Archive for the ‘ Christian and Culture ’ Category

We read the Bible

A friend and I have started a new blog strictly for the purpose of reading through the Bible.  It is found at We read the   We used to do a forum but we didn’t really have the interest to make it happen but we think this will work out better.  People can read along with us as we go through the New Testament from now until the end of the year and leave comments if you would like, or simply read along with us.  Come and check it out…

What does it mean to read the Bible?

When you were in school, your English teacher would give you a text book and there would be assigned reading, practice questions, review sections, and assignments. Segments of great writings would be included in the text book, but never the entire story. Just the parts you needed to study the method of writing, the verbiage, the rhythm and pace of the story, would be included. We are taught to answer questions like, what did the author mean when he put this in the story, and why did the author choose to say it this way instead of that way, etc. Everything is sanitized and isolated.

How many classics have you only read those passages that were required reading in high school or college? There is value in this method of study, but what a shame that we have neglected so many great books, because we see them as ‘required reading’. We forget that they are great books! Sadly, the Bible is often lost in this same method of reading.

The Bible is a wonderful collection of writing that should be read in its entirety! Did you read the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye? Or maybe the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis? Imagine if we read those books like we read the Bible. You could certainly study them, pulling out passages to be dissected, gaining better understanding of what the author was saying. But would you then say you had read them? You wouldn’t think of starting in chapter 8 of Book 3 of the Left Behind series. And so we ask, what does it mean to read the Bible?

That’s a simple question right? Well, maybe not. Most Christians read the Bible like a text book. We are told often that the Bible is a Life Manual, a guide to Righteous living. Life’s How-To Guide. The problem with looking at the Bible this way is that we start to read it that way. Nothing kills the story of a great book like studying it.

Bible study and Bible reading are different both in purpose and process. When I read for the study of a work, I pick it apart. I contemplate things like why did the author say “dread poured into me from my head to my toes” instead of “I found I was gripped with fear, unable to move”. I look for symbolism and parody. I don’t read the whole story again, and I’m not concerned to start from the beginning. I can jump from chapter 8 to chapter 3 without stumbling over the story itself.

When I read for the sake of the story however, I look to understand the whole story. I want to meet the characters, the antagonist and the protagonist. I want to understand the conflict, get lost in the struggle, hope for the hero, and despise the villain! My purpose is to experience the story being told. When I read for this purpose, I read from the beginning. I try not to stumble over the mode and method of the work. They are details that don’t add to the story and so, I don’t focus on them. My purpose determines my process.

The Bible is one of the greatest stories ever told! Everything you could hope to find in the latest novel is found in this Book! Have you ever read it? Maybe you have studied it, and covered the ‘required reading’ but never enjoyed the story itself. If you have never read this Book in its entirety, allow me to recommend it to you. It truly is the Greatest Story ever told.

Orphans and Christians

I read a recent article that says there are an estimated 115,000 children in America that are orphans and 65 million evangelical Christians.  That is one child for each 565 evangelical Christians in America.  Why is this?  If “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27)  Then why are we not practicing this more?

I know several families that foster and adopt children as a ministry and do a great job of it.  My own spiritual father (Don Nonnenman) had more children through their house then I can remember, but it seems like we should be able to eliminate the need for orphanages if we were truly to live missionally.

             Heather and I have talked about our desire to have a lot of kids in our home although not all biologically ours.  We have decided to wait until we are done having our own to bring others into the house, but I can’t wait for that day.  I don’t try to be cynical but I can’t help but notice that a lot of the churches and Christians that I know are more interested in receiving the blessing of God in the form of a new car than helping a widow or an orphan.  If the missional church is going to be more than just the newest catch phrase for churches to use in their marketing it is going to take all of us as Christians stepping up and making sacrifices in our own lives that help those around us.

This is my world

As someone who loves CS Lewis, especially the “Screwtape Letters” and someone who spends some time talking theology on the net I found this to be all to true.

 The Screwtape Emails

An interesting Debate

Is Christianity good for the world?

This is the question between an athiest and a Theologeon in this article.

I would like to answer this question myself, I believe even outside of Jesus redeeming all of man kind Christianity has done a great deal of good for the world.  I of course exlcude those who call themselves Christians but do not live the life Christ called us to.

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Weekend Update

Weekend update

This weekend I had a few thoughts to expand on, one happened on my trip to COSI and the other at Brice UMC on Sunday. They are totally unrelated but I thought I would combine them anyway.

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Does your who match your do?

Does your who match your do?

It is really disturbing that when I tell some people I didn’t sleep with let alone live with my wife before we got married that I am met with a mixture of shock and unbelief. I guess I am fighting against the reputation that some of my other brothers and sisters have given them but that makes me even a little angrier. I just finish a discussion like this with some co-workers, these people know I am a Christian but one just seems to assume it is purely nominative.

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