We often keep to the aerial blimp view of the world and of the church, which certainly has value but can keep us from seeing each person. We explore Jesus’ use of the expression “little one” and His parable about a shepherd’s concern for one sheep in need.
Jesus tells 7 parables about the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 7. They are analogies using scenarios which take place in the here and now. We examine 3 in the middle of this chapter to see what they teach the followers of Jesus about our engagement with the world.
Studies have shown we are generally more likely to trust the people we find attractive or have a “presence” about them. Those who “look the part” are more likely to receive our listening ears, our votes, our willingness to hire them, and our delegation of important roles to them. 1 Samuel highlights how the Israelites, including the prophet Samuel, fall into the trap of relying on the data their eyes are receiving. But God has a strong message about the reliability of our eyes in making value judgments. We explore and apply.
The Christian model for relationship with civil government is actually based on the experience of exile of the Jewish people. So what does being “Resident Aliens” mean for our understanding of citizenship and political engagement? We ask some of those exiles and listen to the wisdom of 1 Peter 2.
We live among a sexually schizophrenic culture - one which champions sexual freedom but is waking up to some of the impossibilities of a view of sex with no boundaries. We examine the “Babylon” of Revelation with parallels to our culture’s view of consumerism and sex, which ultimately are 2 sides of the same coin of idolatry.
Our culture now values youth over age, even to the point of sending us messages that we must conform to youth or be left behind. We consider a biblical perspective on age, on interactions between generations, and especially on treatment of older generations.
None of us have the ability to create as God does - bringing matter out of nothing. But all of us are creative in the sense of cultivating the materials God has placed here for us to use. So how are we cultivating? What is good cultivation? And what do we do with all the products of cultivation gone awry in the world around us?
The average person is comfortable with the resurrection story because they don't truly understand it and they don't grasp its conclusions. We reflect on Luke's record of Jesus' resurrection appearances and why we should either be terrified or thrilled by what it means. There is no middle ground.
Most of us have cooked a custom-made casserole of ingredients picked from various religions and systems of thought. The people of Samaria after an Assyrian resettlement program give us a great illustration of how this can happen with any of us. We also look at 5 examples of syncretized versions of Christianity we may hold today.