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Deep Thoughts

Re-Contextualizing Jesus

recontextualize-jesus
I love a good story, especially one in which I can place myself. It helps the story transcend the page and become a “mental movie,” an immersive experience that draws upon the imagination as upon one’s own sense of self.

The Bible contains many such stories. Stories full of flawed, broken people. who are just as flawed and broken as we, making the same stupid mistakes that we would likely make in their circumstances.

Of course, when we read ourselves into Bible stories, we run the risk of reading our own thoughts and interpretations into the Scripture as opposed to letting it speak to itself. But that’s not what I want to talk about today, though I probably should at some point.

For now, however, I’d rather talk about the dangerous practice of re-contextualizing Jesus.

You may have already heard the term “decontextualizing,” which happens when we remove something or someone like Jesus from His original context, stripping Him from the culture and larger narrative of Scripture. This happens all the time, but at the same time, it doesn’t. Confused? Good. That’s what I’m here for.

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Blog Church Ideas Deep Thoughts

Politics & the People of God

politics.001
These are my notes from a talk I gave at church. Sorry if they are a bit hard to follow, so here’s the audio.

I’m going to quickly address how Christians should view themselves politically and how we should and shouldn’t engage in politics.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
John 18:33-36

1) Christians are Citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:2-21

Even as we live in the United States, we are already living under the authority of Christ the King. We cannot be saved without becoming His royal servants.

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Blog Church Ideas Deep Thoughts

Dressing to Impress Jesus

dressing-impress

I grew in a fairly conservative family, fashion-wise. We wore dress clothes on Sunday mornings.

Every Sunday morning.

The only Sunday morning that I can remember not wearing dress clothes during my childhood was when we had a “founders’ day” party and all the men wore overalls, and the women wore olde-fashioned dresses.

That was the one time.

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Blog Deep Thoughts Sermons

Everyone a Prophet

This is a sermon I spoke back in January. I wanted to address the idea that all Christians should be living prophetic lives. Honestly, if I say much more about it, there won’t be much to share. So, with that, please enjoy.

[Featured image via FreeImages.com/lumix2004]

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Deep Thoughts

The Kingdom of God by Francis Thompson

kingdom-of-god

Francis Thompson1 was a nineteenth century English poet. He was widely acclaimed as a genius, and yet he suffered from a crippling opium addiction. He would spend his days on the streets of a rough section of London known as Charing Cross and his nights sleeping alongside the River Thames. I’ve heard this poem quote a few times, and I love it more and more each time. The language is old and a bit complicated, but focus on the theme of God’s Kingdom being both cosmic and eternal and yet near to us, ever-present, and our natural habitat.

“The Kingdom of God”2
O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air–
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!–
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places–
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry–and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry–clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!


  1. The following comes from many mentions of Thompson in the messages of Ravi Zacharias and the highly reputable, venerable source of all Internet knowledge, Wikipedia

  2. Found on Poets’ Corner 

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Blog Church Ideas Deep Thoughts

Ridiculous (Un-Biblical) Sayings #1: “Only God Can Judge Me”

ridiculous

I’m not known for an overwhelming abundance of mercy, but I am working on that. As part of this desire for personal improvement, I thought that I should perhaps vent some of my inner anger by writing about some of the things that add to the rage.

This week, I’ve chosen to write about some stupid sayings that truly bother me. Am I easily bothered? Yes, but I already admitted that. It’s why I’m writing this. Try to keep up.

Anyway, without wasting anymore time, let’s jump right into this.

“Only God can judge me.”