One of the big items on my summer reading list was Rick Stedman’s new book, “31 Surprising Reasons to Believe in God.” I first met Rick while planting a church from scratch back in Nor. Cal from 2004 to 2009 and found him to be a humble and brilliant man of faith who truly loves people. God worked through Rick to plant one of the greatest churches in the Sacramento area which has blessed countless people across the globe. In 31 Reasons, Dr. Stedman systematically moves through various issues such as beauty, yearning for a better world, science, physics, philosophy, and a hopeful eternity which when looked at in detail all give us glimpses into the Divine.
I needed this. As of last night I came off of my self-imposed Political Fast for the month of August, and honestly I’m not sure I want to go back. By a political fast I mean that I purposefully stayed away from reading anything or listening to anything having to do with the present political races of Hillary and Trump. Really the whole system as well. Sure I was tempted a few times and know that at least once I started down that road of “just to see” what the story behind the latest headline was. But I didn’t fall prey to the calling and got through August with pretty much no political writ, radio, or video. I think I’m healthier for it and not certain I want to go back to my old norm.
This is not to say that I no longer have political thinking. I am not saying that I no longer believer that some politics and laws are just bad. This is not to say that I no longer believe that some candidates are way off and therefore they will be advocating systems and laws which will hurt people.
Yes, I still intellectually and morally believe there is a clear right and wrong. Some candidates get that and others do not. But I also believe that the attention to these issues in the political sphere is no longer as high on my emotional radar screen as they once were. I always knew that the Kingdom of God is the bigger picture. It’s just taken my emotions a while to catch up. While some of these political and legal issues are indeed important; they are just not the “most important.”
So after 31 days of political and social media fasting, I’ve arrived at four things that I do know for sure and four things I plan to do.
I’m not sure when or why we started calling him Sir Rob. I mean he’s not British and as far as I know the Queen has not knighted him. But Sir Rob just kind of feels like a knight. He’s ex-military and a tough guy but yet carries an air of nobility and wisdom with him that makes you feel like you’re talking with someone in the English Parliament. Except of course when he’s making jokes and swimming in dry humor. Which I suppose is a lot of the time. But still, Sir Rob just fits.
I also don’t recall when I first heard him pose the question. I’ve heard it a lot though. Another one of my friends gets down on himself and begins a degradation process. You know; the “I’m an idiot” type talk. I’ve done that. Maybe you have. But right after my friend told himself how bad he was Sir Rob followed up with the question of; “really, who said that?” In other words, who said he was an idiot, failure, or other?
Everybody has an opinion. But how do we prove our point? When it comes to Jesus, people usually bring Him into a discussion when they believe He can lend added weight to their argument. Socially and politically speaking, conservatives will bring Jesus up regarding a pro-life position and liberals will enter the Jesus card to support their call to feed the poor and take care of the down and out. Good Samaritan type talk. But what about the passages where Jesus doesn’t always say what we want Him to say? Do we really believe Jesus when He talks about issues that we’re not quite sure about or maybe even just don’t agree with?
What about the times where Jesus spoke in reference to Old Testament accounts as if they were really true? Stories like Jonah and the big fish that are often placed alongside cute little kid myths of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.
What’s it like to grow up with a LGBT worldview? How do we reconcile the clear Biblical teachings on sexuality, personhood, and the real feelings of homosexuality? In a world of relativity how can we approach this present question with both grace and truth? Join us for the Discussions Sunday night as we welcome pastor and author Caleb Kaltenbach to the show. Christianity was the last thing on Caleb’s mind when he grew up in a LGBT household but that all changed when he met the authentic Jesus Christ in High School. If there is a way to approach this topic with truth and grace Caleb is the one to know. So set your schedule now and get your questions ready for our live webcast Sunday night at 8p Central. We will also be giving away a free copy of Caleb’s book, Messy Grace, to someone in the viewing audience.
Catch us here or on the “Sunday Night Discussions” Google + page.
Jesus said that His followers would be salt and light in the world. But how does that play out when the worldview of authentic Christianity and our modern culture are often in direct opposition to one another? What is at root of these opposing views and how can the message of Christ be brought into cultural questions? Does ancient Christianity have anything to say to our modern world? Has the Church forgotten how to respond to the cultural challenges? Has the link between the Bible and world been lost? Join us tonight at 8p Central as we explore this and other questions facing the Church today on Sunday Night Discussions. This week we will sit down with our guest Brandon Wolfram to look at how followers of Jesus can regain a confidence in the Word of God as an intellectual, moral, and philosophical system that grounds humanity. Do you have questions on this subject? Then feel free to send in those questions and comments here or via our “Sunday Night Discussions” Google + page or Facebook page.
Does traditional evangelical Christianity have anything to say in our modern time? With the rise of millennial thinking can early 20th century Fundamentalism and present Evangelicalism effectively meet the needs of today or must we turn to new forms of spirituality for the heart, head, and hand? Join us this evening at 8p Central as we welcome Dr. Gary Zustiak to SND. Gary is an educator, counselor, youth specialist and millennial expert. We will also be giving away a copy of Gary’s book, The Next Generation: Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Generation X
So feel free to send in questions now and we’ll see you later on this evening.
Where does the burden of proof rest in discussions about Christianity? Can the claims of Christianity be rationally defended or must we check our brains at the doors of faith? Join us Sunday night at 8p Central as we welcome apologist Larry Lewis live from Berlin, Germany. Larry is director of the Connections Resource Center in Berlin. Connections is part of a larger effort known as the Open Door Libraries which bring the knowledge of God to countries where Christian teaching and resources have been limited or restricted.
Do you have questions about the legitimacy Christianity and the Bible? Then grab a friend and stop by our live webcast. You can catch the program here or on our Sunday Night Discussions Google + page. Questions can be sent in prior to the show or while the program is live through one of these mediums.
This week for the Discussions we’ll be diving into some specific questions that have come in from our viewing and listening audience. Questions about God, the Bible, faith, pain and suffering? All topics are open for the discussion this week. Feel free to chime in if you want via Google + or our SND Face Book Page.
The Bible? Our live webcast this Sunday is going to be GREAT. I’ve been looking forward to this episode from the start as it will address the very real and practical question of the authenticity of the Bible. Can we trust the Bible? Isn’t it just another book written by men a long time ago? Does it have relevance for today? What are the facts and the fallacies? What are the myths and the evidences? These and many other questions will be asked and addressed this Sunday night at 8p central and we’d love to have you stop by. If you have a Google + account you can participate in Q&A with other viewers on the Google + Sunday Night Discussions page. So grab a friend and come and see!