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Archive By Section - Religion

Parson to Person: Has the message of The Bible been preserved?

There is a popular misconception among people in general and even among some Christians. The misconception held my many today is that the Scriptures we have today are not an accurate copy of the originals but were changed by a deceptive church in the 4th Century. This idea, popularized by Dan Brown in the "DaVinci Code," might lead to breath-holding, action-packed adventure but it is not good history. The Councils which codified our modern Bible were not secret meetings of the church but open discussion of the information available, and they did not "invent" the Bible, the simply recognized the ...

April 30, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Grace Notes: The Lord is returned, part II

Last week, we looked at John 21:1-14 and marveled at what it meant for those disciples that Jesus appeared to them again after all their failures. Last week, we read in awe of how Jesus keeps coming to us in his word with his forgiveness even after all of our failures. Today, I want to explore that third appearance Jesus made to his disciples and see how all of the details of this appearance highlight just how awesome our Savior is. Let's look again at what it means that this guy in the text "is the Lord."

April 30, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Grace Notes: Why is attendance higher on Easter?

Happy Easter. Yes, we're still celebrating Easter. Let me tell you why that is so important. A couple weeks ago, we saw the angels telling those women at the tomb to "remember" what Jesus had said and "remember" what that meant. That week, my article probably used the word "remember" 20 times. Then, last week, the word was "believe" as Thomas got his doubts smashed by the absolute facts of the truth that Christ is risen.

April 23, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Parson to Person: Uncovering the Jesus Family Tomb

Over the past few weeks we have been examining the claims of the book, "The Jesus Family Tomb." The authors of this work want their readers to believe that we now have hard physical evidence that Jesus did not rise from the dead, but rather has been found interred in what they claim is the family tomb.

April 23, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Grace Notes: Believing Easter changes everything

Last week, I wrote about how one little task changes entire lives: Just Remember! The women at Jesus' empty tomb went from shock and sorrow to hope and joy because they were reminded of Jesus' promises. They remembered that they should have expected this victory. They should know it: Jesus lives. And that means your life has purpose.

April 16, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Parson to Person: The miracle of Christ's resurrection

Last week in this column I introduced the subject of the Jesus Family Tomb. According to the authors of the book by that title, this tomb, officially called the Talpiot Tomb, is the final resting place for Jesus of Nazareth. The authors claim that the odds for this tomb being the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth is 2.5 million to one in its favor. Startling odds. If it can be proven, the whole message of the New Testament is destroyed. So what are the facts?

April 16, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Parson to Person: Was Christ resurrected?

Last week, being Easter, I wrote on the resurrection. Thomas Arnold, chair of modern History at Oxford, said, "I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of the fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead" (McDowell: "The New Evidence that Demands ...

April 09, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Grace Notes: Some things to remember

What makes that picture bring tears to your eyes? What makes that song bring a smile to your face? Or, on the flipside, what makes that voice to you like fingernails on a chalkboard? One thing - memories. Memories change all your experiences; they fill your life with emotion. Now, the big thing is - what are you remembering? Because what you remember will change your life, for good or bad.

April 09, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Grace Notes: What makes this

We call this Good Friday. Think about that - "good." We call it good when we see a man die - and not just die, die brutally. "Good." On this day we contemplate the most famous six hours in the history of the world. We witness through the record in scripture the most talked about execution that has ever happened. On Good Friday, we remember the blood and the brutality of scourge and nail and thorn. And we call it "Good."

April 02, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Parson to Person: Why am I a Christian?

There are two questions I often ask people who claim to be Christians. First, I ask them why they are Christians and second I ask them what I would have to do to make them doubt the validity of their faith. Now that second question may seem strange coming from a pastor, but it is a question that we as Christians must adequately answer.

April 02, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Live your Hosanna!

March Madness! You know what I'm talking about. Our country goes crazy over this basketball tournament. If you've ever found yourself yelling your cheers at a television set watching a game, you get it. If you've ever seen the fans who are actually at those games - you understand why we call it March Madness. Can you explain the urge to wave signs, scream yourself horse and high-five complete strangers? Madness.

Well, this Sunday in the church year is what I like to think of as March Madness - God style. It's Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode ...

March 26, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Parson to Person: Proof of God: the teleological argument

I am in a series exploring the classic proofs for God. Let me clarify for you that these "proofs" are not final proof positive for God, rather they are more like clues or evidence which, when looked at, lead us to certain conclusions concerning the existence or, for some, the non-existence of God. Personally I find the clues given us by the arguments of these classic evidences compelling.

March 19, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Grace Notes: God’s grace to make big decisions

Do you like to make big decisions? There are so many factors to weigh, so many pros and cons to sift through, so many variables to consider. Wouldn't it be nice if God just made all the decisions for us?

Well, he loves us too much for that - so, after making us his own, he gives us the ability to make some decisions. Realize, this is not something to take lightly. The decisions we make have a pretty profound impact on who we become. Thankfully, God gives us some guidance.

March 19, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

Parson to Person: No man has seen God

Last week I began a series of articles on the subject of evidences for God. While "no man has seen God" (God the Father that is-John 1:18), that doesn't mean that we cannot know that there is a God. (Psalm 19; Romans 1). Indeed that verse in John 1:18 goes on to say, "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known" (John 1:18, ESV).

March 12, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Religion

Grace Notes: Why good things happen

Last week, we saw Jesus teaching us why bad things happen. If you missed that one, check online at or the full sermon at But this week, I want to look at the flipside of that - why good things happen. We got a preview of that when last week Jesus told us to repent when we saw bad things because we are really the ones that deserve them. Repentance is turning around. So now the reason for good things happening is pretty clear.

March 12, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Religion

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