Saturday, December 27, 2008

Week of Dec 28 - Jan 3

Sunday, December 28, 2008
Matthew 2:13-23
Exodus 1:8-22
Psalms 2,26,19,126
Isaiah 66

Monday, December 29, 2008
John 1:19-28
Hebrews 4:1-16
Psalms 18:1-20,18:21-50
Zephaniah 1

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
John 1:29-34
Hebrews 5:1-14
Psalms 20,21,23,27
Zephaniah 2

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
John 1:35-42
Hebrews 6:1-20
Psalms 46,48,90
Zephaniah 3

Thursday, January 01, 2009
John 1:43-51
Hebrews 7:1-10
Psalms 85,87,103,148
Genesis 1

Friday, January 02, 2009
Matthew 4:12-17
Hebrews 7:11-28
Psalms 34,33
Genesis 2

Saturday, January 03, 2009
Matthew 4:18-25
Hebrews 8:1-13
Psalms 68,136
Genesis 3

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week of Dec 21 - Dec 27

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Luke 1:57-66
John 14:1-7
Psalms 23,121,27
Isaiah 59

Monday, December 22, 2008
Luke 1:67-80
Revelation 21:15-27
Psalms 61,62,112,115
Isaiah 60

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Matthew 1:1-17
Revelation 22:1-21
Psalms 66,67,116,117
Isaiah 61

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Matthew 1:18-25
Hebrews 1:1-14
Psalms 72,89:1-29
Isaiah 62

Thursday, December 25, 2008
Luke 2:1-20
Hebrews 2:1-18
Psalms 2,85,110,132
Isaiah 63

Friday, December 26, 2008
Matthew 2:1-15
Acts 6:8-7:60
Psalms 28,30,118
Isaiah 64

Saturday, December 27, 2008
John 1:1-18
Hebrews 3:1-19
Psalms 97,98,145
Isaiah 65

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week of Dec 14-Dec 20

Sunday, December 14, 2008
Matthew 25:31-46
Revelation 18:1-10
Psalms 63, 98, 103
Isaiah 52

Monday, December 15, 2008
Luke 20:27-40
Revelation 18:11-24
Psalms 41,52,44
Isaiah 53

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Luke 1:1-4
Revelation 19:1-10
Psalms 45, 47, 48
Isaiah 54

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Luke 1:5-25
Revelation 19:11-21
Psalms 119:49-72, 49, 53
Isaiah 55

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Luke 1:26-38
Acts 13:13-26
Psalms 50, 59, 60
Isaiah 56

Friday, December 19, 2008
Luke 1:39-45
Revelation 20:1-15
Psalms 40,54,51
Isaiah 57

Saturday, December 20, 2008
Luke 1:46-56
Revelation 21:1-14
Psalms 55, 138, 139
Isaiah 58

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Week of Dec 7- Dec 13

Sorry for the late posting, guys... My memory has been getting worse :)

Also we did not get to go to church today because Kane has a cold I have trouble now in big gathering of people and I pretty much close to pass out :) Pray that we can come next Sunday!

Also pls pray for our little family for God to keep everyone healthy (including the little one)


Sunday, December 07, 2008
Luke 24:36-53
Revelation 12:1-17
Psalms 148,149,150,114,115
Isaiah 45

Monday, December 08, 2008
Matthew 24:1-14
Revelation 13:1-10
Psalms 25,9,15
Isaiah 46

Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Matthew 24:15-28
Revelation 13:11-18
Psalms 26,28,36,39
Isaiah 47

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Matthew 24:29-35
Revelation 14:1-20
Psalms 38,119:25-48
Isaiah 48

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Matthew 24:36-51
Revelation 15:1-8
Psalms 37:1-18, 37:19-42
Isaiah 49

Friday, December 12, 2008
Matthew 25:1-13
Revelation 16:1-21
Psalms 31,35
Isaiah 50

Saturday, December 13, 2008
Matthew 25:14-30
Revelation 17:1-18
Psalms 30,32,42,43
Isaiah 51

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week of Nov 30-Dec 6

Sunday, November 30, 2008
John 1:35-42
John 12:20-22
Psalms 34,96,100
Isaiah 38

Monday, December 01, 2008
Luke 23:26-38
Revelation 8:1-13
Psalms 1,2,3,4,7
Isaiah 39

Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Luke 23:39-43
Revelation 9:1-12
Psalms 5,6,10,11
Isaiah 40

Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Luke 23:44-49
Revelation 9:13-21
Psalms 119:1-24, 12,13,14
Isaiah 41

Thursday, December 04, 2008
Luke 23:50-56
Revelation 10:1-11
Psalms 18:1-20,18:21-50
Isaiah 42

Friday, December 05, 2008
Luke 24:1-12
Revelation 11:1-10
Psalms 16,17,22
Isaiah 43

Saturday, December 06, 2008
Luke 24:13-35
Revelation 11:11-19
Psalms 20,21,110,116,117
Isaiah 44

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Revelation 5 --- Linger there, please

Revelation 5 is part of our assigned reading for Wednesday, Nov. 26th. I urge that we each linger there, not worrying greatly about the symbols we might not understand, but sharing in the wonder of that which is clear.

John the Revelator's vision includes a scroll, "sealed up with seven seals" (v. 1). A strong angel can't himself open the scroll and can find no one who can.

(Sometime do a study of mighty things angels in Scripture do -- increasing the wonder of seeing here an angel who can't himself open the scroll and who can't find anyone "in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth" -- v. 2 -- who can).

When John sees that no one can be found who is "worthy" to open the scroll he "weeps and weeps" (v. 4).

Twenty centuries of discourse has provided no firm agreement about what was written on the scroll or why John felt so overwhelmed with sadness that no one worthy to open it could be found.

Your humble correspondent thinks the scroll contained all the hopes and dreams, all the possibilities of man who has lived since Adam and Eve in a fallen world where hearts are irreparably broken by the separations caused by sin, including the "final" separation brought by death.

I think of the countless hordes of men and women, boys and girls who have, with all their great promise and the pure wonder of their humanity, failed in pursuit of their dreams, and who have been divorced from each other and even from themselves by sin and then death. As a minister I've often been called on to preside in the breakup of marriages, the dissipation of lives addicted to substances and, far too often I've presided at the gravesides of people whose passing left broken hearts and lives. Always I've wept.

The possibilities were always great, the hopes real, many times the dreams palpable. But the Great Sadness has been overwhelming.

The solution to the hopelessness is written on that closed scroll. So John wept and wept because he knew that -- and now he in a vision from God sees that no one can open it.


But wait! One of the elders in heaven said to John, "Stop weeping and Look! Look!!" (v. 5). There is one who has overcome and who can break the seals and open the scroll to all our hopes, our dreams, to life, to holiness.

The elder pointed John the Revelator (and you and me) to a sacrificial lamb which had been slain.

John saw the Lamb take the scroll in hand and then followed a scene of such grandeur we weep again -- this time tears of the greatest joy.

1. Four living creatures (previously described in the Revelation) and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, worshiping. Among that which they held in their hands as they lay prostrate before the Lamb was bowls of incense which "are the prayers of the saints" (yours? mine?).
Their song is in vv. 9, 10. I urge you to linger there, especially.

2. Then the chorus was joined by "myriads and myriads, and thousands and thousands" of angels. Their addition to the song is in v. 12. Linger again.

3. Finally, "every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them" joined the chorus. Their contribution is in v. 13. Again, linger.

The four creatures kept repeating, "Amen! Amen." And the elders who I suppose were now standing, beholding the wonder, fell down again and worshiped.

That scene will be played out. We anticipate it longingly as we deal with our disappointments, our brokenness. And in faith we join the chorus of praise even now -- praising him who alone is worthy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week of Nov 23-Nov 29

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Luke 22:47-53
Revelation 3:7-13
Psalms 118,145
Isaiah 31

Monday, November 24, 2008
Luke 22:54-62
Revelation 3:14-22
Psalms 106:1-18,106:19-48
Isaiah 32

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Luke 22:63-71
Revelation 4:1-11
Psalms 120,121,122,123,124,125,126,127
Isaiah 33

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Luke 23:1-5
Revelation 5:1-14
Psalms 119:145-176, 128, 129, 130
Isaiah 34

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Luke 17:11-19
2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Psalms 147, 145
Isaiah 35

Friday, November 28, 2008
Luke 23:6-12
Revelation 6:1-17
Psalms 140,142,141,143
Isaiah 36

Saturday, November 29, 2008
Luke 23:13-25
Revelation 7:1-17
Psalms 137,144,104
Isaiah 37

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Week of Nov 16-Nov 22

Sunday, November 16, 2008
Luke 22:1-6
Revelation 1:1-8
Psalms 66,67,19,46
Isaiah 24

Monday, November 17, 2008
Luke 22:7-13
Revelation 1:9-20
Psalms 89:1-18,89:19-52
Isaiah 25

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Luke 22:14-32
Revelation 2:1-7
Psalms 897,99,100,94,95
Isaiah 26

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Luke 22:24-30
Revelation 2:8-11
Psalms 101,109,119:121-144
Isaiah 27

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Luke 22:31-34
Revelation 2:12-17
Psalms 105:1-22, 105:23-45
Isaiah 28

Friday, November 21, 2008
Luke 22:35-38
Revelation 2:18-29
Psalms 102,107:1-32
Isaiah 29

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Luke 22:39-46
Revelation 3:1-6
Psalms 107:33-43, 108:33
Isaiah 30

Wednesday, November 12, 2008



1. Keller is hopeful that some readers will have read to this point in his book and are "ready to explore what it means to put ..... faith in Christ" (p. 227). He emphasizes to such readers that "motivations are always mixed" (p. 227). What is in context the importance of knowing that.

1. A person can't wait to seek God until his motives are wholly pure -- simply because they never are. One who is intrigued by the possibility of faith must begin at a real time and place, not an idealized time/place. 2. The appropriate motive for the Christian ultimately is (and will be as one grows in faith) to honor and serve God, not selfishly to have our needs met. But again, we start where we are -- with our own needs -- and grow to where we in time will be. Amazingly, wonderfully, when we do that our needs are infinitely more than met.

2. "The one thing we have no right to do is to respond to him (Jesus) mildly" (p. 230). Why? (Hint: The Bono interview on p. 229). Jesus has unquestionably changed the world and cannot be ignored. And his claims are so great that either he is God incarnate or a "nutcase." Either way, he must be encountered and dealt with as being very significant for everyman.

3. In talking about Flannery O'Connor and her view of Jesus, Keller asserts that there is "no use just saying you (believe) in Jesus unless you let that change your life and affect your view of everything" (p. 230). Relate that to the Bono interview just referenced and put its truth into your own words. (Hint: "Redemption is meaningless unless there is a cause for it in the acutal life we live ......... " (p. 230-231). Nominal Christianity (faith in name only) is dishonest. Again, the option to believe in him "mildly" is not an option. Yet that is what one does who says he believes in Jesus but whose life is unaffected by faith.

