"Truth-telling is difficult because the varieties of untruth are so many and so well disguised. Lies are hard to identify when they come in the form of apparently innocuous imprecision, socially acceptable slippage, hyperbole masquerading as enthusiasm, or well-placed propaganda. These forms of falsehood are so common, and even so normal, in media-saturated, corporately … Continue reading Quotes of Note #8: On Truthfulness
"Meanwhile, the devil also does his work, endeavoring to ruin sound doctrine by indirect means, working as it were underground, forasmuch as he could not openly attain his end." John Calvin, Letters of John Calvin: Selected from the Bonnet Edition. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980, p. 90.
For the Christian, love is not a feeling; it is an active endeavor to work toward the well-being of another person. But our world presents us with many competing definitions of what makes for human well-being. How are we to seek the well-being of another person? We can't unless we have some clear sense of … Continue reading Sermon #34 — Learning Love from Jesus — 1 John 3:18-24
Is the Christian faith like eating ice cream? Or is it more like the physics of flying aircraft? Is the truth of Jesus Christ a matter of personal preference? Or is it a matter of the fundamental nature of reality beyond the control of my own predilections? In this sermon, I begin by warning people … Continue reading Sermon #29 — True Truth, Real Reality, and Discipleship — 1 John 2:18-25 (& Psalm 19)
1 John 1:5-10 "Light" and "darkness" are paralleled by "truth" and "lying or deception" in this passage. The truth as a concept here is multi-layered It is in some places the truth about God. In other places it is truth about ourselves. Ironically, we ourselves are often both the deceived and the deceiver at the … Continue reading Bible Note #10 — 1 John 1:5-10 — Light & Darkness, Truth & Deception
Lord, I know less than usual what to expect during worship today. Help me to trust you more than usual. Pour your Spirit out in fullness on our worship. Quiet the fears the people may have at your Spirit's coming upon us, and instead open us to receive him in all power, grace, … Continue reading Prayer Note #16 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer
[From a pastor's notebook; the names and places have been changed to protect identities.] He is in the ICU at the local hospital. His heart is failing. He has a pacemaker, but it is not much help since the muscles of his heart are very weak. Why? I don't know. Before I went up to … Continue reading Pastor Notes #7