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Good News in Jesus Christ!

Good News in Jesus Christ!

The other day Shane Fletcher and I were talking briefly about what the Gospel really is. He said he’d like to know better. So would I, in many (many!) ways. It’s so multifaceted! What is this good news in Jesus Christ? The Gospel comes from root words meaning “good news,” which it really is, centered in Jesus Christ. At the heart of it all is this: God’s love for you and me, and all the world. We, like all others,…

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Letting Go of the Need To Be Better Than Others

Letting Go of the Need To Be Better Than Others

Dan Pearce of the “Single Dad, Laughing” blog has written an arresting article called “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay.” There is much in there that I applaud and support. I encourage all to read the story and the follow-up, and to learn well from it. I do need to put that recommendation in context, for Pearce says he’s not religious, and he gets some things wrong in his description of Christianity. I’ll come back to that in a bit. But…

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Ten Turning Points: Again, Why the Cross?

Ten Turning Points: Again, Why the Cross?

From the series, Ten Turning Points That Make All the Difference When Jesus died on the cross he did it for joy and for love. We saw that last time in this series. That doesn’t tell us much, though, about what was actually helpful about his dying.. Earlier in this series (here and here) we looked at humanity’s fundamental problem, our separation from God due to disobedience. This is a spiritual separation, a lack of relationship between us and God,…

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Our Problem: To Explain the Human Condition

Our Problem: To Explain the Human Condition

From the series, Ten Turning Points That Make All the Difference Genesis 3 tells how humans first entered into what I’m calling our problem. Some people find the story there hard to believe on account of the talking serpent and the seemingly magical fruit. We’ll come back to that. For now I want to show what it is in Genesis 3 that makes more sense than any other explanation I know of for the human condition. Consider this, after all:…

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Penn State Sex Scandal: “Losing Control Draws Me Toward All of This”

Penn State Sex Scandal: “Losing Control Draws Me Toward All of This”

Joe Paterno has been fired as football coach at Penn State. It happened at about 10 pm yesterday. News reports say he was notified of his dismissal by phone. The situation evokes grief over all that has been lost, astonishment over the absurd disproportionality of it all, and of course outrage over crimes reportedly committed and condoned. Meanwhile, as you’ll see below, there are serious questions about the context in which this has all occurred. Paterno is the winningest coach…

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The Dangerous Prayer: Praying While Sinning

The Dangerous Prayer: Praying While Sinning

Temptation begins with, “I want to …” The second step is, “I shouldn’t …” The third step is “But I really do want to …” The fourth step is what determines the direction of my life, and it’s the great difference between Christianity and every other way of living. Every religion and every secular system recognizes the reality of temptation and wrong-doing. Even in an age of “tolerance” there remain some things everyone knows to be wrong: overeating, throwing the…

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The Shrinking Lies of Sin

The Shrinking Lies of Sin

A popular hymn in the church where I grew up began, “I was sinking deep in sin.” I think another song could be written, “I was shrinking deep in sin.” For it seems to me that one effect of sin is to make us smaller. God created us to live large. Genesis 1:28, the first commandment of them all, is simply huge: And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and…

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What Christ Does for Us, Part 9: The Cross, Again

What Christ Does for Us, Part 9: The Cross, Again

In a series on what Christ does for us, one post on Christ’s cross and resurrection is hardly enough. I must linger a while longer. Ravi Zacharias once said (according to a friend of mine), “The only alternative to the cross is the trivialization of sin.” I’m sure he was speaking pastorally, to Bible believers, for if he had been speaking philosophically he could have suggested other alternatives. The cross–Christ’s death, in other words–is presented in the Bible as a…

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What Christ Does For Us, Part 2: Broken Roots

What Christ Does For Us, Part 2: Broken Roots

Yesterday we saw that God created humans to have great dignity, and superior value and worth, above every other created thing. We were in fact created for relationship with God. He has always intended to love us, and for us to love Him. This is not love between equals, though, for God created us to be dependent on Him. The food, the air, the very ground that every human has walked upon–all this has always been provided by God. And…

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