4. "Most important of all, remember that becoming a Christian is not simply a matter of ticking off a list of things to believe and do" (p. 232). What does he mean? What is the essential thing which transcends believing and doing? Christianity is finally a relationship with a living Redeemer. There are things one must do, but the defining element in Chrisitanity is knowing Jesus Christ.

5. To what question is Keller's answer, "I can't tell, and it doesn't matter." (p. 232)? Is someone who was raised in a Christian environment -- but who left it and is now returning to it -- becoming a Chrsitian or being restored as a Christian.

6. Why might even "diligent involvement in church and religion ..... need to be repented of ....." (p. 233)? If the motive for the involvement was to put God and others in our debt.

7. Explain the following statement: "Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch". (p. 234). To cling confidently to politics or money or anything which ultimately cannot sustain us is infinitely less valuable than clinging with weak faith to that whidh can sustain us in all things.

8. What relationship is there between Keller's assertion that "Hearts are unruly things" and his advice that we "join a body of believers" (p. 236)? Our lives are always a struggle. We battle ourselves trying to do the right and avoid the wrong. We do best when we are surrounded by others who are engaged in the same struggle.

9. It can actually be dangerous to urge someone to "seek out a church" to which to belong (p. 236-237) because (Keller believes) not all churches are faithful. But he does so urge because to him "there is no alternative" (p. 237). Why? We simply cannot live the Christian life without the encouragement of others. And the institution (not the best word) which provides the only environment where this can happen is the church.

10. What is meant by the phrase "the trauma of grace" (p. 237)?
Grace understood creates a traumatic experience where we see our worth and our worthlessness in a single experience.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Week of Nov 9- Nov 15

Sunday, November 09, 2008
Luke 20:9-19
1 Thessalonians 4:9-18
Psalms 93,96,34
Isaiah 17

Monday, November 10, 2008
Luke 20:20-26
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Psalms 80,77,79
Isaiah 18

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Luke 20:41-47
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Psalms 78:1-39, 78:40-72
Isaiah 19

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Luke 21:1-6
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Psalms 119:97-120,81,82
Isaiah 20

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Luke 21:7-19
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Psalms 83,85,86
Isaiah 21

Friday, November 14, 2008
Luke 21:20-28
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5
Psalms 88,91,92
Isaiah 22

Saturday, November 15, 2008
Luke 21:29-38
2 Thessalonians 3:6-18
Psalms 87,90,136
Isaiah 23

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



1. It is usual to think that the burden of proving the reality of the resurrection of Christ is on believers. However, "The resurrection also puts a burden of proof on its nonbelievers" (p. 202). How so? (Hint: see the two paragraphs which begin at the bottom of p. 202 and continue to middle of p. 203). The birth of the church is one of the most startling of all historical occurrences. If it is not explained by the Resurrection of Christ there must be an "historically feasible alternate explanation." The cynic can't responsibly simply dismiss the resurrection as an explanation for the existence of the church without posing something that more reasonably explains it.

2. If the early church was attempting to fabricate a story to substantiate the truthfulness of the resurrection of Jesus "There was no possible advantage to the church to recount that all the first witnesses were women............ The only possible explanation for why women were depicted as meeting Jesus first is if they really had" (p. 205). How so? Their "low social status" made their testimony inadmissable and without weight.

3. What is "chronological snobbery" (p. 206)? How does it at times play into a denial of the resurrection? (Hint: "The very idea of an individual resurrection would have been as impossible to a Jew as to a Greek" -- p. 207). Our culture has its assumptions -- one being that resurrection is impossible -- and we believe the ancients had another (i.e. that resurrection is possible). Thus they were easily duped into believing that Jesus had been raised -- but not us!! We're snobs (guilty of what is also at times called "generational arrogance") who think we're brighter than the ancients.

4. What is the significance of the word "explosion" on p. 208ff? (Hint: It normally takes a (long) period of time filled with discussion and argument to cause a "massive shift" in the worldview of a group of people -- p. 209). The Christian view of the resurrection of Jesus sprang up full blown immediately after the death of Jesus. That is NOT the way worldview shifts usually happen.

5. What possible explanations are there for this "explosion"? That Jesus really was raised from the dead is one. Keller -- and you and I -- are awaiting another from the skeptics (see #1 above).

6. What is meant by Pascal's assertion, "I believe those witnesses that get their throats cut" (p. 210)? Therefore, what is a logical concusion to draw based on the knowledge that many of the early Christians suffered martydom? They truly believed that Jesus had been resurrected -- enough to die for their belief.


1. "That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love" (p. 215). What does? Who are the dancers? The idea of the Trinity means that God is himself (alone -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit) relational. He (They) are to a depth and a level unfathomable for us glorifying each other, dancing around each other, focused on each other.

2. The idea of the Trinity is unique to Christianity -- and essential. Without it there can be a concept of a sovereign God, but no adequate concept of love. WHY? (Hint: The wonder is expressed in the phrase which describes loving relationships as the "great fountain ..... at the center of reality" -- p. 216). Love is the essence of relationship with someone else. The great mystery of the Trinity is that God is One absolutely, but distinctly Three. "God is love" -- even without the creation. Without that concept it is possible to view God as powerful and sovereign, but with a belief in the Trinity comes an ability to believe that the essence of God is love.

3. We can never fully discover ourselves except in "self-giving, other-directed love" (p. 217). "Self-centeredness destroys the fabric of what God has made" (p. 217). Explain that in your own words. As God is in his Triune nature, we are because we're "in his image." God is love. Thus love is the fabric from which we come. When we are stationary, evaluating the world and others by how they revolve around and serve us, we're out of sync with the great reality of our best and truest nature. It's when we dance around others, seeking their joy and fulfillment, that we are like God.

4. If God is infinitely self-giving, why "does he ask us to obey him unconditionally, to glorify, praise and center our lives around him" (p. 218)? In his love for us he desires our joy -- a joy he knows can only exist for us in our loving him as we are loved. The Christ on the throne and the Christ on the Cross are the same. He didn't endure the cross so he could ascend to the throne. He did both for the same reason -- because his is relational and the entire basis of his relationship to us is love.

5. "We lost the dance. The dance of joyful, mutually self-giving relationships is impossible in a world in which everyone is stationary, ......." (p. 220). What does our being "stationary" have to do with it? We were made to dance (to constantly revolve around God and others for their joy and glory). When we don't, when we stand and evaluate all around us by ourselves (what's in it for me?), we lose everything that is at the heart of our truest nature.

6. "What was Jesus getting out of" dying for us? .......what benefit did he derive from the Cross (p. 220)? What's the answer. "Not a thing " (p. 220). So what was he thinking? He didn't go to Gethemane or Calvary asking what was in it for him. If there was a question on his mine, it was "What's in it for God, the Holy Spirit and the lost souls for whom I'll die?"

7. The story of the gospel explains everything. (p. 225). What does it explain that leads Christians to do "restorative and redistributive justice wherever they can"? (Moral obligation and justice). What does it explain that causes Christians to "do evangelism ...."? (Man's religiousness). What does it explain that causes Christians to "work sacrificially to strengthen human communities"? (Our profoundly relational nature). What does it explain that causes Christians to "become stewards of the material world"? Our delight in beauty.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Week of Nov 2-Nov 8

Luke 18:31-34
James 5:1-12
Psalms 24,29,8,84
Isaiah 10

Luke 18:35-43
James 5:13-20
Psalms 56,57,58, 64,65
Isaiah 11

Luke 19:1-10
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Psalms 61,62,68
Isaiah 12

Luke 19:11-27
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Psalms 72,119:73-96
Isaiah 13

Luke 19:28-40
1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
Psalms 70,71,72,74
Isaiah 14

Luke 19:41-48
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
Psalms 69,73
Isaiah 15

Luke 20:1-8
1 thessalonians 4:1-8
Psalms 75,76,23,27
Isaiah 16

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Israel (i.e. Southern Israel = Judah) was in trouble in Isaiah 3 ---- BIG TROUBLE!! But they didn't know it.

Their politicians and preachers had told them over and over that all was well. "Peace, peace" they had said.

The humble repentance that alone could have saved them from the encroaching horror of military defeat had become impossible. Arrogant, aloof, elitist they went on, on, on .......... to the edge and eventually over the precipice, unable because of their moral and spiritual dissipation to turn back. They stumbled as in a drunken stupor.

They would not realize the consequence of what they had become until they in exile hung their harps in the trees on the banks of the rivers of Babylon, their hearts too heavy for song (Psalm 137:1-4).

I urge you to read Isaiah 3. And read the short statement regarding it on the Fellowship of St. James website. ( ). Then read Isaiah 3 again.

Then comment. Can we as Americans learn anything from Isaiah? Are there lessons specifically for us as Christians? Or is any comparison misguided?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week of Oct 26-Nov 1

Dear All,

I apologize for late posting, I have been really sick and totally forgot... Love :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008
Luke 17:20-37
James 1:21-27
Psalms 63,98,103
Isaiah 3

Monday, October 27, 2008
Luke 18:1-8
James 2:1-13
Psalms 41,52,44
Isaiah 4

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Luke 18:9-14
James 2:14-26
Psalms 119:49-72, 34,47,48
Isaiah 5

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Luke 18:15-17
James 3:1-12
Psalms 45,111,112,148, 150
Isaiah 6

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Luke 18:18-23
James 3:13-4:7
Psalms 49,50,53,59,60
Isaiah 7

Friday, October 31, 2008
Luke 18:24-30
James 4:7-17
Psalms 40,54,51
Isaiah 8

Saturday, November 01, 2008
Matthew 5:1-12
Hebrews 11:32-12:2,18-24
Psalms 111,112,148,150
Isaiah 9

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



1. What does Keller mean when he says, "Jekyll becomes Hyde, not in spite of his goodness, but because of his goodness."? (p. 177). (Hint: "Why would Jekyll become Hyde without the potion?" -- p. 176). He was impressed with his own goodness to the point that his pride was a worse thing than the evil deeds done by Mr. Hyde.

2. What are two "forms" in which sin, evil (self-centeredness and pride) are expressed (p. 177)? 1. Riotous self-gratifying living. 2. Self-righteousness (Pharisaism).

3. How can being very, very good be a "rejection of the gospel of Jesus" (p. 177)? All have sinned, ..... perhaps, if we take the NT seriously (particularly the fact that as decadent as was the Roman Empire Jesus said virtually nothing about it but much about self-righteous religious people), none moreso than those who are Pharisaic. All need the Gospel, but those convinced of their own goodness reject it because they don't realize their need.

