How Do We Measure Up When the Trust Challenge Comes?

How Do We Measure Up When the Trust Challenge Comes?

As I’ve grown older and God has mercifully continued to work his amazing process of sanctification in me, I’ve realized the number one sin of my existence has nothing to do with morality. It’s easy for Christians, me included, to fall into the trap of thinking conformity to external moral standards is proof of sanctification. In reality, that is only tangentially true. What Jesus transformed in our redemption and accomplished on the cross is what Paul called “the inner man” (2 Cor. 4:16, Eph. 3:16. Rom. 7:22,23).  This was a radical change from everything that came before because until Jesus, religion was about external conformity, not inner transformation. That is still the case, and a temptation for every Christian. I heard Tim Keller say once that every human being is by nature “religious,” meaning we naturally think favor with God is earned by moral performance. In fact, the gospel often terrifies us. Which is why the gospel is so counter intuitive to us, and the greatest news ever. (more…)

Epistemology and Organic Food

Epistemology and Organic Food

Now that’s a real click bate title! I bet there’s never been one like it. What in the world does it mean? Well, I’m glad you asked. We all have heard of organic food, you know, stuff that’s natural and supposedly better for you than non-organic stuff. It supposedly doesn’t have pesticides or GMOs if it comes out of the ground, or isn’t given hormones or antibiotics if it’s fish, fowl, or mammal. For the latter, they’re supposed to be grass fed or cage free, and live their short lives not part of the big industrial machinery food industry. Most people know that. But what about epistemology? Far fewer have ever heard the word, let lone what it means. That’s a shame because it’s something they encounter every day of their lives whether they know it or not. That’s what it is, what we know, how we know, why we know, and the study thereof. Or think we do. But, what in the world does epistemology have to do with organic food? More than you might think. (more…)

What “Nones” Get Wrong: Everyone is “Religious”

What “Nones” Get Wrong: Everyone is “Religious”

I wrote several posts in response to some of my critics, for lack of a better term, and ended the third one with a reference to a co-worker of mine who said she was a strong Christian some years ago, then abandoned her faith because of things she found online by Bart Ehrman and other skeptics. Given what I was writing about, her timing was perfect because most Christians, and everyone else, buys into the secular notion, or uses the language to affirm it, that there are such a people as believers and non-believers. She said something that perfectly encapsulates this fiction: “Wow Mike,  I had no idea that you were such a fervent believer.”  The implication is, of course, that she is a “non” believer. It’s unfortunate that most Christians would never question her assertion. They should because her implication is not true, that there are such people as believers and not believers. Everyone is a “believer” whether they are religious or not. (more…)

Christianity Is a Religion of Knowledge: Seek It!

Christianity Is a Religion of Knowledge: Seek It!

As I’ve been writing my way through the Bible, I’ve recently been engaging with Paul’s letters, and his focus on knowledge in the life of the Christian has stood out to me. Since the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s, for much of Christianity knowledge has taken a back seat to feelings, emotions, and the human will. In typically American fashion, the focus of much Christian teaching has been on the Christian’s personal choice, both in terms of salvation, and growth in the Christian life. Too many Christians are taught, or pick up from teaching, that what we do or don’t do, can or can’t do, should or shouldn’t do, is what drives the Christian life, instead of what God has done for us in Christ. Big, huge, amazing difference! The former is self-focused, the latter God-focused, and that makes all the difference. Here are some verses that tell us what the Apostle Paul thinks of knowledge, which is fundamentally outside of us: (more…)

Now More than Ever: Recalibrate Your Reality

Now More than Ever: Recalibrate Your Reality

We live in very strange times, something I’m reminded of every time I go to the store and for some strange reason everyone is wearing masks, except me! I wonder if I’ve entered the Twilight Zone, but my family assures me this is very much reality. So more than ever I’m in need of recalibration. I came across this phrase, “recalibrate your reality,” while listening to an episode of White Horse Inn some time ago, and it stuck with me. To calibrate usually refers to some device that does measurements, and setting it up so it can measure accurately. Put an “re” before it, and it is now being fine tuned to measure more effectively. The gentleman being interviewed on the podcast said we spend most of the week living in what we think is THE reality, and the God stuff is part of THAT. But that has it exactly backward. The Sunday reality is THE reality, and the rest of our week is part of that. Our tendency is to fit God into our story, when what we should be doing is fitting our story into God’s. Big, huge, gargantuan difference! (more…)

COVID-19 and Faith

COVID-19 and Faith

If you read the title of this post and immediately thought I was talking about religious faith, I got ya! I don’t mean to be rude, but you’ve been programmed by our secular culture to think of “faith” purely as a religious phenomena that applies only to religious people. In fact, faith, a synonym for trust, is an inescapable reality of every day existence for finite human beings. You can’t live without it. I will shortly prove that, but why this is so important is because the enemies of religious faith, specifically Christian religious faith, distort the meaning of faith to demean our faith. This is not double talk. Many Christians have allowed this distortion to create unnecessary doubt about their faith. As I’ll argue, doubt is as necessary to a normal functioning human being as faith, two sides of the same coin. Which brings me to the virus. (more…)