The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas

Spiritual Disciplines in the Marketplace of Ideas.
During the season of Epiphany, I would like for our church to engage with one of the other Abrahamic faiths (that is Christianity, Judaism, and Islam–  who all claim Abraham as a spiritual father) that is rapidly growing around the world, Islam.

According to a Pew Forum study, there are currently 1.57 billion Muslims, representing 23% of the world’s population.

My hope is to focus on the spiritual practice of Muslims and Christians.

What we do flows from what we believe

The religion of Islam is organized around five pillars.  My aim is to take one week on each of these practices.  Since what we do flows from what we believe, we can understand what Muslims believe about Allah from the way they approach him.  For any religion, our sincerity is measured by how our belief shapes the choices we make.  How does Muslim theology affect Muslim practice and by corollary, what does Muslim practice reveal about Muslim theology?  Helpfully, Christians, are instructed to practice many similar disciplines.  The way Jesus talks about them and the way we engage in them also reveals what we believe about God.

My hope is that four things will happen by the end of the series:

  • We will all understand a little more about Islam, so that we can engage our Muslim neighbors and co-workers in meaningful dialogue.
  • We will all understand and love Jesus more as we engage with his instructions and teaching.
  • We will all think about the benefits of spiritual disciplines for our intimacy with God (especially as we prepare for the season of Lent).
  • We would all find that our zeal and passion to talk about Jesus and His Gospel would increase.

Check back tomorrow for all of my caveats and disclaimers…

January 10, 2010

An Uncomfortable Zeal – Psalm 139 Pt. 3 by Erin Coleman

January 3, 2010

You Can Run… – Psalm 139 Pt. 2 by Erin Coleman

December 27, 2009

Knowledge Too Wonderful – Psalm 139 Pt. 1 by Erin Coleman

December 13, 2009

That It May Go Well With You – Ephesians 6:1-4 by David Hanke

December 6, 2009

Marriage Part III – Why Are We Different – Eph 5 v 22-33 by David Hanke

Love and Respect Preaching – Sermon PDF

Weekend Wrap Up

Just wanted to jot down some of the key moments for me from this weekend:

  1. loved Matt’s opening set.  creative, thoughtful, Adventy.
  2. The Terrys and Swishers did a fantastic job thinking practically about longing for hope.  Gabe, thanks for introducing your family.  Graham, nice reading.  Swisher boys, way to stand proud!  This is a fantastic new tradition.  Can’t wait to hear the other households who will share.
  3. getting to wear a purple stole 🙂
  4. the middle voice:  “The middle voice is critical to getting the sense and nuance of this passage.  If you use the active voice–  you are doing it:  I am filling.  If you use the passive voice–  it is being done to you:  I am continuously being filled.  If you use the middle voice, there is a sense of cooperation, you are doing it to yourself.  I am continually filling myself.  I am doing it, but I am also receiving it. So the most literal translation of this verse–  ‘continuously fill yourself with the Spirit.’  It is the middle voice that speaks volumes of dignity and worth. Because you are choosing something for yourself.
  5. Erin doing the welcome.  She is always so thoughtful and intentional with her words.  I liked the tension of darkness and light.
  6. The participle of result.  Realizing that if we choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit, these five participles come with the package (they aren’t upgrades or options, they are standard)–  Addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; Singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart; Giving Thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
  7. Putting others in line before yourself.
  8. Biblical submission is always for another person’s good, to serve them, to see them empowered, to see them mature.  Biblical submission comes from our Spirit filled capacity, not from our empty dregs.  It is from a posture of generous dignity that we can put someone else ahead of us.  Biblical submission out of reverent fear of Christ can never be demanded, it can only be earned, it can only be given.  It can only come from the middle voice–  I choose to fill myself with the Holy Spirit with the result that I choose to submit myself to others.
  9. If you don’t get that you are submitted to One who dearly loves you, who chose you, you don’t get the passage.
  10. singing the sanctus
  11. meeting so many grandparents and parents who were visiting for Thanksgiving.

Have a great week!  Thanks for worshiping with us.  Happy Advent!!

November 29, 2009

Marriage Part II – Ephesians 5:18b-33 by David Hanke

Download the PDF of the sermon.

Marriage: submitting to one another

Quick heads up about the sermon on Sunday. I am going to take 2 weeks to talk about submission, headship, love, and respect. This week I’ll dig deeply into the phrase, ‘submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ Next week I’ll talk about why men and women are given different instructions in marriage. I feel compelled to be as clear as possible on this and one week is not enough. For those who were looking for fireworks on 11/29, there will not be as many. Make sure you tee it up for 12/6…

In the meantime, here is a good quote that might get you fired up:

‘Marriage, like life itself, is both a giving and a taking away.  What is given in marriage is fairly obvious:  the love of another human being.  What is taken away is perhaps not quite so apparent:  the entire freedom to think and to act as an independent person.  If people understood exactly how radical is the curtailment of independence in marriage, there could never be any thought of divorce.  Divorce would be seen as a form of suicide.  But then, if people understood the true depth of self-abnegation that marriage demands, there would perhaps be fewer weddings.  For marriage too, would be seen as a form of suicide.  It would be seen not as a way of augmenting one’s comfort and security in life, but rather as a way of losing one’s life for the sake of Christ.’

See you on Sunday as we seek to submit our lives to our Kind Lord.

November 22, 2009

The Institution of Restoration Anglican Church! Messages from John Yates and Martin Minns.

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