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Worldviews? Meh! Let's talk History

It has become quite fashionable for believers to speak of having a "Christian worldview." For a time, not so many years ago, to have an opinion about a "Christian Worldview" (please note the quotes), was a badge that said, "I have a better philosophy than you." Soon more and more believers caught on to this little phrase and everyone began to repeat this like a magic password, "worldview," until it simple fell into cliche.

Now, the use of the word is so commonplace its significance has all but disappeared. This is especially true since more often than not, the person using the word is not really speaking about a worldview at all. Too often the idea of a "Christian worldview" is used to refer to a certain philosophy or a point of belief far removed from the central tenant of that person's foundational perspective on the world. Speakers and writers use the phrase to mean they hold to a high view of Scripture, or they believe in God&…
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Jeremiah, the Temple, and Political History

Twenty-six centuries or so ago, the prophet Jeremiah walked into the temple in Jerusalem with a message from the Lord. That message was ignored then, just as it is being ignored today. This is evidenced by the fact many evangelical Christians in the USA have in recent decades focused their attention on the democratic political process and partisan agendas in an effort to “restore a Christian America,” or some similar goal. Those who would seek to protect their religious liberty, however, defend family values, or affect moral change in America through the political process would do well to listen to the prophet.

Jeremiah’s basic message centered on the coming judgment, an invasion by the Babylonians, because the people of Judah had broken the Covenant established centuries before by God with Israel through Moses. The curses of the Covenant (see Deuteronomy 28-29) were coming because the people of the Lord were unfaithful to Him as they lusted after idols. At one point in his prophetic…

Report on my teaching trip to Niger

In January, 2017, I had the privilege of traveling to Niamey the capital of Niger, where I taught an Old Testament class at École Supérieure Privée de Théologie (ESPriT), a Bible college with connections to SIM Niger. It was a tremendous two weeks of teaching and interacting with the students. Below is a video report on the trip. I am praying for more opportunities to teach, in French or English.





Hannah: Ode to the King

We all yearn for something. Our hearts ache for something we don't have, for circumstances to improve, or for some particular problem to be resolved.

It's a natural consequence of being creatures made in God's image and then having to live within a fallen, broken world. We know things could be, should be, better. Life is broken and we want it fixed. We also know we should find all satisfaction in the presence of the one who created us, but our hearts still ache.

That's how hearts work when they live in a fallen world, but were created for heaven. We yearn for heaven's glory, but we live with the results of man's rebellion within us and around us. Under these circumstances, we find satisfaction difficult to get.

Anyone know a good story?

Everyone loves a good story. Stories draw us out of our own world and allow us entrance into another place, maybe into another time, but always into another worldview. It makes little difference if we enter into a story through a book, a movie, or simply a friend's account of what happened on vacation. Stories are transformative.

It's no wonder then that so much of the Bible comes to us in the form of a story. From the opening tale of humanity's beginnings to the future consummation of all things, the Bible, above all else, recounts a story. And, as we will see below, it's a good story, a redemptive story.

The biblical stories also carry meaning to the readers. And here, I'm not talking about what the stories mean, or how to interpret them. No, I mean the biblical stories give us meaning. Real meaning. Meaning to life, meaning to death, meaning to history.

Believers spend too little time reflecting on what they believe about the essential meaning of history. It'…

Big God, Little God

We believe in a big God. An infinite, all-powerful, all-present God who created the universe with a Word. He stands outside creation and his glory and power far surpass anything within that creation.

We believe in a personal God. A God who resides here among us, is intimately involved in the daily happenings of our life, and watches over those who trust in his care.

We can blow our mind trying to wrap it around both concepts at once. Our understanding of God only takes us so far and our limits in understanding mean we must, for the moment, be content to walk by faith and not by sight. And theological jargon -- words like omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent -- do not really add anything to our understanding of a personal God who dwells among us. On the other hand, singing "We have a friend in Jesus" only detracts from the incomprehensible infinity that characterizes the almighty God.

Thankfully, we find in scripture that both concepts -- God as transcendent and God as imm…

Faith versus Faith

Everyone believes in something and all understanding is based on faith.

Those are precisely the reasons I believe the current faith-versus-reason debate misses the mark entirely. When people start talking about faith and reason, the common view accepts the notion the two are opposite approaches to understanding. Religion, the story goes, and personal beliefs are a matter of faith, including belief in God or a supernatural, spiritual dimension to life. Reason, on the other hand, is  viewed as an objective approach to true, factual-based knowledge. Reason stands alone as the basis of science, facts, and truth. Faith is merely something we cling to for personal reasons.

The problem with this distinction is that it is all stuff-and-nonsense. Poppycock, I say.

Well, I must admit I've never actually said the word "poppycock," at least not in a non-ironic way. But the word seems to fit nicely here. The distinction between these two apparent contrasting approaches to understandi…