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Showing posts from 2019

What If Hallmark Christmas Movies Were Actually Good?

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The Christmas movie craze is in full swing. You probably have your go-to favorites. My family loves Elf, Home Alone, the 2018 Grinch, and most recently Netflix's animated Klaus. But there is always a contingent of die hard Hallmark fans who would rather spend their holiday season rehearsing the same storyline multiple times over.

Are there good Hallmark Christmas movies? Sure. But they aren't my favorite. I mean, every Christmas movie is predictable to a point, but there's just something about Hallmark movies that take predictability to a whole new level.


Here's an example. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

A man and his wife are estranged. They aren't divorced yet, but it's obviously heading that way. The wife moved across the country to a big city to pursue her career. She has worked her way up the corporate ladder, and she and her husband find themselves taking different paths. The husband is not willing to give up, however. It's Christmas, a…

Male and Female: Full Series Download

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Over the course of the last month I have written about 20,000 words on the topic and men and women in the church, specifically focusing on what role women have played and can play in the Kingdom. I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback. I realize that there are a lot of individual posts to go back and read through. So if you would like you are welcome to view and download the entire series by clicking this link:

MALE AND FEMALE Full Document
I also have several additional resources listed at the end of the document. Here are links to most of them:
BOOKS: Scot McKnight, A Fellowship of Differents
Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet
N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture
James Jeffers, The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era
PODCASTS: Kindy DeLong, "Men and Women in Church Leadership, part 1" Kindy DeLong, "Men and Women in Church Leadership, part 2" Kindy DeLong, "Men and Women in Church Leadership, part 3"

An Open Letter to the Churches of Christ

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth 10) Eve vs. Artemis 11) Whose Church Is It, Anyway? .......
I’m bringing my part of this study to a close, but that by no means implies that the work is done. There is far more to this conversation than I have been able to cover in a simple blog series. But as this is the twelfth post on the matter, I believe this is a fitting point to end.

I’ve never written an open letter before. I don’t expect that this will get much wide circulation. This issue, though, is simply too important to let fizzle and die. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think needs to hear it. So…here it goes.

TO MY FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST,

Grace and peace to you from one of your own. I, too, am a lifelong member of the C…

Male and Female: Whose Church Is It, Anyway?

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth 10) Eve vs. Artemis .......
Full disclosure - I am Church of Christ born and bred. I went through the entire program. I was born to faithful, active parents. We were at church every time the doors were open. I went to private Church of Christ schools from 1st grade through college (Jackson Christian School, Columbia Academy, and Harding University). I have worked as a full time youth minster and worship leader in two different Churches of Christ over the past 8 1/2 years.

I can totally relate to Paul in Philippians 3 when he is listing off his resume. Oh you want to talk religious cred? How bout them apples? Paul says he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews.” Well, I guess that would make me… CoC of CoC. Paul’s point in saying all that was…

Male and Female: Eve vs. Artemis

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth .......
I think after nine parts to this series a little recap is in order. I’ll try to make it quick. If you’re one of those “SKIP RECAP” people on Netflix, feel free to scroll down a bit. But if you haven't read parts 1, 2, and 3 yet - do that now before continuing. Those posts will be referenced quite a bit.
In the beginning God created male and female in his image as equals. They were partners in bearing his image to the rest of creation. The relationship between man and woman was to reflect the divine, loving community within God’s own being. In Genesis 2, it was not good for the man to be alone, so woman was created as the man’s “helper,” a word which was nearly exclusively used for God himself. In other words, man w…

Male and Female: 99 Problems, the Church in Corinth

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? .......
Have you ever really read through 1 Corinthians? Like, just sat down and read it? Talk about ALL the drama. Their dirty laundry is on full display. If you ever think your church has issues, just read this letter to the Corinthian church.

It’s helpful to keep in mind that when you read the New Testament letters, you are essentially listening in to one side of a phone conversation. We are literally reading someone else’s mail. In many cases, we don’t really know why Paul is writing or what exact issues he is addressing. His exchanges with the Corinthians leave no doubt. We know they had written him with questions of their own, and 1 Corinthians is his response to those questions and then some.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul answers questions about leadership, marria…

Male and Female: Was Paul Sexist?

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church .......
I have heard my fair share of critics call out Paul for being sexist and misogynistic. They claim that Paul was anti-woman. They point to his instructions concerning the household codes (Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3) and his prohibition against female leadership in the church (1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2).

Aha! There it is. No egalitarian would ever urge women to submit to their husbands! And no one truly concerned with equality would then prohibit half the population from joining in the leadership of the church. Would they?

And I would say those people are exactly right.

But sexist men who view women as inherently inferior to men would say those exact things while they translate and interpret Paul. In other words, it’s not that Paul is sexist. History has shown us that…

Male and Female: Rockstar Women of the Early Church

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1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 .......
Just as you can’t help but notice all the women featured prominently in the gospels, so it is with Acts and the accounts of the early church.

Stop trying to force me to deal with Paul. We’re not there yet. We’ll get there when we get there! Haha

AS IT WAS, SO IT WILL BE
Right from the beginning, the women are fully included with the disciples. Check it out:
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14) Who are these women? We know Mary the mother of Jesus. We can safely assume that also included at least Mary Magdalene, Salome, Joanna, and perhaps Mary and Martha along with others.

Multiple women and men joined the remaining eleven apostles in constant prayer. Then Peter addresses the group and the group appoints a man to replace Judas. That’s right…