• Following The Christ

    May 28, 2015 Agendas, In Search of Church (Article Series), Life & Death, The Christ, The Church

    Note—This article is part of a series entitled “In Search of Church.” To go to the beginning of the series, click here.

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    In our search for the church of the New Testament, we have returned to the beginning of the church to examine the foundation upon which it was built, and have discovered that it is Jesus, the Christ—He is the foundation. As the Christ, He has been given supreme authority so that He might …


  • The Story: Hope Introduced

    March 17, 2014 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    Hope lies at the very core of Christianity—but hope in what?

    Of course, the short, Sunday–School answer is, “Jesus.”

    But what does that mean? What expectations are attached to “hope in Jesus?”

    Based on comments I’ve heard among Christians over the years, it seems that, for many, the concept is vague enough to encompass pretty much anything that seems desirable—a better life, a brighter future, heck, even world peace.

    As I think back over how I would have …


  • The Story: Looking For Hope

    January 6, 2014 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    So, God essentially gave us the keys to His brand–spanking–new creation, and what do we do with it?

    We wrap it around a tree — the one there in the middle of the Garden.

    It was bright and shiny and new, and we wreck it before we get to the end of the street.

    So, what now? Is there any hope? Can the damage be repaired? If so, to what extent? How?

    If we read The Story as a story, all …


  • The Story: Life & Death

    December 16, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    There was only one thing they could do wrong.

    Having placed man and woman in the Garden, God told them to enjoy all the abundance Eden offered, even the tree of life. He gave only one prohibition—they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did, they would be dead before sundown.

    So, given the threat, what did you expect to happen when they took that bite?

    I expected …


  • The Story: Bad News

    November 18, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    We are in the middle of exploring what God meant in the Garden of Eden, when He told the man that he would die in the day he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    This is more than an important development in the Story. Adam and Eve’s death is the pivotal point upon which the rest of the Story will turn. It is the Bad News which gives meaning to …


  • The Story: Did We Really Die?

    November 11, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    The story is legendary. The man and woman ate the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3. So, what happened?

    God had told them that if they ate, they would die. But the serpent convinced them  God was lying—that He was holding out on them. According to him, there was no mortal danger. In fact, just the opposite—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil held an unbelievable opportunity for them.

    So, first question—who was right? Did they …


  • The Story: The Choice

    November 4, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    So, what went wrong?

    The Garden in Genesis 2 seems so idyllic… and so far away. What happened? Why are things so different now?

    Of course, the short answer is, “Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and plunged all creation into the curse.”

    While that’s true, I believe the isolation of the Genesis narrative into individual stories hinders our appreciation of some significant elements. There is more going on here than simple disobedience.

    Let’s pick up the Story in …


  • The Story: What Went Wrong?

    October 28, 2013 Agendas

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    If you’re reading this, you are probably know the story of the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve well enough to tell it from memory. The highlights would probably go something like:

    Satan comes, in the form of a snake, to tempt Eve.
    The temptation is to eat the forbidden fruit—the fruit of the tree God warned them not to eat of.
    Eve succumbs to the temptation, and then shares the forbidden fruit with Adam, who …


  • The Story: Life In The Garden

    October 21, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    So, how much does the world we live in resemble the world God created in Genesis 1?

    To answer that, we are going to need more details about that world. Fortunately, Genesis helps us there. We may not find everything we want to know, but everything we need to know to follow The Story is there.

    Genesis is written as a series of stories—each explaining what happened to someone or something from the preceding story.  In …


  • The Story: Opening Scenes

    October 17, 2013 Agendas, The Story (Article Series)

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    What must it have been like, to experience the Garden of Eden?

    For most of us, paradise probably sums it up. And with that comes visions of tropical beaches and cool drinks. Tables full of food. Leisure. Relaxation. Opulence.

    I think some of these at least partially capture the idea, but it’s worth pausing to consider the details as we begin to think about what went wrong. In order to appreciate what was lost, we’ll need …