4. What does Keller mean in saying that religion and irreligion are ultimately spiritually identical (p. 177)? Both lead away from God. They are two opposite paths that lead to a common destination.

5. What has caused "millions of people" raised (in church) to be "inoculated against Christianity" (p. 179)? (Do you agree with this assertion)? Their experience with religious people has been with Pharisees.

6. "This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time" (p. 181). What does? A recognition that we are so flawed that Jesus had to die (for us) and yet that we are so loved that he was glad to die (for us).

7. "Those words, however, can only be spoken on the outside of an experience of radical grace" (p. 182) What words? Why? "Because of grace, Christianity sounds very easy. So I think I'll become a Christian and then go do whatever I want." The true experience of grace is profound and it leads to disciplined living rather than licentiousness.

8. What is the "threat of grace" (pp. 182-185)? (Hint: What may be "the greatest paradox of all" -- p. 185)? Grace is free and yet it captures us and enslaves us. The great example Keller poses is that of Jean Valjean in Le Miserables. He received a great act of kindness which haunted and pursued him the rest of his life. The act both freed and enslaved him all at once.

9. In truth, there is only one thing to which grace is a threat (p. 185). What? The illusion that we are or could ever be free. We'll be enslaved either to our sin (again perhaps the worst of it being Pharisaism) or to the grace that frees us from it.


1. The "first reason" Keller gives in answer to the question, "Why did Jesus have to die?" is that "real forgiveness is costly suffering" (p. 187). The cost is in part pain. "It hurts terribly. Many people would say it feels like a kind of death" (p. 189). Why? Whose pain? Where does it come from? Jesus (in the cross) frees us by willingly experiencing the pain for us. The human experience if it is to have meaning is necessarily painful. We experience the pain of our own sin. And we experience the pain of the offenses committed against us. And in a world created by a perfect God we experience the pain of forgiving those who offend us -- forgoing the consolation of revenge because there is no other way to have a relationship with God.

2. "Jesus's death was only a good example if it was more than an example ......." (p. 193). What else did it have to be? It had to be necessary. There is nothing exemplary about sacrificing a life unnecessarily.

3. This chapter speaks of the "Great Reversal" (p. 195ff). What does the phrase mean? (Hint: "On the Cross Christ wins through losing, triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness ............" (p. 196). Though he was in the form of God he didn't count equality with God something to be grasped. The implications for us are enormous. The way up is down. The way to be rich is to be poor. Etc.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week of Oct 19-Oct 25

Sunday, October 19, 2008
Luke 15:8-10
Galatians 4:21-31
Psalms 148,149,150,114,115
Nehemiah 9

Monday, October 20, 2008
Luke 15:11-32
Galatians 5:1-15
Psalms 25,9,15
Nehemiah 10

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Luke 16:1-13
Galatians 5:16-26
Psalms 26,28,36,39
Nehemiah 11

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Luke 16:14-18
Galatians 6:1-10
Pslams 38,119:25-48
Nehemiah 12

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Luke 16:19-31
Galatians 6:11-18
Psalms 37:1-18, 37:19-42
Nehemiah 13

Friday, October 24, 2008
Luke 17:1-4
James 1:1-11
Psalms 31,35
Isaiah 1

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Luke 17:5-10
James 1:12-20
Psalms 30,32,42,43
Isaiah 2

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



1. "It's almost like their moral intuitions are free-floating in midair -- far off the ground" (p. 145). To whom/what does that statement refer. It refers to all who have adopted the moral values of the current Western culture. Because there is no sense of ultimate reality (for instance, God) which undergirds a sense of morality, the passion with which moral positions are promoted/ defended really don't make sense.

2. Some philosophers (such as poet Czeslaw Milosz -- p. 145) believe that people in earlier times believed in God and consequently in human dignity and that people now in the current (and future) scientific-technological world will discard religion as a basis for a concept of human dignity. So there will no longer be a belief in the dignity of human beings. Tim Keller disagrees and has a "radical thesis" (p. 145-146) which causes him to think we may yet encounter a future where there remains a sense of human dignity. What is his radical thesis? "I think people in our culture know unavoidably that there is a God, but they are repressing what they know." Surely this means that even as we deny (through our practices if not our language) human dignity by countenancing aboriton, euthanasia, etc. we'll not be able to avoid the nagging, haunting sense that we're doing something terribly wrong.

3. Moral relativism is a belief that "no one should impose their moral views on others, because everyone has the right to find truth inside him or herself" (p. 146). It's a commonly heard assertion. But ........ "Why is it impossible (in practice) for anyone to be a consistent moral relativist even when they claim that they are" (p. 146)? What's Keller's answer? How do you feel about it? It is impossible simply because we all have a code of conduct that we not only attempt live by ourselves, but also to impose on others. That is even true when we insist that a primary tenet in our morality is that everyone should be allowed to live by their own code of conduct, however different it may be from others.

4. What is "cultural relativism" (p. 149)? A view that all moral beliefs are culturally created -- we believe them because we are part of a community that gives them plausibility. There are no absolutes except those imposed by a community.

5. "There is no way to derive the concept of the dignity of every individual from the way things really work in nature" -- natural law (p. 151). Why? (Hint: "There is no basis for moral obligation unless we argue that nature is in some part unnatural. We can't know that nature is broken in some way unless there is some supernatural standard of normalcy ..." (p. 155). Nature thrives on violence and predation, not on a sense of the dignity of the individual. If one argues that what is meant is that "human nature" instills a certain moral code, the question then becomes where that code comes from.

6. "Without God (man) can't justify moral obligation, and yet he can't not know it exists" (p. 154-155). That statement summarizes the cultural/moral relativist conundrum. Think about it and restate it in street language. Back to Keller's "radical thesis" -- We know what we know -- that there is a God and that we are liable to him -- even when we deny that we know it.

7. What should you do with a premise which leads to a conclusion "you know isn't true" (p. 156)? What powerful point is Keller making? You must either change the premise or the conclusion. Or in this case, with no code of ethics rooted in something absolute (God) you cannot argue against the statement, "Napalming babies is culturally relevant." Your premise doesn't allow it.

8. What does the phrase "pointless litigation of existence before an empty bench" (p. 157) mean? Why is it another way of saying ...... "despair" (p. 157)? It's from playwright Arthur Miller's play, AFTER The FALL. The character, Quentin, as he gradually loses his faith in God arrives at a point of despair in which he can give no reason for living according to a code which can't really exist because there's no one (God) in the judge's chair.

9. When a person gets to the point of philosophical despair (as mentioned in the previous discussion point) he has "two options" (p. 157). What are they? 1. Just don't think about it. Eat, drink and be merry with no thought about consequences. But don't allow yourself any time when there's quietness and reflection or the despair will return. 2. Yield to that which you really do know, but which you've suppressed. Yield to God.


1. Why is it "hard to avoid the conclusion that there is something fundamentally wrong with the world" (p. 159)? There is a pulsating sense that we are not what we are meant to be -- individually or corporately.

2. What did Keller mean in sayng to a distraught young man that "the good news was -- he was a sinner" (p. 160)? (Hint: "........ I achieved low self-esteem" -- p. 161. Further hint: "The Christian doctrine of sin, properly understood, can be a great source for human hope ...... -- p. 161). The realization that we are sinful is requisite to a change that can bring us to God who can redeem us. As long as we wallow in the pig pen, unaware of the reality of our condition, we'll have no sense that we need to turn to God.

3. Sin is not simply doing bad things. It's more profound than that. "It is seeking to establish a sense of self by making something else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than your relationship to God" ( p. 162). What does that mean to you?

4. "An identity not based on God also leads inevitably to deep forms of addiction" (p. 165). What does that mean? (Hint: "One has only the choice between God and idolatry ..... p. 166). We will live (controlled by) for something.

5. "A life not centered on God leads to emptiness. Building our lives on something besides God not only hurts us if we don't get the desires of our hearts, but also if we do" (p. 166). Elaborate on that thought. Nothing other than God can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. We are obviously disappointed when we don't get that which we desire. It's less obvious, but nonetheless true, that the things we desire and pursue other than God cannbot but disappoint if we do get them.

6. The wonderful Hebrew word "shalom" (peace) describes not the absence of conflict so much as the absolute presence of all that is good (the creation as God made it in Genesis). "The devastating loss of shalom through sin is described in Genesis 3" (p. 170). "Human beings are so integral to the fabric of things that when human beings turned from God the entire warp and woof of the world unraveled" (p. 170). How does this explain our broken, decaying world which is "in bondage to decay" and which is "subject to futility" (Romans 8)? Please share some things you've seen which illustrate this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week of Oct 12-Oct 18

Sunday, October 12, 2008
Luke, 13:22-30
Galatians, 1:11-24
Psalms 146,147,11,112,113
Nehemiah 2

Monday, October 13, 2008
Luke, 13:31-35
Galatians, 2:1-10
Psalms 1,2,3,4,7
Nehemiah 3

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Luke 14:1-6
Galatians 2:11-21
Pslams 5,6,10,11
Nehemiah 4

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Luke 14:7-14
Galatians 3:1-14
Pslams 119:1-24, 12,13,14
Nehemiah 5

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Luke 14:15-24
Galatians 3:15-29
Psalms 18:1-20, 18:21-50
Nehemiah 6

Friday, October 17, 2008
Luke 14:25-35
Galatians 4:1-11
Psalms 16,17,22
Nehemiah 7

Saturday, October 18, 2008
Luke 15:1-7
Galatians 4:12-20
Psalms 20,21,110,116,117
Nehemiah 8

Wednesday, October 8, 2008



1. How does Tim Keller answer the question, "What is Christianity?" (p. 116)? Why, in the context of a discussion about belief/unbelief (and its attacks on Christian faith), does he think this an important question? (How do fundamentalists answer the question)? Christianity is a "body of believers who assent to these great ecumenical creeds." Common beliefs such as God created the earth, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, that he was crucified, and that he rose again after the third day bring us together. There are differences in worship styles that set us apart. The fundamentalist says that Christianity is what they say it is.

2. ".........we are all deeply interested in seeing the case for God go one way or the other" (p. 119). What factors cause us to care "deeply" whether or not God exists?

We will believe in one thing or another. The passion to believe in something brings us to take a closer look at God.
3. "The approach I will take in the rest of this volume is called 'critical rationality' (p. 120). He uses it to argue that belief in God may be a leap of faith, but it isn't a blind leap (CM's words). What is critical rationality? (additional question: What does the phrase "explanatory power" on p. 122 mean)?

Critical rationality "assumes that there are some arguements that many or even the most rational people will find convincing, even though there is no arguement that will be persuasive to everyone regardless of viewpoint." Explanatory power is the best explanation for the way things are.

