf just leave a comment.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A Touch of Warmth

I just had one of those infrequent interactions with an institutional church.  I was part of a memorial service for a long time brother in Christ. A few days after the event I was the happy recipient of what I would call a "touch of warmth" from the church. This "touch" came as a form letter. It listed their service times and they were sure to thank me for worshiping with them. "How touching and personal" I thought tossing this waste of paper into the trash. Another reason the institutional church has no appeal to me. Nothing says we love you and care about you like a well crafted form letter complete with a high quality signature stamp.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Jesus Is Not Enough For Us

In Jesus Christ is all that we need to live a full and happy life. I am fairly confident that most Christians would agree with this statement. So why is it that we, the church, act as if Jesus were not enough? Many Christians will not let go of the law. They still cling to such Old Testament concepts as tithing and holy days. Others become obsessed with theology and pet doctrines such as "King James Only" or "Calvinism".

The message of the church is pretty clear; "Jesus is not enough for us". Just like the ancients before us we long to have a god we could see and touch. Israel wanted a human king rather than have God as their king. The church too desires a king in the form of a pastor rather than the Holy Spirit. Living by Grace is not enough for us, we need a library of self-help books and church programs to prop us up.

Jesus is enough. I need no other shepherd. I need no buildings or holy days. I need no labels or pet doctrines. I need no law but love, no rule but grace, no king but Jesus.

Is Jesus enough for you?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jesus the Rude

Jesus is not nice. He can be blunt, even rude.

  • A woman came to him for help and he insults her ethnicity. 
  • He tells another woman that she doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to religion. 
  • He has no respect for the clergy, even to the point of mockery. 
  • He has no sense of decorum in the house of God.
  • He tells his best friend that he speaks for Satan
Sometimes you can't be nice. Sometimes you just gotta tell it like it is. That's what Dan Allen is doing over at Some Church Stuff . I must warn you, don't expect to read something nice, but if you have an appetite for a helping of truth served up with side of sarcasm then belly up to the bar. 



Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Why are we here?

For Christ sent me, not to give baptism, but to be a preacher of the good news: not with wise words, for fear that the cross of Christ might be made of no value. 1Cor. 1:17

Paul certainly had focus. He had a laser sharp focus. We believers get so obsessed about baptism, communion and the right way to do church that we lose of our central mission. We are here to announce the good news to the poor, to bring healing to the broken and recovery of sight to the blind.
Now that Easter is past are you getting ready for Pentecost? Let's ask the Jesus to refresh us with His Holy Spirit and set us ablaze with a passion to bring the great news to the world.
Don't worry if you don't have a lot of fancy words, the cross speaks for itself.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Simony

I have always believed the Gospel is to be offered freely without charge. It bugs me when I see so-called ministries charging for their services. Up until now I did not have a word for this activity but the other day I came across the term Simony. It's an old word, but I think it's time to revive it in Christian circles. Can you imagine Jesus offering his "Sermon on the Mount" audio series for a one time gift of a hundred dollars? How about Peter charging fees to provide coaching to church planters? It would have been ridiculous then and it's ridiculous now.

Come Lord Jesus and separate the sheep from the goats.
Like wolves they feast themselves on your people and satisfy themselves with your lambs.
They speak from their own minds with boasting words and for a fee prophesy lies.
But you Lord, offered yourself freely for the sake of love.
You poured yourself out and gave all for your bride.
May we follow your example and give our all to you and you alone.

Isaiah 55:1

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

Jeremiah 23:1

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Word Made Flesh

He could have remained far above us in his holy heaven. Angels attend him and perfection surrounds him, but he did not remain removed and aloof; God came down to us. In fact, he actually became one of us. He shared in our pain, our sweat, our grime.

He could have written us off. He could have decided we were not worth the effort. If we destroyed each other, that was our problem. Love compelled him. Love could not sit idle while humanity continued it's steady slide into self destruction. Love had to intervene.

He could have just sent us a bible and left it at that, but that would not do. He could have sent an angel or a prophet but he did more than that; he came in person. He did not want to just tell us the message of salvation he decided to be our salvation. He wanted us to see, feel and know clearly that he loves us and wants us to be with him.

Behold, the Word made flesh. God among us.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Advent - Are You Ready?

Every year our family celebrates Advent. It's a great way to lead the family in our devotion to Christ. We light the candles, read scripture, sing hymns and discuss the deeper things of life. I believe every man is pastor of his own family and that church-life begins at home. That may sound a bit chauvinistic in this modern day, but it has been my experience that most christian women have a strong desire for their husbands to take the lead in spiritual things. If you are tired of the commercialism of the holidays, perhaps it's time to make a change?
How do you take the lead in your family to prepare for the advent of the king?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life

Outlive Your Life, by Max Lucado
When I first saw this book I was a bit wary of the title. I was wondering if it was going
to be another one of those positive self-help books promising happiness and roses if we
follow the authors ten step plan. I was surprised to find a book that actually challenged
my thinking about living out my faith. The real life stories of every day people
doing awesome things was encouraging and scary at the same time. Encouraging
because these every day Joes or as Max called them Mr. Pot Roast, were just like me
and scary for the same reason. I was inspired by the interspersion of prayer at the conclusion of each chapter. If your a couch potato with no interest in helping others then this book
is not for you, but if you have any inclination to live beyond yourself this is
a good place to start. You can make a difference just by buying the book. The profits
from the book are going to be donated to World Vision, so go ahead, Outlive Your Life.
I was provided a copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson. If you have a blog and
like to read/review books check out their program at http://booksneeze.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What a Real Prophet Might Look Like

I'm not sure I have ever met a real prophet, I may have and not known it. I do have some thoughts on what a real prophet would look like.

  • A real prophet would speak by the Spirit and have no need of human dramatics.
  • A real prophet would point people to Jesus and make Christ the center of attention.
  • A real prophet would speak about real things, not just empty wish fulfillment.
  • A real prophet would be hated by the world, because the world hates the one he speaks for.
  • A real prophet would not be quick to speak in Jesus name, knowing he will have to give account for every word.
  • A real prophet would not need to advertise, his reputation would precede him.
  • A real prophet would not appeal for money, he knows who meets his needs.
  • A real prophet would not manipulate or control people, we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.
  • A real prophet would accept feedback graciously, because the church has the right to judge prophecy.
  • A real prophet would make mistakes, he is just a brother after all.
  • A real prophet would admit he made mistakes, he knows there is only one perfect with all knowledge.
May the Lord give us prophets who speak the truth in love by the Spirit.