The Crudest and the Rudest

The Crudest and the Rudest

Admittedly, I’m what some might call a progressive when it comes to theology. That’s partly from my experiences growing up in the Christian subculture and being overwhelmed from a young age with all of the niceties of Christians. In my view, this type of Christianity robs our faith of much of what it means to be human: the rawness, the brokenness, and the questions. But it is these things which also create the mystery and the beauty.

So to my fellow Christians reading this (and to those who aren’t but are looking to listen in and be entertained for a moment), allow me to encourage your faith today by unsettling it just a bit. You may be wondering what the title of this blog post refers to given my setup thus far. What could words like “crudest” and “rudest” possibly have to do with Christianity? They actually come from a commentary I read on Galatians 5:12. In case you don’t have that verse memorized (which I’m willing to bet you don’t), here’s what it says:

(more…)

Jesus According to Matthew

Jesus According to Matthew

This is part of a series of posts on the Biblical view of Jesus. Click here to see them all.

Like I previously did looking at the Gospel of Mark, here is another look at what we see about Jesus from different books of the Bible. It’s fascinating to see what conclusions and observations we can make when we isolate each author’s perspective and retelling of Jesus.

Below are the verses I listed and the observations about Jesus we see in them. A few caveats to consider: 1) these are all taken from the NRSV English translation and not from the original Greek, 2) this is my list after reading through it and there may be inaccuracies or other verses I missed, 3) some are actual titles while others are aspects or behaviors of Jesus.

(more…)

Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2015)

Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2015)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the opportunity to attend the Catalyst West conference this week with some of the team from Central. I’ve had the chance to become friends with the Executive Producer of Catalyst the last few years and that has made these experiences even more special. Catalyst is a great shot in the arm of encouragement and connection with other church leaders.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what they said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own.

(more…)

Opposing Oppression

"Because God's rule challenges all other claims to authority, conflicts ensue between those who choose to accept it as good news and those who oppose it. And while Jesus and his followers have authority to denounce human oppression, they do not have authority to stop the oppressors by force. Otherwise, God's agents would themselves be guilty of lording over others. Thus, by confronting and denouncing oppressors, God's agents invite reprisals on themselves and become victims of the very oppression they oppose. In this conflict, Jesus and his followers appear to be the losers."

David M. Rhoads
Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Mt. 21:13)

Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Mt. 21:13)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

Most people reading this know that I work at a church which earns the title of “megachurch.” According to Christianity Today, this is used for any church with at least 2000 people in weekly attendance. Depending on who you ask this is either exciting to be a part of or an abomination of what church should be. The specifics as to why you might hear either of these responses differ greatly. Let me tackle one of them.

At Central we have a bookstore (pictured above). Actually, we have some version of a bookstore at most of our campuses. This is common for a church of our size. For full disclosure, the bookstore even falls under my area of oversight. One of the comments I’ve heard repeated over the years is a joke (sometimes said sarcastically without humor intended) about Jesus coming in and overturning the tables of our bookstore. Depending on how familiar you are with the Bible, this may or may not make sense. It’s a reference to when Jesus made a scene at the temple. Here’s the scene:

(more…)

How Was Your Easter?

How Was Your Easter?

The photo above is from Saturday night when I read the Easter story to the kids (using the YouVersion Bible App on the iPad). It was only afterward that Michelle sent me the pictures she took and informed me of Adelyn’s face when I got to the part about the empty tomb. Evidently, this shocking revelation actually shocked her still today.

Which leads me to a question: How was your Easter? More specifically, how did the resurrection of Jesus cause you to respond this weekend? Here’s my favorite tweet about Easter from this weekend. It helps to illustrate what happened.

(more…)