Tim Keller’s Sermons on the Psalms

Monergism.com is an incredibly great place to find all kinds of study resources. It’s one of the websites I frequent most.

Monergism refers to the reformed or Calvinist doctrine that salvation is the single action of God. God saves us, rather than a combination of the will of God and the will of human beings. That is referred to as “synergism.” So anyway, this is a website produced and overseen by reformed or Calvinistic Christians. However, even if you don’t like that, there are still some killer resources on here. Continue reading Tim Keller’s Sermons on the Psalms

July Baptisms

The baptism celebration last week was one that is not easily forgotten. During the celebration people munched on food, socialized, and enjoyed the fleeting sunshine.

As the baptisms began, everyone crowded the hill to watch their friends and family take this next step in their walk of faith. Each person shared their personal story of God’s grace in their life. Many of the stories had vulnerable depth and honest raw emotion, which brought tears to the eyes of some. Then it was time to be dunked.

Continue reading July Baptisms

Is God Testing Me?

I’ve had a number of conversations recently with people asking why they are going through something. On some level many believe it’s a test. However, tests are actions for omniscient beings. Why would God give a painful test to find out an answer he already knows?

See if this explanation helps.The Sacrifice of Isaac by Marc Chagall

Some tests are merely exercises to find out how much we know – or perhaps who we are. However, some tests – those we have often called trials – are tests that actually make us into something rather than just reveal what we already are. That is, we become something in the test – it forces a choice and therefore a definition of identity and character.

This doesn’t change the issue of omniscience. God still knows the end from the beginning. It just changes the status of whether or not we needed the test. Continue reading Is God Testing Me?

Are we responsible “to” people or “for” people?

Are we responsible to people or for people?

Yes.

I got an email a couple weeks ago talking about how we can’t be responsible FOR people- only TO people. The point was that we can’t make people do things. We can only serve them, help them do what’s best for themselves, and give them opportunities to do what God wants from and for them.

I agree. We shouldn’t be enablers.

Yet, I also disagree. Dare we ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as Cain did? If we are going to say we are not responsible for people, we better clarify our distinction between the KINDS of being responsible for people.

Continue reading Are we responsible “to” people or “for” people?

Applying HPC’s Vision: Questions from an Empty-Nester

Below is an email message I got from an empty-nester after the vision talks I gave a few weeks ago. I thought s/he asked some really good questions, and I wanted to pass along the answers I gave.

As we go forward and you’re fleshing out the vision and finding ways to help us all get involved with it, here are some questions empty-nesters wrestle with that may have an impact on how they participate in our inter-generational church. Continue reading Applying HPC’s Vision: Questions from an Empty-Nester