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Showing posts from September, 2018

Stereotypes Are So Cliche

This word stereotype is an interesting word. It comes to us from the Greek through the French and it was used to describe solid type. It literally means “solid type” and refers to the printing system of movable letters that were slid around to make the same print time after time. Eventually it became used of people as they looked at groups of people different from them. They looked on these ethnic groups, socio economic groups, or regional groups and decided, “They’re all the same. These people are all duplicates." It’s also where we get the word “cliche.” “Cliche” is an onomatopoeia from the sound of a printing press running, “cliche-cliche-cliche,” running off the same copy. The problem grows because as we talk about people, we find others who are sympathetic to our viewpoint. They might have had the same bad experience at a store or perhaps share the same prejudice about an ethnic group. This agreement builds a caricature of the real person. This caricature is much worse t

The Resurrection Makes Sense

If you look at the Apostle Paul's life from a normal angle he was a failure! He had been run out of almost every town he visited. He had been in too many jails to count (but surprisingly not for the murder he arranged). He had started a string of little churches that had perpetual problems. He had been shipwrecked. He struggled with poor health. His life was a mess...unless you look at it through the resurrection. The resurrection makes sense of Paul's life. He writes about this in his letter to the church in Corinth. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have falle

Be Patient God Isn't Finished

The church is full of hypocrites, but then again so is the world. We as people often claim to know or do things that we don't. Researchers call this the halo effect. This is why when pollsters survey people they take into account that people will report themselves as better than they truly are. Some see this as a malicious conspiracy, but I wonder if it's often just a case of wishful thinking. Our wishful thinking has a lot to do with how we perceive ourselves. Let's say that today I make an effort to be less sarcastic and keep my mouth shut every other time I want to be smart. Later when I look at this snapshot of my life I will say, "I'm less sarcastic! I'm making progress!" But, what if you're one of the people who got the "every other" time I was sarcastic. You look at that snapshot and say, "What a sarcastic jerk!" If you know I'm a Christian then you might say, "What a hypocrite! That guy claims to be a Christi

The Fence Makes Me Happy

Study after study show that children play out farther when there is a fence around the playground. The fence lets the children know where it’s safe to play and where they are allowed to have fun. When the fence is gone the children stay closer to the teacher afraid that they might wander too far. Likewise in our own lives when we play by the rules we know what the boundaries are for what is good. Morality simply fences off all that is good from all that leads to brokenness, regret, or resentment.