4. What does ".....all arguments are rationally avoidable in the end" (p. 120) mean?

Some arguements are more rational than others. All arguements are rationally avoidable in the end.

1. What are "divine fingerprints" (p. 127)? Why might it be a better idea to think of them as "clues" rather than "proofs" (p. 128)?

You can see God's imprint on everything around us. There is no way to prove it but the evidence is everywhere.

2. Assuming that the world(s) we know began with a Big Bang, what is the heart of Keller's argument that "Everything we know in this world is 'contingent,' has a cause outside of itself" (p. 129). What does the word "contingent" mean in this context?
That the Big bang may have happened but it was put into effect by God.

3. Francis Collins said, "When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming" (p. 130). What line of reasoning would one use to argue from this to a belief in God (the "Fine-Tuning Argument")? (Why did the gamblers aim their six-shooters at the dealer in a game of poker)?

The fine tuning arguement is rationally avoidable. However, for the sake of aguement Keller talks about all of the things that line up to make a universe ready for us. Ready and fine tuned because a God that we serve has put it into motion. The gamblers aim their six shooters he has dealt himself twenty hands straight of four aces in the same poker game. Assuming that there has been cheating the arguement begins. When in reality the luck of the dealer could be real.
4. "As a proof for the existence of God, the regularity of nature is escapable. ............... As a clue for God, however, it is helpful" (p. 132). How so?

5. Beauty argues in behalf of the existence of God. ("Updike seems to be saying that regardless of the beliefs of our mind about the random meaninglessness of life, before the face of beauty we know better" -- p. 134). In this context, what are "innate desires" (p. 135) How does the innate human desire for beauty serve as a "major clue that God is there."

God has given us a yearning for beauty.

6. What do modern atheists pose as a "Clue Killer" -- that which would argue that "the clues are clues to nothing" (p. 136)? Keller deals lengthily with this argument, but in the end is dismissive of it in the paragraph on p. 139 which begins, "It comes down to this." Summarize his argument.
(Hint: " ...... if this argument proves anything at all it proves too much -- p. 140).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Week of Oct 5- Oct 11

Sunday, October 05, 2008
Luke 12:13-21
Haggai 2:1-23
Psalms 118,145
Ezra 5

Monday, October 06, 2008
Luke 12:22-34
1 John 4:1-11
Psalms 106:1-18, 106:19-48
Ezra 6

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Luke 12:35-48
1 John 4:12-21
Psalms 120, 121,122,123,124,125,126,127
Ezra 7

Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Luke 12:49-59
1 John, 5:1-13
Psalms 119:145-176, 128,129,130
Ezra 8

Thursday, October 09, 2008
Luke 13:1-9
1 John 5:14-21
Psalms 131,132,133,134,135
Ezra 9

Friday, October 10, 2008
Luke 13:10-17
3 John 1-14(15)
Psalms 140,142,141,143
Ezra 10

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Luke 13:18-21
Galatians 1:1-10
Psalms 137, 144, 104
Nehemiah 1

Tuesday, September 30, 2008



1. Many moderns are "armed with ......(a) presupposition" (p. 85) which causes them to leap to the conclusion that science has disproved traditional religion (In particular, that miracles are impossible). What is the presupposition?

The presupposition is that miracles do not happen. " The more intelligent, rational,and scientific minded you are the less you will be able to believe in God."

2. Keller says this conclusion is a "leap of faith" (p. 85), a "philosophical presupposition and not a scientific finding" (p. 86). Why, from Keller's reasoning, is science not equipped to deal with the possibility of miracles or the validity of transcendant religion?

Science can only deal with empirical things.

3. Keller says, "If there is a Creator God, there is nothing illogical at all about the possibility of miracles" (p. 86). How so?

If he created the world he can do with it as he chooses.

4. Keller says that some Christians apparently see nothing wrong believing in evolution as a process (presumably one that gradually evolved man from lower life forms), but does question a believer accepting "philosophical naturalism" (p. 87). What is philosophical naturalism and how do you feel about a Christian belief in evolution which stops short of it?

Philosophical naturalism is "the view that everything has a natural cause and that organic life is solely the product of random forces guided by no one".

5. Ian Barbour speaks of four ways science and religion might relate to each other: "conflict, dialogue, integration and independence" (p. 88). Which of these is predominant in the minds of creationists who have the view that "Genesis 1 makes any kind of evolutionary process impossible"? (p. 88).

The conflict between the two does not open up to debate. There is no conversation.

6. "Scientists, like non-scientists, are very effected by the beliefs and atitudes of the people from whom they want respect" (p. 90). What does this reveal about scientists (perhaps like Richard Dawkins) who argue that science has disproved religion?

That our peer group and social contacts shape our beliefs much more than we want to admit.

7. Faith is a belief in that which cannot be proven (Hebrews 11). It could be argued therefore that the atheism of men like Richard Dawkins which ridicules religious belief is itself a religion. Why?
The disbelief itself is a belief.


1. If the Bible can be discredited it need not be taken seriously. Modern Biblical criticism is believed by many to have done just that. Keller clearly believes that Scripture is inspired by God and must be taken seriously indeed. In this chapter he gives some of his reasoning. How do you defend the reliability/authority of the Bible? Or, if you question it, why?

The main defense is that the Bible is God's spoken word.

2. What does the author mean when he says "The timing is far too early for the gospels to be legends." (p. 101)?

3. What does he mean in saying, "The content is far too counterproductive for the gospels to be legends." (p. 104)? (hint: "The only plausible reason that all of these incidents would be included in these accounts is that they actually happened" - p. 105).

If it was legend there are things that would not have been included in the Bible.

4. What does he mean when he says, "The literary form of the gospels is too detailed to be legend." (p. 106) (hint: "In modern novels, details are added to create the aura of realism, but that was never the case in ancient fiction" -- p. 106).

5. How does Keller answer the argument made by those who reject Christianity because it seems "to support slavery and the subjugation of women." (p. 109)? (hint: "........... the cultural and historical distance between us and the writers and readers of the original text" -- p. 110).

6. "I urge people to consider that their problem with some texts might be based on an unexamined belief in the superiority of their historical moment over all others" (p. 111). What's he saying? (hint: "To reject the Bible as regressive is to ssume that you have now arrived at the ultimate historic moment, from which all that is regressive and progressive can be discerned" -- p. 111).

7. "Many of the beliefs of our grandparents and great-grandparents now seem silly and even embarrassing to us. That process is not going to stop now" (p. 112). What does that say about the things we believe?

8. What is a "Stepford God" (p. 114)?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Week of Sep 18-Oct 4

Sunday, September 28, 2008
Luke 10:25-37
1 John 1:1-10
Psalms 66,67,19,46
Job 40

Monday, September 29, 2008
Luke 10:38-42
1 John 2:1-11
Psalms 89:1-18,89:19-52
Job 41

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Luke 11:1-13
1 John 2:12-17
Psalms 97,99,100,94,95
Job 42

Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Luke 11:14-28
1 John 2:18-29
Psalms 101,109,119:121-144
Ezra 1

Thursday, October 02, 2008
Luke 11:29-44
1 John 3:1-9
Psalms 105:1-22, 105:23-45
Ezra 2

Friday, October 03, 2008
Luke 11:45-54
1 John 3:10-24
Psalms 102,107:1-32
Ezra 3

Saturday, October 04, 2008
Luke 12:1-12
Haggai 1:1-15
Psalms 105:33-43,108,33
Ezra 4

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Notes from week 2 of book club

Charlie began by reading excerpts from the poem “Rugby Chapel” by Matthew Arnold. The poem can be found here. The point was that we should strive to be people that “strengthen the wavering”, like Matthew Arnold’s father.


1. "Rob" is quoted (p. 18) as saying, "I won't believe in a God who allows suffering ......." Another person, a reporter, said after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 250,000+ people, "If God is God, he is not good. If God is good, he's not God. You can't have it both ways ......." (See the Epicurus quote under #1 on page 202). How would you respond to those assertions?
The discussion centered around how in trying to respond, we are trying to explain the incomprehensible. We are looking for a God that will do what we want. There are some things that parents do to their children based on love but the children do not or cannot see the love. Perhaps that is so in these situations as well. God loves us but we cannot or will not see it. Charlie talked about the story in John 6 where Peter asks “Where else would we go?” in response to Jesus’s asking if the disciples would leave too.

2. What is the "major flaw" (p. 19) in the reasoning which says that the very existence in a violent, evil world of a good and omnipotent God is a logical inconsistency? ("Some other god or no god may exist, but not the traditional God." -- p. 19) The flaw in this reasoning can be expressed in the "hidden premise" mentioned on p. 19.
The “hidden premise” is that if appears pointless to me, then it must be pointless.

3. Although it is decidedly a mixed message, what does experience (and logic)-- illustrated by the life of Joseph -- tell us about the good that exists in evil?
God can redeem situations for good. We will not be able to fully discuss the good that comes out of evil until we get to the “other side” and can see the full picture.

4. What is Keller's point on p. 20 -- "Indeed, you can have it both ways."?
That if God is great enough to actually stop evil, then He is great enough to have good reasons for allowing it to continue.

5. It can be argued that if evil and suffering are evidence of anything at all, they are evidence for -- not against -- the existence of God. "Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple" (C.S. Lewis). "It (the problem of evil and suffering in the world) is at least as big a problem for nonbelief as for belief"). How so? (Hint -- "A secular way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort" -- p. 22).
If there is no God, what makes evil, evil? If there is no God, why even be good? Those that demand explanations about the reasons for evil should also demand explanations about the reasons for good or pleasure.

6. "Why was Jesus so much more overwhelmed by his death than others have been, even more than his own followers?" (p. 23. In what sense was Jesus's death "qualitatively different" (p. 24) from any other death?
Jesus’s death was different because of the “cosmic abandonment”; he was forsaken by God in a way that we cannot fully understand.

7. Chapter 2 closes with this statement: "This is the ultimate defeat of evil and suffering. It will not only be ended but so radically vanquished that what has happened will only serve to make our future life and joy infinitely greater." What does that mean?
That somehow, the suffering we endure in this life will make the “not-suffering” of Heaven even better.


1. In what sense does Christianity seem to many to be "an enemy of social cohesion"? (p. 29)
Its exclusivity

2. ".......many say that all truth-claims are power plays" (p. 30). What does that mean?
This means that those claiming to have or know truth are just trying to exert power over others.

3. Our author argues that "the objection that all truth is a power play falls prey to the same problem as the objection that all truth is culturally conditioned" (p. 30). What is that problem? (Hint: "To see through everything is not to see." p. 30).
The problem is that if you keep trying to see through things, then you can blind yourself to truth. In making a claim that there is no “truth”, you are making a truth-claim.

