A Faith Not Worth Fighting For

A Faith Not Worth Fighting ForI wish you knew when you were about to be completely rocked by something. It can be as simple as something you go and experience, a book you read, or a movie you watch. While sometimes a friend can recommend something to you from their own experience, often it doesn’t hit you the same way it hit them. My avenue for these types of things usually comes from reading. I come across a book every couple of years that totally challenges my views on something (you can see a few of my other ones at the end of this post) and causes me to change my attitudes and behaviors as a result. The book A Faith Not Worth Fighting For was completely that type of a book for me. Often times a book like this with a collection of essays from multiple authors feels disjointed and repetitive. Not so with this. I was amazed how the chapters seemed to tackle all of the questions I had going into this book and how well the authors painted a mural of perspective.

As I mentioned in this post a few weeks back, this book brought something to life that had been stirring inside me recently. What’s hard about this discussion is that there isn’t a clear landing point. Rather, it is an openness and willingness to explore options that are often less than popular. I would encourage you to continue the discussion if you feel God stirring the same thing inside of you right now. Admittedly, some of you will strongly disagree with the conclusions in this book.

There are so many powerful quotes from this book and I will include many of my favorites broken down by themes. You should probably give yourself some time to slowly read through these. And you should probably have your favorite drink handy too.

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Christmas According to Luke

Is Black Friday Sinful?

black friday

It’s hard not to get sucked into the hype, even if it’s just watching or reading news headlines from the safety of your couch. Black Friday deals are all around us. Social media will show you plenty of opinions to encourage you to get the best deal and then quickly telling you that your heart is as Black as the Friday if you have anything to do with it. Which one is right?

A little of both actually. I suggest the following two arguments.

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (1 Cor. 10:13)

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

In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth we see a discussion on temptation. Paul encourages the early Christians this way:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

What he’s teaching them is that they don’t have to give in to sin’s demands. Even in the moment when it seems that doing the right thing is impossible, it isn’t. But this verse of spiritual encouragement is quoted by many believers today in a much different form. You’ve likely heard this verse used in this way:

God won’t give you more than you can handle.

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Seeds of Resurrection

The Revenge Business

As I’ve written about before, living with an openness to new ideas is a bit unsettling. Especially for someone who preaches, writes, and produces content for a living. It means that sometimes I have to challenge things I’ve taught before but now see differently than I did at one time. While this process can be very uncomfortable, it is the only way to grow and is far too rare in Christian culture today.┬áIn order to lead by example, here’s an insight into an area of my own theology that I’m challenging and working through right now.

As a conservative kid from Arizona, I grew up around a gun culture (after all Tombstone is an afternoon drive away). While I certainly have never encouraged violence toward a person for any type of selfish gain, I hadn’t given a second thought to whether I’d use violence to protect others. This conversation usually starts with someone imagining how they’d respond to a home intruder set to harm one’s family, but it cannot rest there. Eventually you have to consider how we should respond when people anywhere want to harm other people, and then you get into issues such as a just war.

Here’s my problem. The more I dwell on the radical, history altering, expectation shattering image of Jesus on the cross, the more difficult it is for me to support violence in any of it’s different manifestations. I can feel your eyes rolling even as I write that. Wait, is Jeremy becoming a tree-hugging pacifist? Calm down, I’ve never hugged a tree before. But I have no idea where I’ll ultimately land on all of this. At this point, I’m committed to challenging my presuppositions, reading lots of arguments, discussing this in depth, and praying for God to lead me to a deeper truth, no matter how unsettling it makes me feel.

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