Friday, January 30, 2009


Christianity Today has a cover article on Science Fiction. My take is that SF often tries to answer the question of origins by saying aliens seeded our planet, which only delays the question rather than answer it. If life on earth came from another planet, where then did that life come from? Also SF tends to portray aliens either as hostile invaders or benevolent messiahs (Close Encounters is basically a religious movie), or both (To Serve Man). SF can replace trust in Christ with the hope of an ET rescue and/or the godlike evolution of humankind, believing the serpent's lie. CT aptly says that "progress is not our redemption".

aOne positive note: Fox has decided to pick up the next Narnia Movie (the Dawn Treader)!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Defining "tolerance"

Christians are often accused of being intolerant. Being tolerant of people doesn’t mean we have to approve of their behavior. Tolerance means we disagree but accept others. Tolerance is not indifference or giving up one's moral convictions. Today many people seem to tolerate only whose who endorse their positions, and they're intolerant of any who disagre with them. I believe I can be tolerant while maintaining that I have moral issues with certain worldviews and lifestyles in today’s society. Tolerance is is valuing the right of another person to hold beliefs that we believe to be wrong. We’re not tolerant of something unless we object to it. We don’t have to tolerate views we accept or are indifferent to.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Good Palestinian

I was preaching Sunday on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Most people know that the Samaritans and Jews didn't get along; in fact, if the Jewish victim of the story spotted a Samaritan, he'd have avoided any contact. They weren't friends. So Jesus tells a story to get us to expand our definition of neighbor to anyone whose need we see. Today if He were telling the story, I don't think He would mention the Samaritans--there are very few left. Jesus would likely tell about the "Good Palestinian". The problem with many people today is they have some group in mind where the name of the group and "good" would hardly be used in the same sentence. The point of our Lord's story isn't simply that we ought to be rendering "good deeds" to those in need, but to recognize that everyone we meet is our neighbor, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, faith or social status...they are people we need to "love as ourselves."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Why pray when you can worry?

4Paul counsels the Philippian believers to to be anxious about anything (4:6), but instead to channel their worries into prayer. We need to let our troubles be God's concerns...easier said than done. But if anyone ever had cause for worry, it was Paul, facing a Roman judge for treason, disloyalty to Caesar (for insisting that Christ alone was Lord).

Worry becomes a form of atheism because it tries to manage life apart from God. Or we could say that worry is praying to the wrong god. Regardless of what we claim to believe, when we worry we are practicing a subtle form of distrust in God. And it becomes a fear that can paralyze us. Anxiety ought to be a reminder for us to pray. God is handling our troubles and doesn't need our help. "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength" says Isaiah (30:15). Worry is SIN in that it is questioning God's love and purpose. Prayer combats worry by building trust. By spending time with God we take a break from our cares and gradually gain peace and learn serenity.