"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Interesting Quote

Posted in Good Quotes by matt on Sunday, October 24, 2010

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.”

Richard Halverson

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Difficult Questions for Life’s… Easy Answers?

Posted in Theological by matt on Thursday, July 17, 2008

For about a month now I’ve been attending the Evangelical Church of Bangkok (ECB). It’s a pretty cool place. People from all over the globe get together a couple times a week to worship as a body; everything from youth groups from the States, medical missionaries from Africa, various Asian ethnicities, and all sorts of denominational workers from Australia, the US, Europe, and India. I love it.

The current sermon series is titled “Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions from Ecclesiastes”, and this week the pastor talked about the question, “How do I fit into God’s plan?” I’m sure many of you will recognize his central verse:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29.11 (NIV)

Now, apart from the fact that it’s not even in Ecclesiastes and the fact that he threw out an obscene amount of coffee cup platitudes (“The safest place to be is the center of God’s will!” or “Everything you need to know about how to live your life can be found right here!” [pointing to the Bible]) I’d like to voice a few frustrations to you in the form of a question: why is this verse so popular?

Is there some evangelical unwritten-rule about women over the age of 40 having this verse on a plaque in their living room, or at least in their bathroom? All you Thomas Kinkade fans know what I’m talking about…

It’s a nice verse, and I believe God is the Great Comforter, but I don’t think people know the whole story; at least, they’re definitely not told the whole story. After allowing a junk-load of Israelites to die from foreign invasion, God handed His people over to captivity for almost 70 years. And then, in a letter written by Jeremiah to the exiles, God gives the encouraging words found in vs. 11.

I know this is one of those ‘cynical’ posts that some of you don’t enjoy, but I’ve just gotta vent a little. Hearing a message where context is completely neglected is one of my biggest pet peeves. The Bible obviously has practical application (and encouragement!) for our everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean we can get sloppy about how we interpret it. As Dad says, there has to be a tension between comfort and retribution. That tension is found throughout the Bible (the cross!) and can’t be avoided.

Ok I’m done. Promise.

Oh! I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my school and what goes on there. The word that comes to mind is ‘chaos’, but I thought I’d provide some visuals. So there are a bunch of new pictures and some goofy videos posted of ‘school life’. Hope ya like!