Resources on Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife

We’re kicking off a new series at Arise Church this Sunday on heaven, hell, and the afterlife. As part of our series notes, I like to share some suggested resources for each series, books and articles and podcasts and videos that may be helpful for those wanting to dig deeper into the topics that ourContinue reading “Resources on Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife”

A Historical-Critical Introduction to Matthew

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. Author Writing around 324 CE, church historian Eusebius of Caesarea recorded this saying from Papias, a second-century bishop of Hierapolis, concerning the Gospel of Matthew: “And so Matthew composed the sayings in the Hebrew tongue, and each one interpreted [Or:Continue reading “A Historical-Critical Introduction to Matthew”

Forgiveness in Matthew’s Gospel: Introduction

Matthew’s Gospel has long been known as the “Gospel of the Church” because it contains so many parables and passages on the life of the Christian community.[1] Of the many insights which Matthew offered for his community and the community of faith which has read his gospel for nearly 2,000 years, few have been moreContinue reading “Forgiveness in Matthew’s Gospel: Introduction”

Discussing Disputable Matters

Controversial Biblical and theological matters can be a test of a church’s community and ability to practice graceful and respectful conversation. It can also be an opportunity for a community to define themselves theologically and experience the fellowship that accompanies healthy dialogue. Unfortunately, many Christians seem completely unable to listen graciously and dialogue respectfully aboutContinue reading “Discussing Disputable Matters”

Will There Be Scars in Eternity?

Last week, I wrote about my journey of healing from my heart episode this past winter and how thinking about my PTSD experience like a burn on my leg has been a helpful way for me to conceptualize my experience. I ended by saying that, someday, my mental scar will be all that remains ofContinue reading “Will There Be Scars in Eternity?”

Four Reasons to Learn about Other Worldviews

I’m a nerd. Accordingly, I love learning about all kinds of things, most often, things that require me to learn a lot of fascinating information. One such realm of nerd-dom is world religions and worldviews. Everyone has a specific way of viewing the world: that’s a worldview. And some of the most prevalent worldview systemsContinue reading “Four Reasons to Learn about Other Worldviews”

Semi-Charmed Life: Lessons from James

Things have been busy, fun, and hectic over at Arise Church, were I serve as pastor. We’re in the midst of a series right now called Semi-Charmed Life: Lessons from James, where we’re using hit songs from the 90s as the hooks for our lessons from James. It’s been a ton of fun so far.Continue reading “Semi-Charmed Life: Lessons from James”

Mere Christianity for Today

Or Reflections on the Realities of Big Tent Christianity “As Christians, we are seekers after truth, not merely its custodians.” Michael Bauman1 The Situation “Christianity is in trouble,” everyone seems to be saying, for a variety of reasons. The rise of the “nones.”2 Increased dissatisfaction with institutional religion.3 The forthcoming disintegration of American evangelicalism overContinue reading “Mere Christianity for Today”