Category Archives: Theology

Wasting Your Life?

So I’ve been having thoughts that I’m positive are unpopular.

I read a book a few years ago by everybody’s favorite Calvinist (or not), John Piper. The book is provocatively titled Don’t Waste Your Life.

Piper’s premise in Don’t Waste Your Life is simple – all of us were created in the image of God and bought by Jesus’ blood to bring glory to God. You’re either a Christ-follower, or God is calling you to be one. Those who accept that calling will live lives that glorify God, and those who don’t will waste their lives chasing after things that don’t ultimately matter.

Words etched into a plaque that hung above his mother’s kitchen sink when he was young shaped his thinking from an early age:

Only one life,
‘Twill soon be past.
Only what’s done,
For Christ will last.

So here’s what I’ve been pondering: when Christ-followers inhabit the New Heaven and New Earth, what will we reminisce about?

Will our thoughts be dominated by past headlines? Will we reminisce about the deeds and policies of former politicians, kings, and princes? Will we debate which technological advancements played the greatest role is shaping past society?

Or could it be the only things we will judge worthy of remembrance were those things done in the name of Jesus Christ? Could it be that those are the only things that will, in an ultimate sense, have a lasting impact?

I like Apple products. I appreciate being able to reap the benefits of the technological revolution spawned by the inventions of a brilliant mind. I am a fan of creativity, and believe it to be a characteristic of God infused in a humanity created in His image.

But will any great inventor’s inventions, in themselves, amount to a hill of beans in eternity?

Will we reminisce about them in the New Heaven and New Earth?

Or did the architect behind Apple Computers, despite his great impact on everyday life, waste his own?

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New Creation

I’ve been inspired by Nick Vujicic & the short film The Butterfly Circus in recent weeks, so I decided to incorporate them into a lesson for Lake Merced Church.


It’s interesting how showing a short little movie and talking about it a bit keeps people whose minds normally wander engaged and thinking about what’s being said.

To view the full HD version of The Butterfly Circus, go here. To view the interview with Nick Vujicic, go here.

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Defining ‘Essential’ Doctrine in the Church – The Big Three

I created a bit of confusion with my previous post. 

The list of “non-negotiables” shared there is not totally made up of things I consider “test of fellowship” issues – those are mostly doctrines I believe in strongly and will defend strongly.

But there are some doctrines that should cause us to draw a line in the sand – doctrines that should determine whether we fellowship others or not, and by “fellowship”, I mean accept them as a brother or sister in Christ.

From my study of the Scriptures, these “Big Three” are it:

  1. Belief in God.
  2. Belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
  3. Submission and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master.

These are salvation issues, and when heresies cropped up in the New Testament, these were doctrines those heresies distorted or contradicted.

I was raised within a faith tradition that taught if you go to a different kind of church you are probably doomed to hell,  if you don’t understanding certain things at the moment of your baptism you are probably doomed to hell, if you don’t worship a certain way you are probably doomed to hell, and if you neglect to organize your church a certain way you are probably doomed  to hell.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my faith tradition and will never leave it – but I’ve dwelled in the scriptures for a few years now and do not believe I should have ever been taught those things.

So many of the things our tradition has made fellowship issues over the years are every bit as ridiculous as anything in that video I showed the other day, because they are extrapolations from scripture – not clear commands.

I really appreciate what Monte Cox said a few years ago at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures: “I’m not comfortable drawing lines in the sand where God has not clearly drawn them – I’m too conservative for that.”

I’m with Monte – I’m just not willing to draw lines where God hasn’t clearly done so Himself.

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