Last fall Frank Viola released a course entitled “Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ”. It contains nine audio messages (with an additional introduction) and an accompanying PDF workbook. The workbook doesn’t contribute greatly in my opinion. The contents of four of the chapters only take up a page each, and three additional chapters only have two to three pages of material. The material which is in the workbook largely just restates parts of what Viola says in the audio recording. So the remainder of my review will focus on the contents of the audio messages.
I’m finding it difficult to evaluate this course on its own because I have been learning similar things from several sources simultaneously. That said, Viola does teach some Continue reading
I recently finished reading “Letters the the House Church Movement” by Rad Zdero. This is the first book authored by Zdero which I’ve read. To be honest, I was disappointed in this book. First, the book feels like a collection of disjointed fragments. Due to the nature of the material (a collection of letters), this shouldn’t be surprising I suppose. However this feeling existed even within many chapters.
The most worth while chapters in the book are the ones which only contain a single letter on one topic, such as what house churches do, apostles, and women in church. In effect, these function more like articles on their respective subjects than as letters. There is some good material in this book. Nevertheless, there are better Continue reading
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to see Ragamuffin, a movie about “the true story of Rich Mullins”. Wow. I did not know much about Rich’s story going into this movie (I’m not a fan of that genre of music). So I was surprised—in a good way—by how deep the film was. It’s incredibly deep… I felt on the edge of crying through most of the movie…
Before I go any further however, I want to address fame. Readers of my blog may not be aware that I do some audio production. Through this I’ve toured with “Christian” bands, I’ve been on the field for an NFL game, and I was on stage for every act which performed in the Super Bowl Village here in Indianapolis a couple of years ago. I mention these only to share that I have a certain Continue reading
The creation-evolution debate is back in the news this week as Ken Ham held a public debate with Bill Nye. Ken Ham’s organization, Answers in Genesis, is representative of a certain segment of Christianity (primarily in the U.S. I believe). They believe and promote the idea that the Bible and specifically Genesis are inerrant, factual, and to be taken literally. If people choose to believe this, that is their choice. What bothers me is how this is often viewed by both sides as the Christian view. In other words, it is the orthodox view held by true believers. Yet I think it is essentially a fundamentalist viewpoint (though evangelicals have been quite influenced by fundamentalism).
I wanted to groan when I started seeing announcements Continue reading
I watched the movie Click again last week. In the film, the main character, Michael, receives a remote whereby he is able to fast forward through all of the situations in his life which frustrate him. He always thinks life will be better once he’s over being sick, through fighting with his wife, or his parents (who he doesn’t want to be distracted by) have left. Michael believes he must work extra hard until he gets a promotion at work, thinking that he’ll have time for his family afterwards. So he always puts work and the things he feels need to be done before his family to the point where he doesn’t have any time for them. But it turns out it’s as the person whom gave him the remote warned him: the leprechaun is always searching for the Continue reading
On to the next controversy… so I’m a little late on this one, but holidays. Anyway, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame has recently been embroiled in controversy. Here’s a quick review: the controversy was sparked by a comment or two Robertson made regarding his views of gays as recorded in a GQ magazine article about him. Not surprisingly, some in the GLBT community weren’t pleased and expressed as much. (See here for one response.) This may well have blown mostly under the radar if it had gone no further than this. But A&E, the network who produces Duck Dynasty, announced they were suspending Phil for his remarks.
So we have another Christian verses gays controversy. This brings up the question, is Phil Robertson a bigot who Continue reading
This is part 2 of a blog I recently wrote regarding one of Dave Ramsey’s blog posts. Please read at least the first few paragraphs of part 1 for some important context.
In Ramsey’s original post, he shares a list of certain activities and the difference in the percentage of wealthy vs. poor who participate. Ramsey didn’t share anything beyond this which would have left it somewhat open to interpretation. However the list does suggest that the wealthy are so because of their behavior and likewise the poor are so because of their choices. Though not clear in the original posting, in his follow-up comments Ramsey states that the point he wished to make is that out actions make a difference. That is true. But do they make all of the Continue reading
It seems that Dave Ramsey has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism recently over a blog post published on his website. The original post contains a list of certain statics comparing rich vs. poor. I wouldn’t find the list by itself worth commenting on. However, the list, criticism, and Ramsey’s response combine to bring up a number of issues worth looking at.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that I am breaking my general policy of not criticizing any specific person on my blog. In light of this I want to state that it’s not my desire to share “dirt” on Ramsey. I know nothing about him other than he is a popular teacher in the area of managing finances. I have nothing personal against Ramsey. In fact, I am signed Continue reading
I’ve talked a lot about homosexuality since it is a hot topic in our culture. However, it certainly isn’t the only sin in the Bible, nor even one of the most mentioned. So I decided to go through and review some of the “sin lists” in the new testament1. These lists all sound fairly similar, so I expected to come up with a dozen or so “sins” in a comprehensive list. I actually looked up the Greek words to try and really understand what Paul (or Jesus in the gospels) was talking about. It turns out that I had a list of about 75 different “sins”! However, this can be narrowed by grouping many of these into categories.
Before I get to the list, I want to talk about how we understand these lists. The impression I got from my conservative Continue reading
Every so often I’ll be asked if the band of which I am part, RELESSER, is a “christian band” or if we play “christian music”. While I kind of understand on one hand, I hate the question. I don’t think people realize the answer isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) so simple. I would like to share a couple of articles I recently read which help to explain why I feel this way:
Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)
photo credit: susieq3c via photopin cc