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Showing posts from January, 2007

The Advent Struggle

I've been trying to write this for literally a month but haven't been able to. Not sure why but it just hasn't flowed. So, here's the attempt: On a regular basis, I hear from or about friends who have stopped going to church. There are numerous reasons why they are leaving but one common thread seems to be a feeling that church has become meaningless. They've felt this for a long time but kept going because they hoped it would get better or just because they'd feel guilty if they didn't. But, they aren't going to play the game anymore. The young adult exodus out of the church isn't news to really anyone but there's something important that I think will make this crisis be more severe. When you examine recent Adventist history, there have been several crises of faith including EGW and Inspiration, Desmond Ford, and Creation/Science (to a small degree). What are the characteristics of all of them? 1. They are based on a doctrinal position and a

The Tensions of Preaching

This weekend I preached for the first time at Patterson. It went well and Shari actually said it was the best sermon I've ever preached. I don't know if I'm willing to go that far but I was happy. When I think about preaching, there are a few tensions that I keep in mind. 1. Humble while Confident You can't enter the pulpit thinking you know it all but you also can't go in thinking you have nothing to say. The preacher should be humble enough to realize that while the Holy Spirit has lead the preparation, there is always more to learn and different perspectives to explore. Henry Wright, my preaching professor, told us that when we preach we need to have confidence in two things: your preparation and the Holy Spirit. 2. Hidden while Myself I can't stand when the preacher gets up to pray, "Lord don't let people see me but you." Yet, it is a valid prayer and desire (I think I'm just tired of hearing it). The preacher shouldn't get in the

The First Few Days

While the Dems have been taking control of Congress, I've been taking Richmond by storm. After spending around 19 straight years in school, I finally was confronted with the real world. I love school and studying but towards the end it was wearing me down. You can only talk and think while taking little action for so long. Theory needed to be supplemented by action. I honestly had and still have no idea what to expect. Living in a new city, buying a home for the first time, and serving as a full-time pastor on a multi-staff team are all brand new experiences for me. The scheduled and regimented world of class, tests, and grades to objectively assess performance have been a source of comfort and normality that has been completely thrown out. What now? Well, I've learned a few things about pastoral life in my first two weeks: 1. Names, Names, Names. Unfortunately for me, they tend to go in one ear and out the other. I definitely am not gifted in this area. I think learning n