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Facing the Ugly Truth about Jesus

People will not let the reality of the Jesus they encounter in scripture see the full light of day.  For many, it is plain ignorance.  For others, including those deeply committed to biblical truth and regular Bible readers, it is surprising that they also join in remaking Jesus of Nazareth into the Jesus of Hollywood.  They learn to take scripture quite seriously and ignore some of it all at the same time.

The Growing Gap in Worship

Welcomed or not, the contemporary music-centered approach to worship that has been both dominant and effective most large and mega church worship service is being challenged.  This challenge, however, does not come from traditionalists who are still demanding a return to the Hammond B3 and southern gospel.  This challenge, which has been slowly growing over the past decade, is coming from the same age-group that once pioneered praise bands and raising hands:  Teens and young adults.

Calvin was Right

Is the Lord's Supper just a memorial?  Calvin says absolutely not.  And, he's right.

Ironically, on something as central to the Christian life as the Eucharist, many Protestants would find Calvin's views sound surprisingly un-Protestant.  As noted in an earlier post, Escaping Zurich, many evangelicals, actually hold views of the Eucharist consistent with Ulrich Zwingli (a reformer from Zurich a generation before Calvin), rather than Calvin.  As such, this Zwinglian approach to Communion, one that is neither biblical nor consistent with the understanding of John Calvin, has come to be widely accepted as both biblical and Reformed.

Le Résistance: The Subversive Church

The small speaker crackled with static, and then they heard it.  “Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne blessent mon coeur D'une langueur Monotone.”  The poem by Paul Verlaine was well known.  Many listening had learned it in childhood.  The melancholy words spoke of the long slow weeping of autumn’s violins. 

This time the words held sensus plenior (fuller meaning).  This time they were announcing, somewhere out there in the darkness, ships were plowing their way through the waters of the English Channel  – among them a thousand Higgins boats – the landing craft that would bring soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force onto the beaches of Normandy, beginning the liberation of France. 

My Church Looks Like a Bar

When people walked into First Christian Church on a Sunday morning not long ago, most of them were not prepared to see the newest fad in popular worship music sitting in the front of the sanctuary.  Some of them had enough musical background to know they were looking at a percussion instrument.  For a lot of people, the one thing they knew was it made their church look like a bar.