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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 3

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 3

    Last time we finished with the Lord’s prayer. It takes the choices that Jesus asks us to make and puts them in prayer form. It is an acknowledgement of the difficulty of the task. As I said, making the choices isn’t hard. It is the consequences of those choices that can quickly become an uphill battle. Jesus likened that journey to picking up your cross and following Him. Why?

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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 2.2

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 2.2

    2_2 The place of Mercy

    We have been going through the Sermon on the Mount, up to verse 57 of Matthew 5. He already outlined the choices I need to make because my life affects other people. But now in verse 58 Jesus gets to a set of touchy points. What about the choices that other people make that affect me? Matt 5:38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.’

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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 2

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 2

    We continue this week our walk through the Sermon on the Mount because it is Jesus’ first and most comprehensive explanation to the people of his day of the meaning of His Mission. And this is important for us because if God and His Son define believing in Jesus as the one prerequisite to be saved, to attain eternal life, then we have to understand what Jesus is asking us to believe.

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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.3

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.3

    1_3 What makes those choices right is that they are based on the Kingdom

    One of the other techniques you use a lot in teaching is repetition. You say something at the beginning and later on you reinforce it, and later on you show how it is connected and self-consistent with the next thing you teach. That way, you are not only teaching the topic, you are teaching the student how to think about that topic so he can teach himself. We are now up to Matt 5:17-18. Remember, this whole thing started with the Kingdom of Heaven, all the authority of the lesson is based on the authority of that Kingdom. So, Jesus tells them: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.2

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.2

    1_2 What did Jesus ask us to believe?

    How did He set about to explain to us His mission? Jesus taught. Have you ever taught anyone how to do something? Maybe you are a teacher by profession. But if not, if you have a skill and you try to pass it on to someone else, don’t you do it in an orderly fashion? Usually you teach something in steps. First you lay down the foundation, the essential rules, then step one; and once they get that you add step two; and maybe once they get that you go back and say this is why I gave you that rule at the beginning. And then you go to step 3 and so forth.

    Therefore, for the answer to my question, “what did Jesus ask us to believe?”, I have been going through the gospel according to Matthew, because it is the most chronological of the gospels. It seems to be the one that puts the events and sermons in the order that they happened. It that is so, then maybe it outlines the progression of Jesus’ teaching.

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  • A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.

    A reasonable Faith – A Journey through the Sermon on the Mount. Part 1.

    As I have told the guys at Jail many times, when I am preaching there, I am also preaching to myself. Getting ready for those sermons is one of the ways the Lord works in my life. These last few months in the service at Durango Jail I have been going through the Sermon on the Mount. It is not the first time. But what is different this time is that I wanted to, as much as possible, avoid any presuppositions. This go around I have been significantly influenced by rereading my favorite books by Søren Kierkegaard (from now on abbreviated SK) (Practice in Christianity and Works of Love). I want to address the question, “What would I have understood if I had been one of those people in the crowds following Jesus?” SK insisted that Christianity can only be chosen under the condition of contemporaneity. That is, as if I were there, as if I were contemporaneous with Jesus and all the events that took place.

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  • Mara of the House of Echoes

    Mara of the House of Echoes

    There is a taste of rebellion to it: to wonder about your own name. After all, you don’t choose your name, your parents do.  And the Heavenly Father guides them to that choice. It has always been so.

    Would our fathers have fought as valiantly to win the Promised Land if they had not had a constant reminder that it is the Lord that saves? That was the name of the great general, Joshua. Would David the shepherd have risen against the giant, would David the King have withstood persecution from enemies from without and within, if he had ever doubted that he was beloved of the Lord?

    The Name ordains every name; it tells the story of your life. Hasn’t it always been so?

    Then why am I “bitter”?

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  • Life: An axiom of the universe (part 3)

    Life: An axiom of the universe (part 3)

    Because the laws of mathematical probability and Information Theory force us to acknowledge that Life and its information content could not have evolved from “simpler” non-living processes, the least we can do is accept that they are axioms of the universe. H. P. Yockey’s conclusion is that all the information required to build the most complex organism on Earth was already built into DNA from the very beginning of Life. This is a proof from impossibility. That’s fine; but it would be nice to find other evidence of this pre-existing code.Read More › about Life: An axiom of the universe (part 3)

  • Life: An Axiom of the Universe (part 2)

    Life: An Axiom of the Universe (part 2)

    Last time I pointed out that to translate from an alphabet with more symbols to one with less symbols is a trivial endeavor. All you expect are few and incidental errors. But, to translate from an alphabet with less symbols to one with more symbols is an altogether different thing. You expect to get it wrong time and time again. And that problem of asymmetry is the choke point that makes it impossible to believe that the information contained in the genetic code of DNA could have arisen from more elementary, simpler coding schemes, say, for example, using RNA or proteins.

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  • Life: An Axiom of the Universe (part 1)

    Life: An Axiom of the Universe (part 1)

    In a couple of previous blogs, I talked about C. S. Lewis’ concept of the Tao of mankind: The observation that humanity as a whole, that is, across the various cultures of antiquity and continuing on to modern times, holds in common one moral compass. The definitions of right and wrong, the intrinsic value of forms of behavior, appear to be embedded in the human psyche from the beginning.

    And these ethical ideas are not trivial. For instance, they include the recognition that competing values arise as we cross from the individual to the family to the society and from there to the “others” outside our “tribe.”
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