“Come to him, a living stone though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,” I Peter 2:4-5. Hmmm. What does it mean to be a living stone that can be built into a spiritual house? Perhaps the best clue is found by ignoring the chapter breaks in the Bible and consider what the writer said just before he mentioned the living stones.
How are we to understand the male and female, image and likeness of God, within the human creation? The name, Elohim, Creator of all that is seen and unseen, is introduced in Genesis 1:1, as a Hebrew noun in masculine form. Ruach, the Spirit of Elohim that moves about over the waters, is introduced in Genesis 1:2, as a Hebrew noun in feminine form. Thus, from the beginning of the priestly story of Creation, both masculine and feminine gender terms are present, within the context of Elohim’s stated existence.
The idea of biblical inerrancy is one of the most invasive weeds in Christianity’s wheatfield. The weed might produce lovely looking flowers wherever it is allowed to grow, but the notion of inerrancy ultimately chokes out the inherent goodness of the Bible. Notice the defining difference between biblical inerrancy and the inherent goodness of the Bible.
Throughout the ages, humankind has investigated and explored the Creation. As we continue to discover the depths and heights of the unknown, it becomes increasingly obvious that humanity is incapable of creating from nothing. We can only create from something that is already in existence. Hence, I continue to believe in the existence of a Creator of all things seen and unseen.
People wonder if Christianity can survive the major spiritual shift, away from religion, currently underway around the world. Oh yes! Not only can Christianity survive—the heart of the gospel will begin to beat like never before. The human spirit is just waking up to an increase of light filtering into crevices formed by the earthquake rattling the walls of our institutional structures.Read more
Certainty is a real killer of spiritual insight. Yet many Christians tout their certainty about everything! The spirit of certainty exposes Christian tribalism at its finest. One of my personal favorites is the certainty many people adopt regarding John’s Revelation. Four distinct tribes of people will defend their interpretations, to their death if necessary! Well, okay, maybe stopping short of martyrdom, or murder.
Peace on earth. Is it attainable? I believe it is! But first, humanity must deal with its unwavering allegiance to the human clock—a crafty invention that, for better or worse, encourages the repetition of time-honored behavior. Time is both a gift and a curse. The 24-hour clock is not the problem. The measurement of time is not evil. Yet our awareness of time’s passage, along with our desire to keep track of time, has placed the human spirit in a state of bondage that most of us don’t realize.
I offer three tools for humanity’s spiritual garden—a Clock, a Key, and a Net. The tools are universal in nature, but they are contained within the ancient writings of the Judeo-Christian faith perspective. These tools address the subjects of time, language, and organization, respectively. I like to think that the tools will help us on the road ahead, if we trust them enough to use them.
The followers of Jesus are called to bind up the brokenhearted and heal humanity’s woundedness. Doing so requires a commitment to justice, for all societies on earth. The religious models of yesterday created systems of oppression. Instead of binding up broken hearts, oppression actually causes heartbreak and woundedness. Will the future model of the church be different? Yes, she will.
Of all the subjects taught by church leaders, organizing people for effective ministry is rarely one of them. Yet, we all know that a well-organized mission is key to its success. Furthermore, we know that people are not likely to participate in a mission that is not well-organized. So, what does the Bible say about organizing the church? Does the Bible contain any organizational teachings?