Well here we go again. Every six months or so some self-proclaimed expert gains temporary notoriety by boasting from their special research that the authenticity of Bible and the claims of Christianity are a sham. Today’s scholar, Michael Paulkovich, writes to prove the messiah is a myth by citing more than 100 writers of the first and second century in which none of them mention Jesus. In short, his first argument being that if Jesus really did exist, then theses educated experts would have written about him. However, the simple absence of Jesus in the documents of these writers does not logically conclude that they had never heard of him. Even if they did not have knowledge of Jesus this does not prove that Jesus was a myth. All we know for certain is that they didn’t write about him. In one sense though, this would actually be expected as the mission of Jesus was not one of vying for public recognition. Jesus didn’t come for the paparazzi of the day or swim in the circles of the writers that Paulkovich referenced. Rather, Jesus spent most of his time with the least of humanity. The other side of the coin of which Paulkovich fails to research is the archaeological and historical writers of the era who did speak of Jesus. Here are just a few historians of the day who wrote about Christ. (more…)
Recently I came across a movie covering an event that I apparently missed in my history classes. The flick came out in 2012 and recounts a decisive battle that took place on September 11th of 1683. Like the infamous Sept. 11th, 2001 that so many of us remember, this battle was also begun by Muslims in the name of Allah. The Day of the Siege is the name of this historical drama that remembers the Muslim army of over 300,000 soldiers from the Ottoman Empire with the intent to conquer Vienna and ultimately Rome thereby turning the Vatican into a mosque. The main character in the piece was a humble Catholic Monk named Marco d’Aviano who lived from 1631 to 1699. It was Marco who encouraged and united the western forces which ultimately led to the defeat of the Ottoman army. (more…)
So what did the Dad Buffalo say to his Boy Buffalo when he headed off to college? Bison! Ok, maybe that’s a bit lame. But my son laughed at it when he headed off to college last week. Yes, after my bovine banter, prayer, and some more edifying words John pointed his car in the opposite direction of our house and this stage of our lives came to a close. It was that quick. The funny thing is that I clearly remember years ago in Moscow, Russia, when Deb and I were headed back to the States for John’s birth. A mentor looked me in the eye and said, “Steve, when you come back you’ll be a different man.” His words were so true. Our life phase as a young married couple without parental experience had come to an end and the next was about to begin. When John was born, Deb and I changed and entered into a new world. This week we transitioned into another. (more…)
This summer has been much more busy than anticipated and I’ve only had time to post twice since May. For that reason I am slating August 18th as the time to resume blogging. Be sure to check in at that time and also feel free to send in questions or ideas that you want to hear about in the future. Over the next six weeks Robert Tippett and I will also be discussing another run of the “Sunday Night Discussions.” The intent for the second season would involve much more investment and would begin around mid-September. We already have some great potential guests lined up.
So have a great second half of the summer and we’ll see you August 18th.
This Sunday is Father’s Day and for some people that means a powerful time of positive reflection. Dad was great. Others though approach Father’s day with a yawn at best. Either way I typically look at this confused occasion as an opportunity to teach about God’s design for fatherhood and the family. Dads are influential and important beyond measure. When I talk with solid leaders I like to ask them about their fathers and their relationship with them. If I’m studying the life of a great leader from the past or one presently alive that I just can’t get close to I still try to uncover something in connection to their fathers. Almost without exception, the great Kingdom leaders that I know had a good relationship with their dad and he was a tremendous part of their inner formation.
My story is not too shiny in this department. When people ask me about my father I sometimes jokingly reply, “Well, which one”? I suppose I could categorize my journey with dads this way. (more…)
Where did the time go? That question has probably been on the mind of Barbara Walters of late. This past week Walters announced her retirement from the news media after a very long and illustrative career. As far back as I can remember she has been a household name of not only female reporters but in the world of journalism in general. Her gifts in life have added much to the landscape of the news media we know today.
In an interview last week she recalled some of her regrets in life and I found it interesting that at the top of the list was a longing to have had spent more time with her daughter. Her story is not foreign and I’ve witnessed similar occasions in my ministry career. Stories of people in their retirement years who aren’t so much concerned about a missed step up in the pecking order, but rather a missed relationship with those at the bottom, those closest to them, their own family and other loved ones. This seems to be a sad reality that so many of us are susceptible to.