4. An oft-stated objection to Christianity is that it is too exclusive, causing it to be "socially divisive" (p. 31). Keller counters that "a totally inclusive community is ........ an illusion" (p. 31). What is the basis of his argument? (Hint: "Neither community is being 'narrow' -- they are just being communities" -- p. 32).
Communities by definition are based on a shared set of beliefs. If one does not share those beliefs, then he is not truly part of that individual community. It is impossible to have a totally inclusive community.

5. How does the author establish his position that, contrary to the popular belief that Christianity "forces people from diverse cultures into a single iron mold" (p. 32), it in truth has been "more adaptive" to (and less destructive of) diverse cultures than many other ........ worldviews (p. 32)? (The text asks the same question: "Why has Christianity, more than any other major religion of the world, been able to infiltrate so many radically different cultures?" -- p. 35).
Keller establishes his position by noting the we have a set of core teachings to which all forms of Christianity are committed (the Apostle’s Creed, Ten Commandments, etc.). He also quotes historian Andrew Walls who notes that in Acts 15 that Gentile Christians were not required to conform to Jewish culture but had to “work out” a Gentile way of being a Christian. Following this pattern, Christianity has taken more culturally diverse forms than other faiths. As Christians, we are to be what we are.

6. "Christianity is supposedly a limit to personal growth and potential because it constrains our freedom to choose our own beliefs and practices" (p. 36). Keller argues that "In fact, in many cases, confinement and constraint is actually a means to liberation" (p. 36). On what does he base his argument? What is his conclusion regarding what constraints on freedom are necessary for us to be truly free to grow (intellectually, vocationally, physically -- and spiritually and morally)?
Keller uses the example of a pianist to make his argument. The pianist must practice, practice, practice (i.e. restrict her freedom) in order to realize her talent. Also, he notes that a fish is only free if it is restricted and limited to water.

7. Note the seeming contradiction in the following statement: "To experience the joy and freedom of love, you must give up your personal autonomy" (p. 38).

8. How do you find freedom by giving up freedom (p. 40)?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Impact University Fall Book Club Week 3


1. What "mistaken belief" (p. 42) about what Christianity actually teaches about itself leads its critics to assume that if our religion were true Christians on the whole would be much better (more moral, self-disciplined, etc.) than everyone else, when simple observation confirms we are not? The mistaken belief is " common grace". If common grace is available then we as Christians should be better people. There is also the mistaken belief that you must "clean up" before being able to merit being in the presence of God. The question was posed "is the world a better place because of Christianity?" The answer was yes. The comment was made that Christianity makes better people and also better communities. There was also conversation that was brought up regarding the the Islam and Muslim religions. The same question was posed about Islam. Is the world a better place because of the Islam and Muslim religions?
2. The church may actually have more immature and broken people in it than are outside it because people whose lives have been hard and who are "lower on the character scale" (p. 43) are more likely to recognize something than others. What is it? The need for God.
3. Human history and worldwide societal life today are filled with violence. This is true of societies where there is faith and in those where there is none. So, without denying the unpleasant truth that religion often leads to violence, Keller concludes that violence is a part of the human experience because of "some impulse deeply ... rooted in the human heart" (p. 45). Please think that through and respond to it.
Answer: Sin. The accusation is if Christianity is true is true it ought to bring about a world of peace and not violence. Keller is willing to argue that the church has not made the world a more peaceful place.
4. Jesus and the Old Testament prophets strongly criticized self-righteous religious people, always for their "insensitivity to issues of social justice" (p. 48). John Calvin says this is so evident in Scripture that the cries of the suffering express "divine pain" (p. 48). What did he mean?
The poor and the suffering are those who are the closest to God. Their moans are actually his moans and our response to them is a response to Him.
5. Historian John C. Sommerville says the ability to properly critique the church for its insensitivity to issues of injustice, whether the criticism comes from Christians or non Christians comes ultimately from a common soure (p. 48). What is it?
From within.
6. If the church has a long record of sin and injustice (and it certainly does) the answer is not to "abandon the Christian faith" (p. 49). What is the answer? Embrace it even more.
7. What is Christianity's "self-correcting apparatus" (p. 51)? Conscience


1. To what is the following statement referring? -- "That belief, they contend, leads to exclusion, abuse, division, and even violence" (p. 56). That some people are going to Hell.
2. What does C.S. Lewis mean in saying that "For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men." ( p. 57)? How does this differ from the wisdom of earlier ages? The wisdom of earlier ages came from the unknown. Science has revealed much of that unknown and now the task becomes changing the standards to what we want. There is no control in changing the standards on what Hell is and who is going there.
3. "Modernity reversed this." (p. 57). Reversed what? Conformity
4. What is it about the fact that the the "spirit of modernity" has spilled over into the metaphysical realm that has caused the "very idea of a divine Judgment Day" to seem "impossible" (p. 58)? There is no firm standard to measure against. Hell is and unknown realm. We therefore change it to be what we want it to be.
5. To the objection that "a God of Judgment can't be a God of love" our author quotes Becky Rippert (Hope Has Its Reasons): "Anger isn't the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference" (p. 59). What's the point? That God does not judge us out of hate he judges us out of love.
6. He also quotes Miroslav Volf (a Croation who has personally witnessed violence) who speaks of "pleasant captivities of the liberal mind" -- one being that human non-violence results from belief in God's refusal to judge. Volf says instead that "the practice of non-violence REQUIRES (emphasis by CM) a belief in divine vengeance. (p. 60). What does he mean? (Hint: "Only if I am sure that there's a God who will right all wrongs and settle all accounts perfectly do I have the power to refrain -- p. 60).
7. "Hell is simply one's freely chosen identity apart from God on a TRAJECTORY (emphasis by CM) into infinity" (p. 63). How does that sentence answer the objection that a loving God would not allow Hell? (Hint: "All God does in the end .... is give people what they most want, including freedom from himself. What could be more fair than that?" -- p. 64).
If I chose to live a life apart from God it is not God who has chosen, it is me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Week of Sep 21-Sep 27

Sunday, September 21, 2008
Luke 9:10-17
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Psalms 93,96,34
Job 33

Monday, September 22, 2008
Luke 9:18-27
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Psalms 80,77,79
Job 34

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Luke 9:28-36
2 Corinthians 12:1-21
Psalms 78:1-39,78:40-72
Job 35

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Luke 9:37-50
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalms 119:97-120,81,82
Job 36

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Luke 9"51-62
Titus 1:1-16
Psalms 83,85,86
Job 37

Friday, September 26, 2008
Luke 10_1-16
Titus 2:1-15
Psalms 88,91,92
Job 38

Saturday, September 27, 2008
Luke 10:17-24
Titus 3:1-15
Psalms 87,90,136

Thursday, September 11, 2008

WEEK SEP. 14-20

Sunday, 9/14:
Luke 23:33-49
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalms 66 & 118
Job 26

Monday, 9/15:
Luke 7:36-50
2 Corinthians 6:11-18
Psalms 56,57,58,64, 65
Job 27

Tuesday, 9/16: Luke 8:1-15
2 Corinthians 7:1-12
Psalms 61,62,68
Job 28

Wednesday, 9/17:
Luke 8:16-25
2 Corinthians 7:13-8:7
Psalms 72,119:73-96
Job 29

Thursday, 9/18: Luke 8:26-40
2 Corinthians 8:8-24
Psalms 70,71,74
Job 30

Friday, 9/19: Luke 8:41-56
2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Psalms 69,73
Job 31

Saturday, 9/20: Luke 9:1-9
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
Psalms 69, 73,23,27
Job 32

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Book Club Notes from Day one

Disclaimer: These notes are representative of a group of about 8 people who gathered on Monday night to discuss the introduction and first chapter of the book.
The future belongs to the younger generation. Questions are being posed on how the gap can be bridged. What has led to the decline of the church in general? Do we need to preserve the church of 50 years ago? Charlie says no. We need to preserve the church of 2,000 years ago. Communication between all groups is essential. Is it possible?

#1 Skeptics and faithful
Non Christians and Christians
Liberals and conservatives
Progressives and sticks in the mud.
Who is right? They are all right. The world is becoming more secular and yet, it is becoming more religious.
#2 The religious people are getting more conservative. As Christians our fight should not be against each other. Our fight should be against those who do not believe. There is great passion by people to promote religion. There is also great passion with the people who have great opposition to religion. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchins, Richard Dawkins and others are popular atheist authors. Both groups think that the other is growing. The question that was posed: Can a secularists who doesn't believe in God be evangelistic? The answer is yes. Passion and growth = polarization.
#3 The third group is people who practice what they preach.
#4 Commonality is a must in order for there to be a discussion. Unless there is some common ground there will only be denunciation of the opposing camp.
#5 Your doubts end up strengthening your faith. It was suggested in the discussion that fundamentalism kicks out those who question.
#7 It is only safe to engage in an argument when you have listened and worn the other persons shoes.
#8 The answer is yes. With that said there are popular people out there like Bono and Rick Warren who are trying to unite the camps.
#9 Because I am right and you are wrong. No peace.
#10 The slippery slope occurs when "the truth" that we are raised with makes us(in our minds) superior to others. We all think that we are superior.
#11 The tragic irony is that whenever government has tried to control religion the result has been violence. Examples given were Russia, China, and Germany.
#12 The secularization thesis thinks that we once needed God. However, now that we are technologically and scientifically advanced we no longer need religion.
#13 The inconsistency is that you have to take a leap of faith. Belief in God and Jesus is a religion. If you don't believe in God you will believe in something else.

Surroundings condition people to believe things. Most religions are based on the idea that the better I am the closer I am to God. We believe in a gentle Christianity. Grace.

Week Two BookClub Notes -- Pages 18 - 40


1. "Rob" is quoted (p. 18) as saying, "I won't believe in a God who allows suffering ......." Another person, a reporter, said after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 250,000+ people, "If God is God, he is not good. If God is good, he's not God. You can't have it both ways ......." (See the Epicurus quote under #1 on page 202). How would you respond to those assertions?

2. What is the "major flaw" (p. 19) in the reasoning which says that the very existence in a violent, evil world of a good and omnipotent God is a logical inconsistency? ("Some other god or no god may exist, but not the traditional God." -- p. 19) The flaw in this reasoning can be expressed in the "hidden premise" mentioned on p. 19.

3. Although it is decidedly a mixed message, what does experience (and logic)-- illustrated by the life of Joseph -- tell us about the good that exists in evil?

4. What is Keller's point on p. 20 -- "Indeed, you can have it both ways."?

5. It can be argued that if evil and suffering are evidence of anything at all, they are evidence for -- not against -- the existence of God. "Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple" (C.S. Lewis). "It (the problem of evil and suffering in the world) is at least as big a problem for nonbelief as for belief"). How so? (Hint -- "A secular way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort" -- p. 22).

