Showing posts from March, 2022

Theological statements - part 3

This  post  is about my definition of a theological statement and a further statement that individuals, not groups, are the only ones who we can apply theological statements to with any accuracy. This post is more of the same, but goes a bit deeper on why individuals are the only ones who can be accurately described by a theological statement. It does not matter what I call myself or which group I belong to as the truth does not lie in creed, doctrine, or manifesto. It lies in the heart. This is not some sort of Disney theology for that does not frustrate people. But this frustrates me. Why am I frustrated? Because I want to both attain and hold onto personal peace and prosperity. In the unknown I am unsettled. In the dark is where I find my poverty. How am I to know where to dig to lay my sure foundation unless I know what lies beneath my feet? When and unto whom should I draw my curtains? I need to know. So I force myself into knowledge. And, in so doing, I take the place of God and

Jesus' best grace

We are in the midst of a sermon series that is examining the last words of Christ before he gave up his life on the cross. Knowing that they are precious and few, the last words that anyone speaks carry great meaning and weight. My Lord's and Savor's final words are no exception. They offer insight like no other and reveal a heart that I wish was mine. Growing up in the church I always found comfort in the promise that Jesus made to the criminal on the cross: that he would be with Christ in paradise that very day. Yet, that comfort gave way to shock when it was brought to my attention that Jesus not only offered grace to the criminal, but he offered  his best grace.  His best grace. Now, Jesus could have given the criminal anything. He could have alleviated his pain as he hung there or maybe even allowed him an hour's peace from his agony. He could have stricken his torturers with remorse (or something worse) allowing the criminal to gloat over the turn of events. But he d

Jesus, Joy of Heaven - Jesus, Joy of Earth Part 2

The stuff of Earth competes For the allegiance I owe only to the Giver Of all good things  - If I Stand, Rich Mullins In Part 1 I bemoaned my state as I considered being more attracted to the stuff of heaven than the Person, but now I turn my attention to the stuff of earth. You may wonder why I started with heaven rather than earth. I am not exactly sure to be honest. It seems to me that the trappings of earth would be more on my mind than those of heaven. Yet, as I think of it, that does not always hold true. Everywhere I look here I do see beauty and opportunities for comfort. Whether it is my wife when she gets home from wherever she had been or my bed after an exhausting day this world is full of attractive things. Yet, it is also punctuated by the unpleasant. Pants that don't quite fit like they used to; shrinking retirement accounts; fluid on my knee. Yet in the midst of all of the goodness and badness is the same constant that heaven holds: Jesus. It is so spiritual for me

Jesus, Joy of Heaven - Jesus, Joy of Earth - Part 1

A while back I wrote a series of blog posts on a song called The Big Rock Candy Mountains. It is a fun song on the surface, but beneath that surface the message is absolutely toxic and hellish. The gist of my posts is that the writer of the song looks at heaven as an elevation and proliferation of the delights that he enjoys here on earth. He looks forward to cops with wooden legs, streams of alcohol, hens that lay soft boiled eggs, and other seemingly lovely gifts. Of course, a heaven like that is a cheap facsimile of the real heaven and the real joy of it all. It is easy for me to get taken up in the "what" of heaven. I long for the peace that it will bring me. The fact that my sinful rebellion will be over, finally, for good. Even hearing (I hope) the Lord himself say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." will be joy heaped upon joy as I lay any crowns I may have received at his feet proclaiming his praise and admitting that I just did my duty. It all sounds s