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A death to redeem us

On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...

April 17, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Yes, he rose

Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!

April 17, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


God will have his way

Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"

April 03, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


In the Shadow of the Cross

I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.

April 03, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


See sin for what it is —

Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.

March 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Understanding death

Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).

March 20, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a Thought: It begins with individuals

Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!

March 13, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: See sin for what it is

I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.

March 13, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: Callous about sin?

Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).

March 06, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Son shines proof

Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.

March 06, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: What is your life?

Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.

February 27, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


If I only had a year to live ...

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.

February 27, 2014 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Whose word can you trust?

Who do you go to for advice? Family? Friends? What if the advice they give you is not what you want to hear? What do you do then? Truth be known, most of us don't look for "advice" - we want agreement. We want someone to tell us exactly what we want to hear.

The story is told of a little monkey who desperately wanted to go swimming in a forbidden lake. He had seen the lake from a distant, and its waters looked cool and inviting in that hot-humid climate, and its setting was serene. But he had heard ...

July 31, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: God’s grace to get you to speak up!

You see a family member mistreating their spouse. You have a co-worker that's probably an alcoholic. There's a brother or sister in Christ who's spending less and less time in God's word and his house. Someone should say something, right? Of course, what they are doing is harmful to themselves, to those they love, even to their relationship with God. But do you want to be the one to have to speak up?

It's just that it's so hard, isn't it? We've all fallen down at times God has wanted us to ...

July 24, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Don’t mess with the ingredients

Psalm 19:7-11 reads, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great ...

July 17, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: E plurabus unum?

Alexis de Tocqueville, (July 29, 1805-April 16, 1859) wrote, "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America ...

July 10, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Should God bless America?

"Doing what is right makes a nation great, but sin will bring disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34, NCV).

July 03, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: The Bible judged too harshly by historians

In my recent articles we have been discussing the subject of truth - what it is and how we can know it. In this vain we have looked at philosophically accepted tests for truth and have discovered that Jesus claimed to be truth itself. Know him and you'll know truth.

Why is it then that modern men have such a difficult time with this subject? Why do we insist on making truth elusive? Why do so many seemingly intelligent people outright reject the testimony of the eye-witness reports found in the Gospels in favor of the fiction of the Gnostic ...

June 26, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Jesus did not teach truth, he is truth

In last week's article we discussed three philosophical tests for truth. Truth cannot be self-contradictory, it must fit with the known facts, and finally it must work in life.

June 19, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Three tests that can prove the truth

Last week I mentioned in my article that my job was simply to present truth - what you do with it is up to you. But, like Pontius Pilate, many respond scornfully, "What is Truth?" For Pilate that wasn't a sincere question of an inquirer looking for truth; it was the statement of a cynic who doubted that there could be any truth.

June 12, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Jesus a personal savior, not a sage human

A few weeks ago, I quoted the last of the great Princeton Theologians J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), "that there is no such thing as liberal Christianity. There is Christianity and then there is liberalism." It appears from at least one response (for which I am certainly grateful) that I should have been a little more careful in defining my terms. Unfortunately, space constraints do not always allow me to say everything I wish to say or define everything that may need defining. But this is an important point, so let me revisit the issue in this article.

June 05, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Are we falling back into superstitious dark ages?

Can you believe we are nearly half-way through another year? When I thought of that fact the lament of Jeremiah 8:20 came to my mind: "'The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,' the people cry, 'yet we are not saved!'" (NLT).

May 29, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: No such thing as a liberal Christian

In his "Breakpoint Commentary" of May 19, 2009, Chuck Colson commented that "On Sunday, President Obama delivered his controversial and much-awaited speech at Notre Dame. I found little surprising about the speech itself. Not that I agreed with it - far from it. What I mean is that the speech was what I and anyone who has followed the president's political career should have expected: he has repeatedly affirmed the position that a woman's right to an abortion takes precedence over the unborn child's right to life" (Breakpoint: May 19, 2009).

May 22, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Mother’s Day everyday

Sunday is Mother's day. It appears that a day honoring mothers dates back to ancient history. Our modern official holiday was begun by Anna Marie Jarvis. According the historical record Ms. Jarvis swore at her mother's grave-site in 1905 to dedicate her life to her mother's project, and establish a Mother's Day to honor mothers, living and dead.

May 08, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Postmodern contradictions

Philosopher and Statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is credited with saying, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results."

May 01, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Discerning the essence of Christianity

"My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world," (1 John 4:1, The Message).

April 24, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


The brother of the Prodigal Son

Before we broke for my Easter article, we had been in a series looking at Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son. We've seen the prodigal leave home in a hunt for hedonistic pleasures. We walked with him as his dreams turned to ashes. We traveled with him as he took the long journey home. We marveled at the father's reception and restoration of this wayward son. We explored various applications of this parable and God's love and acceptance of us - no matter how far away from him we may have roamed. But there is one more character ...

April 17, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


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