Showing posts from August, 2015

I really do care Preached 23 of August 2015 at Kenton Church

T here are some passages in God’s Word that lends themselves to preaching. John 3:16, Psalm 23 or Matthew 5-7. The way we, that is westerners think, it has clear limits, can be set into bite-size pieces. Then, there are passages like this one. These verses are pushing a doctrine of justification or sanctification. Paul’s not teaching us about the role of spiritual gifts or plant a church. Instead, this is one of those passages in which we see the heart of Paul toward those with whom he worked and besides whom he labored for Jesus. This is why I paired this passage with Acts 20. There you see Paul speaking with the leaders of Ephesus, the church with whom he had the longest pastorate. It is a change of tone for Paul. He doesn’t lower his standard for Christ, but he now addresses these brothers and sisters as one who loves them and aches to see them restored. It has been described as a “tender, urgent and intensely personal appeal” (Hendriksen), “a fatherly, ap

Who Do You Think You Are?

A s a child my mom told me my heritage from her family was English, Irish, Scotch, Danish and possibly Jewish. My heritage on my mom’s family turns out to be Danish and British. Not only do I enjoy doing genealogy, but I’m a fan of “Finding Your Roots” on OPB hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and “Who Do You Think You Are” on TLC.  I know they’re edited for newsworthy and cool discoveries but it’s hard to get excited when you see Angie Harmon meeting her 5 th cousin, once removed, on the family farm, dating from the 1700’s. When it comes to our spiritual lives the question of whether our identity is linked to the Law or Grace is of eternal importance. 23  Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  24  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Paul tells us that the law was our jailer and taskmaster. The word translated guardian , teach

Grace and Law

So this the sermon preached August 9 at Kenton Church as part of the summer sermon series on Galatians This past week a pastor, Rev. Gretta Vosper, of the United Church of Canada may face questions about her effectiveness to pastor. Her denomination is the most liberal in the world but they have to determine if “she has gone too far” (Perkel) . At issue is that, she is an atheist. “I don’t believe in... the god called God...Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share.” This isn’t new as she went public with her belief in 2001. She’s not alone. Portland has an atheist Presbyterian minister and in Austin Texas a Presbyterian church allowed an atheist to become a member. These sort of issues are not new to Christ’s people. In fact, it was similar issues that Paul faced among the Galatians which is why this letter is so important for 21 st American Christians. At the heart of chapter 3 is the question of how one obtains God’s grace. Are the