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Religious Mindset Is One Of A Tourist

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Though first written in 1980, Eugene’s Peterson’s words still ring true today…

Religion in our time has been captured by the tourist mindset. Religion is understood as a visit to an attractive site to be made when we have adequate leisure. For some it is a weekly jaunt to church; for others, occasional visits to special services. Some, with a bent for religious entertainment and sacred diversion, plan their lives around special events like retreats, rallies, and conferences. We go to see a new personality, to hear a new truth, to get a new experience and so somehow expand our otherwise humdrum lives. The religious life is defined as the latest and newest: Zen, faith healing, human potential, parapsychology, successful living, choreography in the chancel, Armageddon. We’ll try anything–until something else comes along. 

A Long Obedience In The Same Direction (p. 16)

If Not For The Resurrection…

th-2 If Christ has not been raised from the dead, then according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19…

All preaching is worthless

If you attended church today, then what you heard was bogus. It was nothing but empty words that had no power to change.

Your faith is worthless

If you have placed your faith in Christ, then it is worthless as you are trusting in something that is a lie. “If Christ hasn’t been raised, the Christian faith is fiction and we are stranded in the fall of humanity, trapped in our imperfections. In other words, there is no hope, no purpose, no plan for the future. This is all there is.” (see Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection)

The Apostle’s testimony is false

We have been fed a lie. “Without the resurrection, Jesus’ teachings are a sham, half-baked ideas from a wandering Jew with a messiah complex” (from Raised?) And the apostles only continued the conspiracy by passing down the fable of the resurrection from generation to generation.

You are still in our sins

There is no forgiveness. Paul wrote in Romans that Jesus was raised “for our justification” (4:25); that we now “walk in newness of life (6:4-5); and that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1). But if there is no resurrection, all of this is a lie.

Believers who have died are lost forever

If Christ has not been raised, then “the human terror of death as a gloomy portal leading to oblivion and divine condemnation would be justified” (see 1 Corinthians by David Garland). Believers remain in the clutches of death.

Believers are to be pitied.

If there is no resurrection, then “Christians become pathetic dupes, taken in by a colossal fraud,” writes Garland. “Their transformation and glorious spiritual experiences in this life are all make-believe. They are the most pitiable of all human beings because they have embraced Christ’s death and suffering for nothing.”

 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…

Christ is risen! And you, O death are annihilated!

Christ is risen! And the evil ones are cast down!

Christ is risen! And the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen! And life is liberated!

Christ is risen! And the tomb is emptied of its dead;

For Christ having risen from the dead,

Is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and power, now and forever, and from all ages to all ages.

                  AMEN.

(cited from Evangelical Theology  by Michael F. Bird)

Welcome!

Unknown-1

1,203,450! This is how many times I have thought about starting a blog. What made me finally commit? Before I answer, let me tell you a bit about who I am.

First of all, I am married to a wonderful woman named Paige. We have been married for 24 years and have three teenage children: Krista (17), Justin (13) and Josh (13). Yes, our boys are twins!

I am currently the director of the Baptist Student Ministries at Texas Tech University. I have been in this position for 7 years. Previous to coming to Tech, I worked with the BSM at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. And previous to working at SHSU, I was on church staff as youth minister at several churches for over 12 years. If you add all that up, I have been in ministry for almost 22 years.

I am also a graduate of Texas Tech University along with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I earned both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree.

So why have I decided to start a blog? Let me give you a few reasons!

  • I want to be an encourager. The writer of the book of Hebrews writes that we should “spur one another on towards love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). I pray such “spurring” takes place here at this blog.
  • I want to be a resource. Hopefully, there will be things on this site such as book suggestions, other links, etc… that will help you in your daily routines of  following Christ.
  • I want to encourage theological and Biblical thinking about all of life. My journey of theological education has led me to see the danger of divorcing doctrine from life. Theology is not just for the seminarian, but for the cotton farmer in West Texas as well.
  • Ultimately, I want to spur on Christ followers to be disciples who make disciples who make disciples and so on and so on. Regardless of whether I post a book review, write an article, or reference other blogs, I pray it will be a catalyst for us to be and do what God has saved us to be and do.

So there you have it! Though it’s not a complete list, these are at least some of the reasons I am tackling this task of blogging. I realize that time will be the determining factor as to whether the reasons and purposes of this blog will come to fruition.

One more thing needs to be mentioned about this blog. I want it to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Feel free therefore, to post comments and thoughts. But as you do, please be respectful and courteous, even if you disagree with something.