Archive for 'Article Series'

“Upon This Rock”

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Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Clearly, love for your neighbor is a core concept of Christianity, and I expect you’d have a hard time finding anyone who would disagree. Which is another way of saying that everyone acknowledges the importance of relationships.

So, it’s not surprising to see the emphasis they receive in churches. At every level, from sermon series on Sunday Morning, all the way down to small group meetings throughout the week, ...

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In Search of Church—Intro

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It’s been almost seven years since I launched my quest to find the church I see when I read the New Testament.
This quest grew out of a deep frustration. As I studied the New Testament, I got a distinct image of the church which was very different from “church” as I experienced it, here in the 21st Century. At the time, I couldn’t articulate my frustration any more explicitly than that, but I knew I wanted what I saw ...

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The Story: Hope Introduced

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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 ...

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The Story: Looking For Hope

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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 ...

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The Story: Life & Death

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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 ...

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The Story: Bad News

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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 ...

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The Story: Did We Really Die?

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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? ...

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The Story: The Choice

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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 ...

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The Story: Life In The Garden

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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 ...

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The Story: Opening Scenes

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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 ...

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