Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Call to Prayer

Frankly, it amazes me how little effort most of us are willing to exhibit when it comes to the matter of corporate prayer. We are meeting this Wednesday in the sanctuary at 6:30p to engage with God in corporate prayer. These are difficult days for many of us. Please come pray for those for whom these days are especially difficult. Are these days filled with difficulty for you and your family? Be encouraged to prayerfully lean toward God all the time, but especially during difficult times. Consider these words from Stan Grenz and I hope to see you this Wednesday evening.    
The church of Jesus Christ faces many challenges today. Yet the greatest challenge is not what might initially come to mind. The greatest challenge is not that of urging Christians to speak out on the great social issues of the day or to engage in political action, even though such involvements are crucial. Nor is our greatest challenge that of encouraging each other to be more fervent in evangelizing the world, even though evangelization ought to be of concern to every Christian. Rather, the greatest challenge facing the church of Jesus Christ today, and therefore every local congregation, is motivating the people of God to engage in sincere, honest, fervent prayer (Stanley Grenz, Prayer: The Cry for the Kingdom, 1).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Eastern Orthodox Summary of the Gospel

In the July edition of Christianity Today, David Neff interviewed Bishop Kallistos Ware, the metropolitan archbishop of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the U.K. Ware had just visited North Park University and Wheaton College, where he lectured on the relationship between Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy. Neff asked the Archbishop to succinctly summarize the Christian message. This was his moving summary. I’d love to hear your thoughts.   

I believe in a God who loves humankind so intensely, so totally, that he chose himself to become human. Therefore, I believe in Jesus Christ as fully and truly God, but also totally and unreservedly one of us, fully human. The love of God is so great that Christ died for us on the cross. But love is stronger than death, and so the death of Jesus was followed by his resurrection. I am a Christian because I believe in the great love of God that led him to become incarnate, to die, and to rise again. That's my faith. All of this is made immediate to us through the continuing action of the Holy Spirit.