6. "Why was Jesus so much more overwhelmed by his death than others have been, even more than his own followers?" (p. 23. In what sense was Jesus's death "qualitatively different" (p. 24) from any other death?

7. Chapter 2 closes with this statement: "This is the ultimate defeat of evil and suffering. It will not only be ended but so radically vanquished that what has happened will only serve to make our future life and joy infinitely greater." What does that mean?


1. In what sense does Christianity seem to many to be "an enemy of social cohesion"? (p. 29)

2. ".......many say that all truth-claims are power plays" (p. 30). What does that mean?

3. Our author argues that "the objection that all truth is a power play falls prey to the same problem as the objection that all truth is culturally conditioned" (p. 30). What is that problem? (Hint: "To see through everything is not to see." p. 30).

4. An oft-stated objection to Christianity is that it is too exclusive, causing it to be "socially divisive" (p. 31). Keller counters that "a totally inclusive community is ........ an illusion" (p. 31). What is the basis of his argument? (Hint: "Neither community is being 'narrow' -- they are just being communities" -- p. 32).

5. How does the author establish his position that, contrary to the popular belief that Christianity "forces people from diverse cultures into a single iron mold" (p. 32), it in truth has been "more adaptive" to (and less destructive of) diverse cultures than many other ........ worldviews (p. 32)? (The text asks the same question: "Why has Christianity, more than any other major religion of the world, been able to infiltrate so many radically different cultures?" -- p. 35).

6. "Christianity is supposedly a limit to personal growth and potential because it constrains our freedom to choose our own beliefs and practices" (p. 36). Keller argues that "In fact, in many cases, confinement and constraint is actually a means to liberation" (p. 36). On what does he base his argument? What is his conclusion regarding what constraints on freedom are necessary for us to be truly free to grow (intellectually, vocationally, physically -- and spiritually and morally)?

7. Note the seeming contradiction in the following statement: "To experience the joy and freedom of love, you must give up your personal autonomy" (p. 38).

8. How do you find freedom by giving up freedom (p. 40)?


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Week Sep 7-Sep 13

Sunday, September 07, 2008
Luke 6, 1-11
2 Corinthians 1:15-24
Psalms 63,98,103
Job 19

Monday, September 08, 2008
Luke 6:12-19
2 Corinthians 2:1-17
Psalms 41,52,44
Job 20

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Luke 6:20-36
2 Corinthians 3:1-11
psalms 45,47,48
Job 21

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Luke 6:37-49
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6
Psalms 119:49-72, 49,53
Job 22

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Luke 7:1-10
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Psalms 50,66,59,60
Job 23

Friday, September 12, 2008
Luke 7:11-17
2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Psalms 40,54,51
Job 24

Saturday, September 13, 2008
Luke 7:18-35
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Psalms 55,138,139
Job 25

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Impact University Book Club: Week 1 Study Notes

Pages ix -- 17

1. Timothy Keller begins his book by making the odd assertion that "The Enemies Are Both Right." Who are the enemies he references? What does he mean in saying they are both right?
2. He goes further on p. x, sayng that the world is "getting both more religious and less religious at the same time." This is causing the world to "polarize." Why?
3. As a young man Tim Keller wrestled with the inconsistencies on both sides of the debate between "progressives" who seemed passionate about social justice issues while being moral relativists and "conservatives" who while passionate about personal morality "didn't seem to care about the oppression going on all over the world" (p. xi). ("Christianity began to seem unreal to me"). This led him to "desperately" seek a "third camp" (a "band of brothers"). What is this "third camp"? Is it something you have also sought? Have you found it?
4. The polarization deepens because the two sides don't know how to debate with each other. They (we) are only good at denouncing each other. With that in mind, what is the meaning of the following statement? -- "Arguments depend on having commonly held reference points that both sides can hold each other to" (p. xiv).
5. What does Keller mean in saying that we should "listen patiently" to our own doubts and only discard them after long reflection." (p. xv)?
6. How do you interpret the following statements? A. "All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs."
B. "Every doubt, therefore, is based on a leap of faith." (p. xv).
7. When (and only when) is it "safe and fair to disagree" with an opponent in an argument (p. xvi)?
8. Do you think the following statement properly assesses a movement occuring in our cities? -- "The new, fast-spreading multiethnic orthodox Christianity in the cities is much more concerned about the poor and social justice than Repulbicans have been, and at the same time much more concerned about upholding classic Christian moral and sexual ethics than Democrats have been" (p. xvii).
9. Keller quotes a student who said of the "exclusivity" of the different religions (especially Christianity), "We will never come to know peace on earth if religious leaders keep on making such exclusive claims." (p. 4) This likely means that we will never know world peace. Why?
10. Keller freely admits that religion, generally speaking, tends to create a "slippery slope" which contributes to the tensions in the world. (p. 4 and p. 15). What slippery slope?
11. What is the "tragic irony" mentioned on p. 5?
12. What is the "largely discredited" "secularization thesis" mentioned on p. 5?
13. Keller says that the arguments used to discredit religion (today's atheists would say "reasonably") cannot ultimately succeed,..... because at (their) heart is a fatal inconsistency, even perhaps a hypocrisy" (p. 6). What is the inconsistency, the hypocrisy?
14. What is the irony of the argument that all major religions are equally valid and that divisive doctrines don't matter (p. 7)?
15. What is meant by the phrase, "the social conditionedness of all belief" (p. 8)? Why does the phrase itself discredit those who use it to say that religious beliefs are never independently held?
16. Why does Keller believe "Christianity can save the world?" (p. 15), that Christian faith should not have the effect of causing its adherents to "feel superior to those who don't believe and behave as they do" (p. 16)?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week of Aug 31-Sep 6

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Mark 16:9-20
Acts 27:1-12
Psalms 148,149,150,114,115
Job 12

Monday, September 01, 2008
Luke 1:1-4
Acts 27:13-29
Psalms 25,9,15
Job 13

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Lukw 4:33-44
Acts 27:30-44
Psalms 26,28,36,39
Job 14

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Luke 5:1-11
Acts 28:1-14
Psalms 38,119:25-48
Job 15

Thursday, September 04, 2008
Luke 5:12-16
Acts 28:15-31
Psalms 37:1-18,37:19-42
Job 16

Friday, September 05, 2008
Luke 5:17-26
Philemon 1-25
Psalms 31,35
Job 17

Saturday, September 06, 2008
Luke 5:27-39
2 Corinthians 1:1-14
Psalms 30,32,42,43
Job 18

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Week of Aug 24-Aug 30

Sunday, August 24, 2008
Mark 14:53-65
Job 6:14-30
Psalms 146,147,111,112,113
2 Kings 23

Monday, August 25, 2008
Mark 14:66-72
Job 7:1-10
Psalms 1,2,3,4,7
2 Kings 24

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Mark 15:1-14
Job 7:11-21
Psalms 5,6,10,11
2 Kings 25

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Mark 15:15-25
Acts 25:13-22
Psalms 119:1-24,12,13,14
Job 8

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Mark 15:26-41
Acts 25:23-26:11
Psalms 18:1-20, 18:21-50
Job 9

Friday, August 29, 2008
Mark 15:42-47
Acts 26:12-23
Psalms 16,17,22
Job 10

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Mark 16:1-8
Acts 26:24-32
Psalms 20,21,110,116,117
Job 11

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Week of August 17-23

Sunday, August 17, 2008
Mark 13:14-27
Job 1:13-22
Psalms 118, 145
2 Kings 16

Monday, August 18, 2008
Mark 13:28-37
Job 2:1-13
Psalms 106:1-18,106:19-48
2 Kings 17

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Mark 14:1-11
Job 3:1-26
Psalms 120,121,122,123,124,125,126,127
2 Kings 18

Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Mark 14:22-31
Job 4:1-21
Psalms 119:145-176,128,129,130
2 Kings 19

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Mark 14:22-31
Job 5:1-16
Psalms 131,132,133,134,135
2 Kings 20

Friday, August 22, 2008
Mark 14:32-42
Job 5:17-27
Psalms 140,142,141,143
2 Kings 21

Saturday, August 23, 2008
Mark 14:43-52
Job 6:1-13
Psalms 137,144,104
2 Kings 22

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Week of Aug 10-Aug 16

Apologize for late posting

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Mark 12:18-27
2 Peter 3:10-18
Psalms 66,67,19,46
2 Kings 9

Monday, August 11, 2008
Mark 12:28-34
Acts 24:1-9
Psalms 89:1-18,89:19-52
2 Kings 10

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Mark 12:35-37
Acts 24:10-21
Psalms 97,99,100,94,95
2 Kings 11

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Mark 12:38-40
Acts 24:22-27
Psalms 101,109,119:121-144
2 Kings 12

Thursday, August 14, 2008
Mark 12:41-44
Acts 25:1-12
Psalms 105:1-22, 105:23-45
2 Kings 13

Friday, August 15, 2008
John 2:1-12
John 19:25-37
Psalms 113,115,45
2 Kings 14

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Mark 13:1-13
Job 1:1-12
Psalms 107,108,33
2 Kings 15

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Week of August 3 - August 9

Sunday, August 03, 2008
Mark 9:2-23
Malachi 4:1-6
Psalms 93, 96, 34
2 Kings 2

Monday, August 04, 2008
Matthew 17:1-13
2 Corinthians, 3:7-4:6
Pslams 80,77,79
2 Kings 3

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Mark 11:27-33
2 peter 1:1-11
Pslams 78:1-29, 78:40-72
2 Kings 4

Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Luke 9:27-36
2 Peter 1:12-21
Psalms 2,24,72
2 Kings 5

Thursday, August 07, 2008
John 1:11-18
2 peter 2:1-11
Psalms 83, 119:97-20, 81,85,86
2 Kings 6

Friday, August 08, 2008
Mark 12:1-112
2 Peter 2:12-22
Psalms 88,82,91,92
2 Kings 7

Saturday, August 09, 2008
Mark 12:13-17
2 Peter 3:1-9
Psalms 87,90, 136
2 Kings 8

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week of July 27- August 2

Sunday, July 27, 2008
Mark 10:1-12
Acts 21:26-39
Psalms 24,29, 8,84
1 Kings 17

Monday, July 28, 2008
Mark 10:13-22
Acts 21:40-22:16
Psalms 56,57,58,64,65
1 Kings 18

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Mark 10:23-31
Acts 22:17-29
Psalms 61,62,68
1 Kings 19

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Mark 10:32-45
Acts 22:30-23:10
Psalms 72,119:73-96
1 Kings 20

