Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Brand New for 2021 - The Nicene Creed


The statement of beliefs articulated in the Nicene Creed (325 A.D.) is the most widely accepted statement of Christian faith in the world. That is partly why my church family has adopted it as her "Statement of Beliefs".

To "sign on" to an ancient creed was kind of a big deal for the congregation, seeing as how one of the founding bumper-sticker-worthy rallying cries of the Restoration Movement (which is the genetic background of my church) was "No book but the Bible. No creed but Christ." So to help folks be more comfortable with the idea, Pastor Dave published an appendix listing Scripture references for each phrase in the Nicene Creed.

For the next 32 weeks, Truth is... will be dedicated to going through these Scriptures and these ideas and these foundational Truths of Christianity.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

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Truth is...no condensation of thoughts or tidy list of beliefs can do the entire breadth of Scripture justice, but maybe this will help get things into bite-sized chunks suitable for digestion and life-change.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Jesus Is the Answer: Jesus Quote #1


Since August 6, 2019, I've been periodically commenting on the top 25 quotes about Jesus, as listed at azquotes.com.

And today, in the penultimate post of 2020, we come to the "most popular" quote...from the pen of Timothy Keller:

"Jesus didn't come to tell us the answers to the questions of life, he came to be the answer."

Truth is...this Christianity thing isn't about agreeing with the right ideas or doing the right actions or believing the right philosophical line of reasoning. It's about meeting and falling in love with the most genuine person ever...who just happens to be God in the flesh.

Take me, Jesus. I'm yours.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Are You In or Out?: Jesus Quote #2

According to Groucho Marx, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

While that is no doubt true, it is far less life-changing than the outside/inside comparison drawn by Chinese evangelist, Watchman Nee:

"Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner, but in Christ, I am saved. Outside of Christ, I am empty; in Christ, I am full. Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am strong. Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ, I am more than able. Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already victorious. How meaningful are the words, 'in Christ.'"

It reminds me of an old Sunday School song I sang as a child: "One door and only one, and yet its sides are two: Inside and outside; on which side are you?"

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Truth is..."Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly."

(Jesus  -  John 10:7-10 NASB)

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Life is Messy: Jesus Quote #3

I'm writing this BEFORE the November election, but I'm pretty confident in being able to say that life as we know it is still full of uncertainty, conflict, and unresolved issues.

Am I right?

The thing is, all of that is nothing new. We are not the first generation to be dealing with first one thing and then another.

Which brings up today's Jesus quote from Louie Giglio:

"Life isn't perfect and that's the kind of world where Jesus showed up. He wasn't born in a palace on a perfect day. He was born in the middle of the night during tax season to an unwed couple in a stable or a cave in a sheep field. That was God's way of showing us that nothing is perfect. Life is chaotic. It's messy. That's what Jesus was stepping into."

Truth is...God knows what we are going through and cares enough to send the very best.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

It's Safer to Have a Baby in the Czech Republic Than the U.S.

While this particular entry is more concerned with Facts than with Truth, it certainly gives me pause.

From The Body, by Bill Bryson:

"Despite its lavish spending, the United States has one of the highest rates of both infant and maternal death among industrialized nations," according to The New York Times. The average cost of childbirth in the United States is about $30,000 for a conventional birth and $50,000 for a Cesarean, about three times the cost for either in the Netherlands. Yet American women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth than women in Europe and about three times more likely to suffer a pregnancy-related fatality than women in Britain, Germany, Japan, or the Czech Republic. Their infants are no less at risk. One of every 233 newborn babies dies in the United States, compared with just one in 450 in France and one in 909 in Japan. Even countries like Cuba (one in 345) and Lithuania (one in 385) do much better.

The causes in America include higher rates of maternal obesity, greater use of fertility treatments (which produce more failed outcomes), and increased incidence of the rather mysterious disease known as preeclampsia.

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Truth is...Paul Simon said it in his song, "A Simple Desultory Philippic": All of my wealth won't buy me health.