Showing posts from September, 2013

The Suicidal Church: Reflections

In a recent blog post, Dr. Albert Mohler , President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , used the Presbyterian Church (USA) as an example of how " liberal Protestantism " continues it's long slow amble toward suicide not because it's hemorrhaging members at an alarming rate, but because it has lost it's way. After citing a number of surveys that were recently completed by The Presbyterian Panel (surveys that indicate a growing lack of orthodoxy among both the clergy and laity of the PCUSA) Mohler makes a bold assertion. He writes, that the PCUSA is "a church that has lost its confidence in the Gospel in terms of the clear biblical claim that salvation comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ ." Mohler cites the prophetic work of Thomas C. Reeves from his book, The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Protestantism within which Reeves makes this prescient statement: Liberal Protestantism — institutionalized in the old Protest

The Smartest Man In The Room - Part 1: Choose Wisely

This week I'll be starting a new sermon series entitled, "The Smartest Man in the Room: Lessons from the Life of Solomon."  The series draws it's inspiration from the Emmy award winning television show Mad Men , which is nearing it's sixth and final season.   Mad Men is set in a Madison Avenue advertising agency in 1960's New York City , which might seem like a stretch as the inspiration for a sermon series on an Old Testament character. However, when I was reading and studying about Solomon, my imagination kept bringing me back to Mad Men , and to the lead character in the show, Don Draper .  Here is a video that describes Don, and gives you a hint at what the show is about: Don Draper has everything.  He's handsome, rich, successful and one of the brightest---if not the  brightest "ad man" in the business.  He is literally the smartest man in the room, regardless what the room is.  But none of that is enough for him.  He constantly

Unlikely Hero - Week Six: "Absalom! Absalom!"

This week we are going to be concluding the six part sermon series that we've been working for eight weeks (try and figure that one out) on the life of David , a sermon series we've entitled "Unlikely Hero." The story that we're going to be exploring from David's life this week is one that could easily be re-written for the big screen---heck, it has  been re-written for the big screen and it was called The Godfather.   But I digress... This is the story of a dysfunctional family---of incest, murder, rebellion and tragedy. Intrigued?  I bet you are. Before we dig into that text, though.  I have a statement that I need to make: Family is Complicated. There.  I said it.  I know that I went out on a limb with that one.  I'll get cards and letters from angry church members, I'm sure.  And you're thinking at this point, "Uhhhh, thank you Captain Obvious!"  To say that family is complicated is pretty much the understatement of the ye

Unlikely Hero: Week Five - "When We Confess Our Sin"

This week I'll be preaching the fifth installment of the sermon series, "Unlikely Hero," stories from the life of David. It's also National Back To Church Sunday, which is fairly awesome.  Tens of thousands of churches across America and around the world have participated in this annual event--an event that provides an opportunity for people who have left church, given up on church or otherwise become "unchurched" to find their way back to a community of faith. Let's hope we don't disappoint them. My sermon this week is drawn from 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12, and focuses on the story of how David broke three of the ten commandments (at least), including adultery and murder, and what happened when he was confronted with his sin. First, let me ask you a question.  Have you ever made a mistake.  The answer is yes, in case you were wondering.  You aren't in exclusive company, my friend.  We all make mistakes, and some of us make them mor

Unlikely Hero: Stories from the Life of David - "Mercy Is Not Strained"

This week I am continuing the sermon series on David that we've entitled "Unlikely Hero."  Not all of the stories in this particular sermon series are what you might call "premier" or "big ticket" stories.  I rather like that about it, to be honest.  In fact, there is more to learn from some of the obscure Biblical stories that often get overlooked than you might think. Take, for example, the story of David and Mephibosheth from 2 Samuel 9.  This short interlude in the grand epic of David's life, is also one of his most beautiful and touching moments.  Before you read it, let me ask you to do something that may help you reflect on the passage in a moment. Remember, if you can, a time when someone showed mercy to you. What did it feel like to receive it? I was shown mercy by a professor of English Literature at Florida State University .  I was taking a class on British Literature, which was easily one of my favorite subjects.  When we to