Thursday, July 31, 2008
Mark 10:46-52
Acts 23:11-22
Psalms 70,71,74
1 Kings 21

Friday, August 01, 2008
Mark 11:1-11
Acts 23:23-35
Psalms 69,73
1 Kings 22

Saturday, August 02, 2008
Mark 11:12-26
Obadiah 1-21
Psalms 75, 76,23,27
2 Kings 1

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week of July 20-26

Sunday, July 20, 2008
Matthew 12:38-42
Acts 19:21-29
Psalms 63, 98, 103
1 Kings 10

Monday, July 21, 2008
Mark 8: 22-30
Acts 19:30-41
Psalms 41,52,44
1 Kings 11

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
John 20:11-18
Solomon 2:15-3:11
Psalms 116,30,149
1 Kings 12

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Mark 8:31-9:1
Acts 20,1-16
Psalms 199:49-72, 49, 53
1 Kings 13

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Mark 9:14-29
Acts 20:17-38
Psalms 50, 59, 60
1 Kings 14

Friday, July 25, 2008
Mark 9:30-37
Acts 21:1-14
Psalms 40, 54, 51
1 Kings 15

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Mark 9: 38-50
Acts 21:15-25
Psalms 55, 138, 139
1 Kings 16

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Week of July 13-19

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Mark 6:45-56
Acts 17: 10-21
Psalms 148, 149, 150, 114, 115
1 Kings 3

Monday, July 14, 2008
Mark 7:1-16
Acts 17:22-34
Psalms 25, 9, 15
1 Kings 4

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Mark 7:17-23
Acts 18:1-11
Psalms 26,28,36,39
1 Kings 5

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Mark 7:24-30
Acts 18:12-23
Psalms 38, 119:25-48
1 Kings 6

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Mark 7:31-37
Acts 18:24-28
Psalms 37:1-18, 37:19-42
1 Kings 7

Friday, July 18, 2008
Mark 8:1-10
Acts 19:1-10
Psalms 31,35
1 Kings 8

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Mark 8:11-21
Acts 19:11-20
Psalms 30,32,42,43
1 Kings 9

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hope everyone is having a great week :)

- Irina

JULY 6 - JULY 12

Sunday, July 06, 2008
Mark 5:1-20
Actis 15:1-12
Psalms 146, 147, 111, 112, 113
2 Samuel 20

Monday, July 07, 2008
Mark 5:21-43
Actis 15:13-21
Psalms 1,2,3,4,7
2 Samuel 21

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Mark 6:1-6a
Actis 15:22-35
Psalms, 5,6,10,11
2 Samuel 22

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Mark 6:6b-13
Acts 16 1-15
Psalms 119:1-24, 12,13,14
2 Samuel 23

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Mark 6:14-29
Acts 16:16-24
Psalms 18:1-20, 18:21-50
2 Samuel 24

Friday, July 11, 2008
Mark 6:30-44
Acts 16:25-40
Psalms 16,17,22
1 Kings 1

Saturday, July 12, 2008
John 19:25-27
Acts 17:1-9
Psalms 20,21,110,116,117
1 Kings 2

Sunday, June 22, 2008

JUNE 29 - July 5, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008 - Matthew 16:13-19
Galatians 2:1-9
Psalms 66, 97, 138
2 Samuel 13
Monday, June 30, 2008 - Mark 4:10-20
Acts 13:42-52
Psalms 106:1-18, 106:19-48
2 Samuel 14
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 - Matthew 21:1-11
Zecharaiah 9:1-10
Psalms 120,122,123,124,125,126,127
2 Samuel 15
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 - Mark 4:21-25
Acts 14:1-7
Psalms 119:145-176, 128,129,130
2 Samuel 16
Thursday, July 03, 2008 - Matthew 27:3-10
Acts 14:8-18
Psalm 131,132,133,134,135
2 Samuel 17
Friday, July 04, 2008 - Mark 4:26-34
Micah 4:1-5
Psalm 33, 107:1-32
2 Samuel 18
Saturday, July 05, 2008 - Mark 4:35-41
Acts 14:19-28
Psalms 137,144,104
2 Samuel 19
JUNE 22 - 28, 2008
O God, who hast made all those that are born again in Christ to be a royal and priestly people, grant us both the will and the power to observe Thy com¬mandments, that we who are called to eternal life may share a common faith in our hearts, and a common discipline in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

JUNE 22 The Ark Comes to Jerusalem (See p. 26)
Mark 3:7-12
Acts 11:27—12:4
Psalms 66,67t19,46
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 6
The Covenant with David
Mark 3:13-19
Acts 12:5-19
Psalms 89:1-18 f 89:19-52
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 7
JUNE 24 Birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:1-25
Malachi 3:1-3; 4:1-6
Psalms 82,98 t 80
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel
JUNE 25 David & Mephibosheth
Luke 1:57-80
Acts 12:20—13:3
Psalms 101,109 1119:121-144
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 9
JUNE 26 Ammonites &f Syrians
Mark 3:20-30
Acts 13:4-12
Psalms 105:1-22 1105:23-45
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 10
JUNE 27 Two Men, One Woman
Mark 3:31-35
Acts 13:13-31
Psalms 102 f 107:1-32
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 11
JUNE 28 David & Nathan
Mark 4:1-9
Acts 13:32-41
Psalms 107:33-43,108 f 33
Daily Chapter: 2 Samuel 12

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Daily Bible Readings ........ June 22-24

We're pleased to announce that Irina Prestwood will be posting the reading assignments beginning this week.

Until that transition over the next few days CM or Paula G. will insure that the assignments are current.

Sunday, June 22 - Mark 3:7-12, Acts 11:27-12:4, Psa.66,67,19,46, II Sam. 6
Monday, June 23 - Mark 3:13-19, Acts 12:5-19, Psa. 89, II Sam. 7
Tuesday, June 24 - Luke 1:1-25, Malachi 3:1-3, 4:1-6, Psa. 82,98,80, II Sam. 7

Happy reading to you all.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daily readings for the week of June 15th-21

Sunday: Mark 1:29-39
Acts 9:10-25, Psalms 93,96,34
I Samuel 30
Monday: Mark 1:40-45
Acts 9:26-43
Psalms 80,77,79
I Samuel 31
Tuesday: mark 2:2-12
Acts 10:1-16
Psalms 78:1-39, and 78:40-72
II Samuel
Wednesday: Mark 2:13-17
Acts 10:17-33
Psalms 119:97-120,81,82
II Samuel 2
Thursday: Mark 2: 18-22
Acts 17:34-48
Psalms 83,85,86
II Samuel 3
Friday: Mark 2:23-28
Acts 11:1-18
Psalms 88,91,92
II Samuel 4
Saturday: Mark 3:1-6
Acts 11:19-26
Psalms 87,90,136
II Samuel 5

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen --

Please forgive us. We've let you down by each editor assuming the daily readings were posted by the others when, in fact, they were not. So here they are:

Wed., June 4 -- Matt. 24:15-28, Ac. 5:33-42, Psa. 119:49-72, Psa. 49, 53, I Sam. 19
Thur., June 5 - Matt. 24:29-35,Ac.6:1-15, Psa. 50,59,69, I Sam. 20
Fri., June 6 -- Matt. 24:36-44,Ac.7:1-16, Psa. 40,54,51, I Sam. 21
Sat., June 7 -- Matt. 24:45-51, Ac. 7:17-36, Psa. 52,55,138,139, I Sam. 22

Sun., June 8 -- Matt. 25:1-13, Ac.7:37-50, Psa. 24,29,8,84, I Sam. 23
Mon., June 9 -- Matt. 25:14-30, Ac.7:51-8:3, Psa.56,57,58,64,65, I Sam. 24
Tue., June 10 - Matt. 25:31-46, Ac.8:4-13, Psa. 61,62,68, ISam. 25
Wed., June 11 - Luke 10:1-20, Ac. 4:32-37,9:26-31,15:36-41, Psa. 15,67,19,146, I Sam. 26
Thurs. June 12 - Mark 1:1-13, Ac. 8:14-25,Psa. 70,71,74, I Sam. 27
Fri., June 13 -- Mark 1:14-20, Ac. 8:26-40, Psa. 69,73, I Sam. 28
Sat., June 14 -- Mark 1:21-28, Ac.9:1-9, Psa. 75,76,23,27, I Sam. 29

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Daily readings

MAY 18 Matthew 28:16-20
Trinity 1 Samuel 4:1-22
Sunday Psalms 146,147 1111,112,113
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 40
MAY 19 John 19:1-16
Sanctuary 1 Samuel 5:1-12
Measured Psalms 1,2,3 t 4,7
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 41
MAY 20 John 19:17-31
Priestly 1 Samuel 6:1-21
Chambers Psalms 5,6 f 10,11
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 42
MAY 21 John 19:32-42
The Bones 1 Samuel 7:1-17
& the Spirit Psalms 119:1-24 f 12,13,14
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 43
MAY 22 John 20:1-10
An Empty 1 Samuel 8:1-22
Tomb Psalms 18:1-20 118:21-50
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 44
MAY 23 Matthew 21:lb-ll
Continuation 1 Samuel 9:1-13
of Matthew Psalms 16,17 t 22
(See p. 45) Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 45
MAY 24 Matthew 21:12-22
Temple &f 1 Samuel 9:14-27
Fig Tree Psalms 20,21 1110,116,117
Daily Chapter: Ezekiel 46

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Daily readings for the week of May 11-17

Sunday: John 16:1-15, Acts 2:2-21, Psalms 118 and 145, Ezekiel 33
Mon: John 16:16-33, Acts 2:22-47, Psalms 106:1-18 and 106:19-48, and Ezekiel 34
Tues: John 17:1-13, I Samuel 1:1-18, Psalms 120,121,122,123,124,125,126, and 127, Ezekiel 35
Wed: John 17:14-26, I Samuel 1:19-28, Psalms 119:145-176,128,129,130, and Ezekiel 36
Thur: John 18:1-14, 1 Samuel 2:1-17, Psalms 131,132,133,134,135, and Ezekiel 37
Friday: John 18:15-27, 1 Samuel 2:18-36, Psalms 140,142,141,143,and Ezekiel 38
Saturday: John 18:28-40, 1 Samuel3:1-21, Psalms 137,144,104, and Ezekiel 39

Have a blessed week everyone. Please forward the link to this blog to any and everyone. It is a great way to discuss with people around the world how the Bible speaks to us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bible Readings for May 11 -- 17, 2008

