Archive for the ‘WWJT’ Category

What does Jesus really say about our current financial crisis?

Evangelicals who want to know how to pray for our economy and its leaders deserve to hear the Bible’s message for these financial times.

As a result of in-depth study on the subject of Biblical Principles for Financial Success, jesus Shaped Spirituality can now release to the public the definitive teaching on “What The Bible Says About The American Economic Crisis.”

This is teaching you won’t get anywhere else. Be sure and read it all!

What Jesus says about the Wall Street crisis: (more…)

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Mark 12:1 Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.2 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.3 But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.4 The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.5 The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed,6 until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’ (more…)

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Reduced to Jesus

Dali-Jesus-Supper-4.jpgFrom September, 2006 at IM. The reference to soli deo was to a home worship group I was leading at the time.

I get called a lot of names around the blogosphere. Everything from “pomo devil” to “respected blogger.” (Now there’s an oxymoron.) When you’re a “cage phase” blogger (there goes another one) you write long posts defending yourself and being outraged about this. For instance, my use of the name “truly reformed” used to bring about huge posts at the “truly reformed” blogs, almost as long as mine on whether I was “emerging” or “postmodern.” But not nearly as well written or as funny.

Over at the BHT, I have a new name that’s been stuck on me. I’m a “reductionist.” Visiting the dictionary, I think I’m being told that, in regard to my Christian faith, I have a tendency to “…. reduce complex data and phenomena to simple terms.” I know dictionaries aren’t supposed to have value systems, but it that a bad thing?

I wish I could say I’m being accused of being a good teacher, but it’s a bit more nefarious. I’m generally being told that I’m reducing Christianity too much; that I’m taking a complex, inter-related whole, and attempting to simplify it excessively. So much so that what’s left isn’t the thing itself, but only part of it. (more…)

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Over at Internetmonk.com, I have some “Jesus Shaped” posts that need to see the light of day, so I’m going to roll them out every so often and repost them in a category here.

Stand by for: How Hanging Out With Jesus Is Changing My Christianity. Originally posted December 2005 at Internet Monk.com.

Dedication: A few weeks ago, I listened to an extraordinary sermon, but not extraordinary in the way you might think. The absence of Jesus in the sermon shook me.

Jesus was never mentioned. Not once. Not anywhere. Not ever. Not in any way. Not in the introduction. Not in the illustrations. Not in the conclusion. Not in some trailing reference to “accepting Christ” stuck on to the last paragraph a la Joel Osteen. (more…)

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The Jesus Question

For those of you who have spent the last week watching Michael Phelps or googling “Bigfoot,” evangelical megachurch guru Rick Warren is going to host a forum for the two Presidential candidates at Saddleback Church today. Each one gets an hour of identical questions from the closest thing evangelicals have to a generic papal type guy.

Warren doesn’t strike me as having the journalistic temperament, but he may surprise. I mean, it’s bound to be tougher than Larry King, right? (“Senator McCain, what would you say to Americans who are concerned about Brittney Spears?” “Senator Obama, how old do the Chinese gymnasts look to you?”)

Warren’s been getting some expected free…uh…advice urging him to throw down tough questions on abortion and gay marriage. I suppose there are still people out there in the world who believe politicians will actually give straight and substantial answers on such questions, but they are probably tied up with that Bigfoot story. (more…)

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More from David Hayward.

I’m ashamed at how often I’ve been the speaker in this cartoon, and more amazed that God loves me despite it all.

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Jesus In Your Bank Account

Mark 4:18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

I Timothy 6: 17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

James 5:1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

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Before concluding this series (and turning it into a sermon), let’s review with some application, then look at three other scriptures elsewhere in the New Testament that speak directly to the question.

Using the letter to the Ephesians as a kind of summary theology, we discover that post-resurrection, the Christian has a rich diversity of ways to think about the presence and person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is risen and exalted, the Lord of the universe at God’s right hand. By the power of the Spirit, he dwells in the hearts of believers and dwells in the midst of his church. In both he pursues the agenda of God and his Kingdom that all things will be conformed to the loving, holy, fulfilled, mature image of Jesus Christ. We are both risen and exalted with Christ, and following-suffering with Christ in the present. As Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, his presence is both the great, glorious fact of the universe and the hidden, secret treasure known only to those who believe. (more…)

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Apparently, some of my Catholic readers believe that everything I write is somehow an attack on Roman Catholicism.

Let me suggest that perhaps the view from inside evangelicalism is a bit different than it is from outside of it. For example, when people are desperate to “experience God,” as evangelicals like to say, then religious experience becomes a collection of desperate measures to bring God down.

Courtesy of Youtube, here’s what I have in mind. Be sure: I am not making fun, I am simply showing you what happens when people are desperate for God to “show up,” and they don’t understand the Bible’s message about Jesus, where he is now and what he’s doing now.

And by the way, if you keep up with these things, the fascination with this kind of manifestation has gotten far more extreme in the years since this video.

And this happens all around me here in Appalachia.

Then listen to contemporary Charismatic prophet John Crowder explain his gnosticism in words that even middle schoolers can understand.

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Luke 21:1-4 Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!” (From The Message)

Yesterday, I noticed a new post on the blog of one of the country’s most prominent young pastors. It was entitled “Spurgeon is The Man!”

I like Spurgeon. I really do. I’m a great admirer and I’ve devoted considerable time to reading his sermons and books as well as books about Spurgeon. But this is hardly the first preacher to say, “Spurgeon is The Man!” Spurgeon is an icon- both visually as in print- for many young, restless and reformed pastors. He makes into a lot of sermon illustrations, I’ve noticed, as do a lot of preachers, celebrities and well known people. (more…)

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