This weekend I am starting a new Sunday morning message series entitled “Engaging Faith Questions.” Each Sunday into November I will attempt to address one specific question that skeptics commonly ask about Christian faith.
This Sunday we will look at the question, “Is there a God?” Next week, “Is the Bible True?” From there we will go on to questions like “Is there only one true religion? Would a loving God send people to hell? Doesn’t science disprove Christianity? Isn’t all truth relative? How could a good God allow evil and suffering?” and so on.
Concurrent with this series I am recommending Timothy Keller’s new book “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” (Dutton Press, 2008). It is one of the best ‘apologetics’ works I have come across, partly because it addresses the ‘cultural’ as well as the purely ‘intellectual’ objections to Christianity. I will be using this book as a general guide to the weekly messages.
My hope for this series is that we will be motivated and equipped to engage unbelievers. Jesus said: “Go home to your friends and tell them . . . ” (Mark 5:19 NLT) That’s the Scripture I have been praying over this series.
We had a great weekend with Sy Rogers. He also spoke in Celebrate Recovery last night here at Central. He is an amazingly gracious person to work with behind the scenes — godly, friendly, undemanding. It was refreshing. He is also extremely bright. Sunday afternoon we conversed on a broad range of issues, all the way from UFO’s to the cultural distinctives of Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to all of you who were a part of the weekend!
Sans Wall Paper
- Lobby Painters
Two weeks ago we began our lobby renovation. It’s a couple of years overdue but we wanted to wait until the Give Forward funds came in over and above our building payments. Today the last of the old carpet was torn up. It has all been very exciting. We are fixing up our front door as we reach out into our city. I will be sharing more of our next steps this Sunday night at our Annual Give Forward Celebration, 6:00 pm. I hope you can be there. Also looking forward to pulling together a core team for planning the beginning of a satellite service. Stay tuned and keep praying!
Thanks to the many of you who have been checking out our new centralassembly.org website and my blog. My posts once or twice a week will not be ‘commercial heavy’, but let me just put in a plug for our upcoming weekend with Sy Rogers. You can still register for the “Redeeming the Sexual Generation” seminar this Saturday morning by registering and paying online or calling the church office (417-866-5013).
It is a privilege to have someone of Sy’s qualifications and world-wide scope speak to us about sexual issues. This weekend (including Sunday morning and night) will stretch us toward a kind of openness and vulnerability that can be spiritually freeing. It may also be pretty uncomfortable because sexual issues have largely been relegated to secrecy and cloaked in guilt.
That is why I am grateful for a church community like Central being willing to embrace a weekend like this. In spite of the sensitive subject matter, our church family as a whole has been wonderfully open and encouraging. This is healthy. These are subjects that we will continue to address in the future with various speakers and resources. Meanwhile do pray for this upcoming weekend. BTW, Sy tells me that the Saturday seminar and the Sunday night service will be rated PG-13, with Sunday night including an extended Q&A session.
At noon today people from across Greene County gathered in front of the County Court House to pray for our nation. It was 7 years ago this morning that the September 11th terrorist attacks shook our nation and in some ways changed our world. This was but one venue of many CryOut America gatherings across the nation at noon today.
I sat with Pastor John Marshall from Second Baptist (pictured opening in prayer) as well as the Mayor of Willard. Many other participants were involved as well, leading prayers of repentance and intercession for our nation. The interdenominational flavor is something I always enjoy. I feel like God smiles on our unity when we express it.
It started drizzling right around starting time, but no one moved, even though most did not have umbrellas. I also like that kind of dedicated determination to pray in spite of obstacles. It was my job to conclude the gathering (the rain did stop!) with concluding comments and closing prayer. Mine was the unscripted part of the program. John Maempa, our Central Assembly prayer coordinator and the area CryOut America coordinator encouraged me to do what seemed right in the moment, including inviting the ‘spiritually lost’ to accept Christ. It was a privilege to do so. May the Lord hear and answer our prayers today. Our nation will be different because of it.