Sunday, May 11 -- John 16:1-15, Acts 2:1-21, Psa. 118, 145, Ezekiel 33
Monday, May 12 -- John 16:15-33, Acts 2:22-47, Psa. 106, Ezekiel 34
Tuesday, May 13 -- John 17:1-13, I Sam. 1:1-18, Psa. 120-127, Ezekiel 35
Wed., May 14 --Jn. 17:14-26,I Sam. 1:19-28,Psa. 119:145-176,128-130, Ezek. 36
Thursday, May 15 -- John 18:1-14, I Sam. 2:1-17, Psa. 131-135, Ezekiel 37
Friday, May 16 -- John 18:15-27, I Sam. 2:18-36, Psa. 140-143, Ezekiel 38
Saturday, May 17 -- John 18:28-40, I Sam. 3:1-21, Psa, 137, 144, 104, Ezekiel 39

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daily Bible Readings April 27 thru May 3, 2008

Sunday, April 27 = John 9:24-41, I Pt. 4:12-19, Psa. 93, 96, 34, Ezekiel 19
Monday, April 28 = John 10:1-10, I Pt. 5:1-14, Psa. 80, 77, 79, Ezekiel 20
Tuesday, April 29 = John 10:11-21, Eph. 1:1-14, Psa 78:1-39, 78:40-72, Ezekiel 21
Wednesday, April 30 = John 10:22-42, Eph. 1:15-23, Psa. 119:97 - 120, 68, Ezekiel 22
Thursday, May 1 = Luke 24:36-53, Acts 1:1-14, Psa. 8, 47, 24, 96, Ezekiel 23
Friday, May 2 = John 11:45-57, Eph. 2:1-10, Psa. 85, 86, 91, 92, Ezekiel 24
Saturday, May 3 = John 12:1-11, Eph. 2:11-22, Psa. 87, 90, 136, Ezekiel 25

Friday, April 11, 2008

The fellowship of St. James

Daily Bible Readings

You are invited to join the Impact University Book Club in daily Bible readings. The schedule being followed will take you through the New Testament annually and the Old Testament every two years.

The following are the assigned readings for April 13 through April 20:

Sunday, April 13: John 6:28-40, I Cor. 13:1-13, Psalms 63, 98 & 103, Ezekiel 5
Monday, April 14: John 6:41-51, I Cor. 14:1-9, Psalms 41, 52 & 44, Ezekiel 6
Tuesday, April 15: John 6:52-71, I Cor. 14:10-19, Psalms 45, 47 & 48, Ezekiel 7
Wednesday, April 16: John 7:1-10, I Cor. 14:20-33, Psalms 119:49-72, 49 & 53, Ezekiel 8
Thursday, April 17: John 7:10-24, I Cor. 14:34-40, Psalms 50, 59 $ 60, Ezekiel 9
Friday, April 18: John 7:25-39, I Cor. 16:1-12, Psalms 40, 54 & 51, Ezekiel 10
Saturday, April 19: John 7:40-53, I Cor. 16:13-24, Psalms 55, 138 & 139, Ezekiel 11
Sunday, April 20: John 8:1-12, I Pet. 1:1-12, Psalms 24, 29, 8 & 84, Ezekiel 12

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Study Notes for March 10 meeting of Impact University Book Club
Pages 207 - 244

1. "Jesus saw money as something to guard against, not desire." (p. 210). What does this mean practically? Is there an appropriately "moderate" way to apply its truth. What in your mind would constitute an extreme application of it?

2. "God loves a cheerful (hilarious) giver." That's an odd phrase. What's the relationship between giving and hilarity? (p. 210).

3. What does Yancey mean in saying that money needs to be "profaned." (p. 211). For whom is that true?

4. Money provides a battleground for the two worlds -- the visible and the invisible one. Regarding it, with what does the poor man contend? The rich man?
(p. 212).

5. What is Yancey implying in saying of the Apostle Paul that "he carried money lightly."? (p. 212). How is "holy indifference" to material things lived out in a Christian's life? (p. 212).

6. The Apostle Paul in many ways had what we'd call a very difficult life. What enabled him to speak of his many personal calamities as "light and momentary ....."? (p. 216).

7. Explain this sentence from p. 218: "Death was not the end-mark for Jesus, but the change-mark."

8. What does the following phrase mean? "Aging unprepares us for life in this visible world" (p. 219). What is a "good death" to a Christian? (p. 219).

9. What does "the church tamed death" mean? (p. 220).

10. How is the term "smoltification" applied to Christians? (p. 225).

11. It could be argued that a Christian who is so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly good "despises the Father's work" (p. 226). How so?

12. According to William James, a skeptic, Christians (at least some of them) serve as "torchbearers." (p. 237 -238). What does he mean?

13. A great thing, learned best by personal experience, is that sacrifice based on Christian faith turns into something else. What? (p. 239). And for whom?

14. What is the reverse corresponding truth to the assertion that "saints live in such a way that their lives would not make sense if God did not exist."? (p. 243).

15. Explain the following: "Pascal saw faith as a cosmic wager." (p. 243).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Study Notes for March 3rd Impact University Book Club meeting
Rumors of Another World -- pages 161 -1 206

1. " ..... all religions share a sense of living in a disoriented world ....." (Henry Adams -- p. 163). They also share a common (though it is expressed in many different ways) cure. What? (Do you think this is an adequate definition of what religion is and does)?

2. Yancey asserts that many Swedes have "turned away from church" and yet theirs continues to be "an admirable society." (p. 165) What, according to our author, explains this?

3. What does he see as a difference between Sweden which he admires and Soviet Russia which cannot be admired? (p. 165).

4. Yancey doesn't feel a need for God to supernaturally interrupt our world to prove his existence and that of the invisible world. "..... in part because I find the materialistic explanations of life inadequate to explain reality." (p. 171). What does he mean?

5. What was the "miracle on the River Kwai"?

6. What are "the settlements in advance" mentioned on p. 177? And in advance of what?

7. "Any remedy (to a world of corruption, commercialized sex and deteriorating values) must start with one person taking an immovable stand." (p. 181). What does this imply about the demand of the Gospel?

8. Yancey describes himself as having been "a child of the modern age." As such he had not believed in an invisible world ruled by spirits. This was the result of his "reductionist instincts." Now, however, he has changed and has no problem believing in the spirit world. He believes "much more is happening on this planet than is visible to the human eye." (p. 184). What caused the change? (p. 183).

9. Yancey wonders if we wouldn't realize a startling truth if Jesus stood beside us saying at times "I saw Satan fall." What truth? (See the statement on p. 190 which begins, "The ultimate destiny .......").
10. The story of "The Elephant Man" poses radically different questions to believers and nonbelievers. What questions? (pp. 195 - 197).

11. According to Charles Spurgeon when is the Church glorious? (p. 198).

12. What does the author mean in saying, "The key ..... is to think of myself as an amphibian ....."? (p. 200).

13. John Chrysostom (from the 3rd Century) asked with anguish of the unbelievers of his day, "How then can they believe?" What caused his anguished question?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Notes for February 25 meeting
Pages 127 - 157

1. "For a time I resisted thinking of God as an authority figure ......." (p. 128) We all tend to do the same, cherishing the freedom that enables us to choose to sin (do that of which God disapproves), ..... much as we resist other authority figures. But sometimes we gladly submit to authority. What changes resistance into happy compliance (with authority)? Why do we willingly submit to doctors, computer technicians, etc. (in many cases after stubbornly resisting them previously)?

2. "Taken together, the Ten commandments weave life on this planet into some kind of meaningful whole, the purpose of which is to allow us to live as a peaceful, healthy community under God" (p. 134). What does that say about how to be happy and fulfilled? What does it say about the frenetic, success/pleasure-driven pace at which we live?

3. "In many ways, sin is the punishment for sin" (p. 135). "...... (Jesus) "came not merely to save us from the punishment for sin but to save us from the sin itself" (p. 135). Sin we allow to grow is a form of selfish reductionism. It keeps us from "experiencing shalom" and we "end up with a sick and disconnected self" (p. 139). Do you agree? If so, restate the concept in practical terms.

4. Paraphrase Augustine's statement: "The soul lives by avoiding what it dies by desiring" (p. 139).

5. What do you think Kierkegaard meant by likening the human condition to "a person who has a three-story house and who yet insists on dwelling in the dank cellar." (p. 144)?

6. Yancey in the 2 chapters being considered tonight refers several times to the "shalom" which God desires for us. What is your understanding of the term?

7. There is a "path" (p. 144) which we must travel to get from the frightening/discouraging place where sin places us back to a healthy relationship with God. What are the four necessary experiences along the way?

8. What parallel does Yancey see between physical pain and guilt (p. 145 - 146)?

9. "Cognitive dissonance" is a "sort of euphemism for guilt...." (p. 146). How so? What does the phrase describe?

10. "Guilt deserves my gratitude" (p. 146). Why?

11. In what sense should guilt have "directional movement" (p. 147)?

12. Yancey names two "barriers to repentance" (p. 149). What are they? Why, in relation to them, do "our secrets control us" (p. 149)?

13. " ..... the object of repentance is what we turn toward, not what we turn away from" (p. 156). How does the NT story of the prodigal son illustrate that truth?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Book Club Study Notes for February 18

Rumors of Another World, pages 99 - 125

1. "Why only rumors and not proofs of another world?" (p. 99). How would you answer? Why would God allow the world to exist with such misery, only hinting that something better is possible? What "advantage" (p. 103) do human beings have over the rest of creation which Yancey seems to think may contribute to our understanding of this dilemma?

2. "God wants to set me free; evil attempts to enslave." (p. 106). Is there a sense in which God can't give us the freedom which makes us human beings without also giving us the freedom to submit to being enslaved by evil?

3. "Sinful people create sinful structures, which may then take on a life of their own." (p. 107). What does this say about government, corporations, families? What does it say about the church?

4. If greed is a "deadly sin" (p. 108 -- as it was considered by the ancients), what did it kill (destroy)?

5. What is the "liberal-optimist" view of human nature? What is its opposite?

6. Yancey was given a deep sense of sin in his childhood. He finds it "something strange" that in the modern world "fear of sin ....... has nearly disappeared." (p. 116). Why do you think it's so?

7. "What are we missing if we delete (sin) from our vocabulary?" (p. 117). How would you answer?

8. "Modern society is caught in a dilemma." (p. 117). What is it?

9. We don't like (or often use) the word "sin." In regard to our personal failings we tend to think of ourselves as victims of the actions of others (or circumstances). This is a reductionist approach to explaining our behavior. Explain the following statement from p. 121 -- "Every time addicts repeat the twelve steps, they reject a reductionist view of life." They come helplessly to a "Higher Power" to confess that something is very wrong in their lives and that they alone are responsible? Does it seem to you that organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous may sometimes state the spirit of the Gospel better than the church?

10. What is "healthy-minded faith"? What are "morbid-minded Christians"? Which does Yancey seem to think more accurately assesses uur world and our lives?

11. "Christians have a most realistic view of humanity, believing that human beings have failed, are failing, and will always fail." (p. 124). Do you agree?