From the monthly archives: January 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Addicted to Staying the Same: Thoughts on Repentance and Neuroscience

 

How do I change my life? That’s the question that rolls around our heads when we start thinking of resolutions, goals and commitments this time of year. “I WILL do this. I CAN do this. I MUST do this.” When I was in high school, I tried to curb my time spent playing video games. I grabbed an index card and wrote “NO” in thick Sharpie then taped it to the desk in my room. It was a will-power, grit-your-teeth approach that produced mixed results.

Really, though: How do I change those thoroughly ingrained habits and issues in my life? How do I change my bad reaction to bad news? How do I grow more loving and less self-focused? God’s Word promises to change us; 2 Corinthians 5:17 identifies us as “new creations.” But if what I am now is a new creation, there are days I wish I was a newer creation. 

Some recent findings in neuroscience may shed light on why repentance and change can come so slowly.


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The Complexity of Belief and the Cumulative Case for Christianity

 

Last Sunday we kicked off our “Foundations” series, covering a lot of material that will hopefully set us up for the next few months. But before we get deeper into the series, I wanted to expound on a couple thoughts from last Sunday.
 

Epistemology

I spent quite a bit of time discussing our epistemological framework. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and basically asks the question, “How do we know what we know?” That may seem like a strange question to ask, but it’s fundamental if we are trying to help somebody come to true knowledge. “Foundations” is intended to help guide somebody toward belief in the gospel message, so I think it’s healthy for us to grapple with what that process may look like.
 

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Richard Sherman, Tom Brady and What the Internet Is Doing to Masculinity

 

I can’t decide which is more out of control: The National Football League or the Internet.

The NFL acts as a slightly tamer version of the Hunger Games. It’s got the relentless media hysterics, shady officiating, sanctioned violence and collective religious frenzy that would make Katniss feel right at home. And the Internet is, well, the Internet, and when it’s not out of control it’s having an off day.

So, when one decides to write something about the NFL and the Internet and the NFL/Internet, it can be difficult to find the appropriate starting point, because the narratives from any given Sunday are now fueled by both the 24/7 news cycle and the instantaneous ineffability of the Internet. The narrative is always shifting, always advancing. To attempt commentary or critique on such a narrative, you just have to go for it and hope that the story doesn’t take an unexpected twist that renders your blog post ineffective or outdated five minutes after publishing.

The narrative is one of those spinning globes from elementary school, and your finger just happens to stop it in the middle of the Pacific.

Let’s start swimming.

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The Struggle to Believe: A Call to Honesty and a Hope for "Foundations"

 

I don’t think we believe in God. Or, perhaps we don’t believe and have been labeled as people who do believe. But the good news is, I don’t think we do. At least, I’m not sure I believe in God, which is why I am so excited about "Foundations," our new Sunday series that begins this Sunday and concludes May 4.

But to get my point, we have to ask what it means to believe.  

What I Believe

I believe, deep down, that food can solve my problems. Whether it’s hunger pangs, nervousness, or just too much to do, I believe in food and I am always wanting to act on my faith that food can make the moment better. This belief, this faith, is strong and I am very drawn to action by it.

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On the Overlap of Home and Faith

 

Home.

It’s a funny word, that one. Evoking memory and emotion. Whether for good or bad, “home” remains a concept deeply rooted in our hearts – even as different meanings mark different seasons of our lives.

As a college freshman, I spent a lot of time traipsing up and down I-25 in my blue Subaru Legacy, trying to regain a sense of home. Many Sundays, I worshipped at my parents’ church with familiar faces and clung to what had been for as long as I could. I struggled to transition into adulthood. After all, I had long been supported in life and in faith by a broad and loving cast of characters.

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