Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

            Time flies.  Or, time drags.  But the unalterable reality of human life is time.  We live in time as fish live in water.  I have a past.  I am in the present.  And in some form I will have a future.  This time-orientedness is the fundamental framework of our lives.  Everything we do, everything … Continue reading Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

Pastor Note #39: A Statement of Faith

            God is not an idea or a concept but is rather a Personal Being of infinite power, beauty, and goodness.  He is a Being who desires to be known and reveals himself to us.  He makes himself known to us through the works of his creation and through direct experience of his Holy Spirit.  … Continue reading Pastor Note #39: A Statement of Faith

Sermon 18: Burning Hearts–Hearing Jesus: Luke 24 :28-35

I remember asking a seminary friend once, "So, where are all the prophets these day?"  It sounds like a pretty dopey question now.  But his almost instantaneous answer still makes me chuckle with a bit of chagrin.  "So, where are all the prophets these day?"  My friend: "In mental hospitals mostly." Of course, that's a … Continue reading Sermon 18: Burning Hearts–Hearing Jesus: Luke 24 :28-35

Sermon #16 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 7: Three in One

In a theological context, a mystery is not a puzzle to be solved but rather a truth that exceeds the rational capacity of human beings.  Certainly, the top of the list of mysteries in the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Trinity.  The doctrine of a Triune God is crucial to the Christian faith; … Continue reading Sermon #16 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 7: Three in One

Sermon #15 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 6: To Know and Be Known

The Christian faith is not merely a set of ideas or concepts that adherents are meant to affirm intellectually; rather it is a living relationship with a living Being.  If this series of sermons were to lead anyone to the notion that the Christian faith is simply about an intellectual decision to agree to a … Continue reading Sermon #15 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 6: To Know and Be Known

Sermon #14 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 5: Male and Female He Created Them

Following on the theme of the previous installment in this series, here I look deeper into the nature of humanity, the image of God, and gender.  As the preaching of this series worked out, I had not been planning on including this topic here in the series.  But after a passing reference to the nature … Continue reading Sermon #14 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 5: Male and Female He Created Them

Sermon #13 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 4: The Image

Our own identity is tied intimately into the identity of God. We bear the image of the living God.  In the person of God, we see the root and origin of our own identity -- broken and distorted though it may be because of our fall in to sin.  In ourselves, we see the imperfect … Continue reading Sermon #13 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 4: The Image

Sermon #12 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 3 — The One Who Holds Space and Time

I continue in this sermon to set out some more of the core truths about the nature and character of God.  In this sermon, we work through Isaiah 40:12-31.  We can easily take the on-going existence of the universe for granted.  Here through Isaiah, God impresses on us the truth that it is his constant … Continue reading Sermon #12 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 3 — The One Who Holds Space and Time

Sermon #10 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 1: God in Himself

This sermon is the first in a series of seven sermons in which we delve into the big -- well, really, infinite -- topic of who God is.  This particular sermon, preached at North Presbyterian Church in Elmira, NY on September 11, 2011, explores Moses encounter with the burning bush in the desert of the … Continue reading Sermon #10 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 1: God in Himself

Pastor Notes #15 — A Theology of Sex

A Theology of Sex Rev. Gary A. Chorpenning We live in an age of sexual confusion.  I suspect it might be possible to make the argument that human beings have lived in sexual confusion ever since the Fall in to sin described in Genesis 3. Forty-one years ago the Presbyterian church produced “The Confession of … Continue reading Pastor Notes #15 — A Theology of Sex