Tag Archives: God

Devotions vs. Study: The False Dichotomy

I have, since I was quite young, spent significant time among many different traditions of Christian faith: first Lutheran, then Methodist, then several Anabaptist varieties from Mennonite to Baptist to Christian Church/Churches of Christ, to Assemblies of God, to several independent churches, to Presbyterian. I’ve spent some time exposed to and working with the Roman Catholic church, and have worshipped with, at some time or another, nearly every variety of protestant faith, including some in which, as a caucasian, I was a very small minority ethnically and culturally. I’ve even worshiped with a Russian Orthodox congregation, twice attended a synagogue, and had significant dialogue with communions that would be considered cultic by most Christians, and with those from other faiths like Jews and Muslims.

All of them seek and claim to be anchored in the word of God written—for Christians, the scriptures of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.

Bible Coffee.jpgIn virtually every variety of Christian faith, we are taught to revere the word of God written, as the only inspired, authoritative witness to what the Gospel of John calls the Word (Logos) of God, Jesus Christ. And ever since the Protestant Reformation, our own individual responsibility and privilege to read, study, and know it has been emphasized, taught, and vigorously defended.

So, what is our calling and responsibility in relation to our scriptures? Continue reading


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Come to the Feast!

As a pastor I am often invited to the reception for couples I marry. And you’d better believe, if I’m invited, I’m there! Of course I want to share in the joy of the happy couple and their families, and of course I’m happy to pray for the meal. But i’m not going to lie: I love food!  barbeque-hero-02
And of course, good food is best enjoyed with good people. I love getting to know the people I’m sat with, the family members, etc. I enjoy the joy! As does everyone there. That’s the definition of a feast: not just the food, but the people and the joy with it.

When was the last time you were invited to attend a posh banquet for free? Perhaps a super nice wedding reception, or an appreciation event or anniversary party? How likely would you be to turn down that invitation because you need to mow the lawn, or had a day trip with some friends planned? Would not any of us, barring the truly unusual or tragic, re-arrange our schedules to accept that invitation?

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Free, Not Cheap


(some may recognize this this as a revised, reblogged post. I read it, got sucked in, and felt this is still a timely word…)

It’s easy to be suspicious of “free.” Either there’s a catch, or it has no value. Our experience, most of the time, is you simply don’t get anything of value for free. You must work for it or pay for it. “Free” grace trips all kinds of warning bells in many, if not most of us. Continue reading

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