I don’t particularly like Mark Driscoll. I have nothing personal against the man, but I think that his views on women are frightening, his picture of God seems to be crammed into a very particular view of men and warriors, etc. To be fair, I’ve never gotten around to an extensive reading of his teachings; every time I start, I get turned off by aforementioned things. With some of the recent controversy surrounding him, he was back on my radar. As I was thinking about Driscoll, a startling thought popped into my head: Mark Driscoll looks a lot like one of Jesus’ disciples. Continue reading
When Jesus died on the cross, He did so as a substitution—no crime shall go unpunished, and His death opened a way for us to pass the guilt of our wrongdoing onto Him, where it was punished. This substitution allows us to walk away free under the payment Jesus made, if we enter into a relationship with Him. As Jesus breathed His last breath, undergoing the death penalty we were headed towards, He shouted out those three words in a visceral cry:
It is finished.
These three words are powerful, and in them lies the key to understanding a profound truth about the nature of God’s grace and forgiveness. Continue reading
In my hands, I have two beautifully wrapped presents: one has been passed around several people and one has not. One is smudged, worn, and a little battered, and one is in pristine condition, untouched. These presents are an analogy for yourself—which “gift” do you want to present to your future spouse?
This is the scenario that we often present others with when it comes to romantic relationships, but there is just one little problem:
It is completely wrong and has terrible implications! Continue reading
Lately I’ve been talking more about the importance of sharing our stories and connecting with others; I’ve shared a little of my story, but today is going to be focused on a lady who has started to dedicate her story to other people: Elaini.
I first heard of Elaini a few months back when a mutual friend contacted me about possibly joining up with her to help raise $100,000 for orphans in India. I’m not really a fundraiser sort of person, but in this case, it lined up with where God had been leading me perfectly. Since then, we’ve emailed, and I was able to set up an interview of sorts so that I could get more information about her, the ministry she is working with, and her passions. This is the result of those conversations. Continue reading
C.S. Lewis believed that reducing things to what they were comprised of stripped them of an inherent mysticism and raw spirituality that exists. A human is more than just the sum of its parts: we’re more than skeletons, blood, and neural relays–there is the soul, the way we think, and so much more that goes into making us human. Lewis said that ignoring these more metaphysical aspects of a person ultimately made us less than human and was the “abolition of man”.
In many ways, I feel like this is a relevant worldview to have in mind as we are talking about who and what we are as individuals. For me, there is this impulse to look at my life and who I am as the sum of my parts and my surrounding: my job, my friends, my past, etc. But perhaps that doesn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps there is more to what makes us who we are than the sum of our parts. Continue reading
“Despite all my rage I’m still just a rat in a cage”
Smashing Pumpkins was onto something here: there is a deep-rooted impotence buried in our emotions. Ultimately, no matter what we feel, no matter how much we rage, there is extremely little that we can do ourselves. This impotence feeds itself: we struggle and cry over situations beyond our control, but by their very nature, these events aren’t drastically altered by our pain and frustration. This lack of control and/or change drives us to anger and confusion which doesn’t change things, which feeds our emotions… It’s a vicious cycle, and we remain rats in our cages, unable to break free.
Unfortunately, we often don’t know why things are happening the way they are. Friends and family get sick and suffer and die. Our lives don’t look like we want them too—we can’t reach the goals we have always shot for. We get hurt in evil’s death throes, and we can’t change or even necessarily explain that: of course we get frustrated, angry, and break down! Continue reading
Generosity is good. I feel very comfortable in saying that 99% of you would agree that it is a good thing to be generous, but here’s where things get sticky. If you look at American culture, I also feel very comfortable in saying that we don’t live in a generous culture. We place a high value on our own comfort levels, acquiring new and better toys for ourselves; we work hard to try and get a raise so we can afford bigger and better things. In this culture we tell our children to share and be generous and then forget to do it ourselves. It is an incredibly depressing way of life. We were never created to live life holding on to everything around us! We were designed to be conduits, letting things come into our lives as we give into other people’s lives. Continue reading
I don’t have any more prayers left in me—I’m used up. All I can do is sit back and watch my friends and loved ones deal with the pain of life, and I can’t do a thing. This past week has felt like little more than a barrage of attacks and questions, watching loved ones go through hell, and being helpless.
I’m dried up. I have no messages to write, no songs to sing, no words of encouragement. I’ve said them all.
Through it all, I’ve yet to shed a tear, but as I’m spilling my heart out onto this screen, I can feel them start to well up, but they still don’t fall.
Why? Continue reading
A little over a decade ago, a book was published that pointed out problems that can be found in many dating relationships. The author saw these problems and the pain that it caused in his own life, and the lives of his friends, and presented an alternate way. This alternate relationship movement was dubbed the “courtship” movement and quickly took off in Christian circles. This movement stressed concepts like “purity”, “modesty”, and “waiting until marriage”. An over-simplification of the advocated model is that it focused on self-control…but is what is advocated really self-control? Continue reading
I felt like I had been punched in the gut, and my chest tightened as I stared in shock at my computer. Some of the vilest things I have ever read stared back at me: death threats and graphic descriptions of rape directed at some of the godliest women I know. This person, hiding behind a fake account, was sitting there spewing pure evil as he threatened assault, death, rape, and more on these ladies and their families. I clicked “report user”, but what does that do? The police apparently had already been involved, but they couldn’t do anything. I squeezed out a horrified prayer for these dear ladies and their families, then abandoned my computer to try and cleanse myself. Continue reading