Monday, March 22, 2010

A Mighty Sentence

What are some great sentences of history?

On December 22, 1944, the 101st Airborne was encircled by the German Army at Bastogne Belgium. The German commander sent an ultimatum to the American General Anthony McAuliffe. The ultimatum was to surrender. General McAuliffe replied, “Nuts”. With that answer the 101st Airborne went on to be victorious.

“Nuts” what a might sentence.

Anthony McAuliffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This past Sunday I heard what I consider a great sentence.
“Truth is true whether we live it or not, but truth will not be believed unless we live it.” Ron Shaw, Living In Grace.

A might sentence!

I believe that this sentence is a challenge to enact our Christian Worldview and to be victorious in presenting the truth so that it is believed. Truth believed because we live it.

Romans 12:1-2 Williams Translation
I beg you, therefore, brothers, through these mercies God has shown you, to make a decisive, dedication of your bodies as a living sacrifice, devoted and well-pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
Stop living in accordance with the customs of this world, but by the new ideals that mold your minds continue to transform yourselves, so as to find and follow God’s will; that is, what is good, well-pleasing to Him, and perfect.


Friday, March 19, 2010

The Biblical Worldview of Basketball

I'll be the first to admit that I don't care about the current basketball tournament and all the "madness" that surrounds it. I don't even LIKE basketball. But a friend pointed out a fascinating article about the origins of basketball and its founder, Dr. James Naismith. I knew the basics of the story: James Naismith; Springfield, Massachusetts; the YMCA (back when the "C" actually stood for something!).

But in this article, the author points out Naismith's understanding of the Biblical worldview: "Christ's kingdom should include the athletic world" and "he could better exemplify the Christian life through sports than in the pulpit." (Thanks, Tom!)

As a young Christian, Naismith received a master's degree from Montreal's Presbyterian Theological College. Convinced that he could better exemplify the Christian life through sports than in the pulpit, he moved to Springfield, Mass., to serve as a physical-education instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association's International Training School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College). Naismith's vision? "To win men for the Master through the gym.". . .

Men like Naismith and Gulick sought to develop the whole person—mind, body and spirit—and the YMCA emblem, an inverted red triangle, symbolized their threefold purpose. As Gulick stated, "Christ's kingdom should include the athletic world.". . .

This was the generation of the Student Volunteer Movement which sought to reach the world for Christ "in this generation." Basketball served as an important evangelical tool for many during its first 50 years. In his 1941 book "Basketball: Its Origin and Development," Naismith wrote, "Whenever I witness games in a church league, I feel that my vision, almost half a century ago, of the time when the Christian people would recognize the true value of athletics, has become a reality."

That's what we at ACWI strive to communicate: Christ's kingdom isn't limited to Sundays and Wednesday nights - it includes art, education, business, and yes, even basketball.

You can read the entire article at

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Code Words

As a teenager I well remember the McCarthyism and the hunt for those who espoused the social influence of the “union movement” and the attack on those who allegedly held the “party card” The code words in quotes told the story of fear in the 1950’s.

Again, the “code words” and the separation or maybe the “selection”, to the right or to the left

Albert Mohler writes a notable read.
“There is more to that story, however. The church is not to adopt a social reform platform as its message, but the faithful church, wherever it is found, is itself a social reform movement precisely because it is populated by redeemed sinners who are called to faithfulness in following Christ. The Gospel is not a message of social salvation, but it does have social implications.”

How will I and you implement social reform? We are of the Church, what must we do? What is social reform?

Luke 11:39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.

Is fear being spread again? Should we adopt Beckism?


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A God of Transformation

We serve a God Who's a specialist in transformation.

This came home to me a few months ago during a communion service with several pastors and elders in our denomination. I've been in dozens - probably hundreds - of communion services over the years and heard pastors talk about the body and the blood of Christ plenty of times. But for some reason it just "clicked" this time.

I realize that there are many differing views of what - if anything - happens during communion. Is it a sacrament or just an ordinance? Is it purely symbolic or does God "do" anything special in or through the elements of bread and wine?

In the Reformed tradition, we believe that Christ is spiritually present (tho' not physically, contra the Roman Catholic view) and that there is a genuine spiritual benefit to partaking. Ordinary bread and wine are set aside for extra-ordinary purposes. They are transformed into the (spiritual) body & blood - not just symbols representing the body & blood.

Then I began to think about it more:

God set aside ordinary paper and ink and transformed them into the written word of God.

In the Jewish calendar, the sabbath was Saturday. Sunday was just another day. God set aside an ordinary day - the first day of the week (Sunday) - and transformed it into the new sabbath.

Even today God takes ordinary words spoken by humans and transforms them into the sermons that change our lives and lead people into a grace-filled relationship with Christ.

The new heaven and new earth that we read about in Revelation are a transformed heaven and earth.

But even more importantly, He takes ordinary sinners like you and me and transforms us into forgiven sinners: the old has passed away; the new has come.

It's all about transformation!

That's what we at ACWI desire - to see our city, our state, and our nation transformed. Not by political influence or simple moral behavior. . . but through the transformative power of Christ working in and through people. . .Transformed people. . .People whose very lives have been transformed through that same power of Christ.

May that be our focus and purpose of ALL we do!