Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why I'm NOT a Christian.

This Sunday the Summit Church is starting a new sermon series entitled "Why I'm NOT a Christian." Our pastor, J.D. Greear is going to take the most common objections to Christianity and try to answer them. As part of the series we have started a new website whyimnotachristian.com where people can go and write their objections to Christianity. Leslie, my very talented and creative wife, designed the site and the subsequent materials that will be used during the series. I would encourage any nonchristians reading this blog to visit the site and write down your objection.
Some of the upcoming sermon titles are:

8/31: “How can there be only one true religion or way to God?”
9/7: “How could a good God allow suffering?”
9/14: “Christianity is too restrictive”
9/21: “The Church has been responsible for so much injustice”
9/28: “How can a loving God send people to Hell?”
10/5: “But science has disproved Christianity!”
10/12: “Everyone knows the Bible can’t be taken literally”

If you live too far away from Durham to come and hear the series in person you can listen to them online here.
If these objections and/or this series of sermons, sparks your interest and you want to go a step further I highly encourage you to read Tim Keller's new book The Reason for God. If you are not a big reader you could at least read a well written book review on it which is found here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!!

Happy anniversary to us, happy anniversary to us, happy anniversary dear Leslie and meeeee! Happy anniversary to us!!
For those still suffering the effects of the heat stroke you experienced at our wedding we apologize. It has been 3 great years since that humid, 105 degree day and we have enjoyed the very vast majority of it. (No use pretending like married life doesn't take getting used to, especially when a small town, southern belle marries a nomadic, culturally diverse M.K.)
God has been very good to us and we are constantly amazed at the blessings He has chosen to pour out on us.
I would just like to take a moment and express to everyone reading this how much I love my wife. I am a debtor to a great and wonderful God who first and foremost elected to invade my heart and save me from a wicked and sinful life, but secondly because He has blessed me with such an incredibly beautiful wife. I am very sincere when I say that she is the most fascinating person I have met and I love getting to know her. I literally learn stuff from and about her all the time. There is a specific way to fold the towels when they come out of the dryer. Sandwiches HAVE TO have mayonnaise on both slices of bread, incredibly important stuff! But I have also learned that she loves her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with a deep and abiding passion. When our wonderful choir at Summit Church starts belting out those brilliant, God honoring, Brooklyn Tabernacle songs...the tears begin to flow. During good explanations from the pulpit of Gods undeserving forgiveness and redemption of sinners, she squeezes my arm like she is hearing it all again for the first time. I love that she has been forgiven for so much and that she knows it and hasn't forgotten it!! She loves me too, I know it, but she loves Jesus even more and I am so grateful for that. What a blessed guy I am.
Thanks to all of you who have prayed us through our many moves and travels. Please continue to pray for us as we live, work and study here in Wake Forest.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Little Bit of Driscoll

Currently I am reading through the book Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. I want to share a few paragraphs with you because I believe them to be so helpful. Sadly these words are extremely relevant since all to often, depending on where we go to church, we are fed with a shallow Christianity. Rather than teaching that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that NO ONE comes to the Father but through Him, sermons are far to frequently filled with ideas or principles on how to get your best life now.

While visiting a major American city, a young pastor attended one of the most prominent churches in America, hoping to learn from what they were doing. He sat through an entire sermon and reported that at no time in the entire service, including the singing and sermon, was the name of Jesus ever mentioned. Apparently, the sermon ended with an altar call invitation for people to go to heaven when they died, but the name of Jesus or an explanation of what he did on the cross and empty tomb was not mentioned even in passing.
Sadly, it is too common for churches not to speak of Jesus, which is a tragedy akin to a wife rarely uttering the name of her own husband. In our day when there are innumerable contradictory beliefs about who God is, Christians must be clear that their God is Jesus Christ alone so as to communicate the same central truth that Scripture does. No matter how many verses are used, the Bible has not been rightly understood or proclaimed unless Jesus is the central focus and hero. (p. 66)

Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Vintage Jesus. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007.

Leslie and I are privileged to attend the Summit Church in Durham, NC where the pastor is faithful to preach Christ crucified and resurrected. As one who has traveled a lot and visited many churches I have sat in on some services similar to the one Driscoll tells about and my fear is that they are far to common. One of the reasons so many are attracted to this type of preaching is simply because it is not convicting. A pastor who preaches your best life now may help us become better citizens but it is not sufficient to save anyone from sin. Jesus alone is sufficient to save. If you are attending a church that does not preach and worship Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sinners then you need to consider going somewhere else.