The Navigator: 4.1.2021

Per April Fool’s Day…

Every April Fool’s Day my mind is drawn to the scripture above.  My years of ministry, grad studies in Christian Apologetics, and my own effort to prove there is no God has all led to one conviction:  the evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming.  In short, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

Then, per Easter Sunday…

THIS SUNDAY, RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

  • Three morning worship services: 8:00; 9:15; 10:45
  • All Sunday School classes meet at regular times.
  • Please, if possible, consider attending one of the two earlier services.  Families like the one in which I grew up, who attend once a year, tend to attend the later service.  We want to make sure there’s plenty of room for everyone.

 

WHAT DO AMERICANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE ABOUT THE RESURRECTION?

Well, the answer is both good and not so good.  Interviewed in this article is Rebecca McLaughlin, an outstanding scholar and apologist for the Christian faith. She grew up in the UK and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Cambridge and a theology degree from Oak Hill College in London. Her book, ‘Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion,’ is one of the best contemporary resources I’ve read on this topic.  This LifeWay resource article quotes her throughout. Read the article here.

 

I’M SITTING IN & LEARNING WITH YOU

  • This past Sunday – I joined the Transitions Class.
  • This coming Sunday – onto the Travelers.

 

  • Sunday evening, 4/18; 5pm; Rm 108
  • Content is of great importance.  But where teachers often fail is in how we communicate that  content.  What standard of measure are we using to let us know if we are truly connecting and our class is truly learning?

 

TOP TWENTY TIPS FOR TURNING CHRISTIAN CHILDREN INTO ATHEIST ADULTS

Sarah Salviander has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics.  She was raised with an atheistic worldview.  Ironically, it was her study of the cosmos that led her to faith in Christ.  She is a brilliant professor and author.  Although her list here is directed toward the worldview of children, I’m sharing it with you because you can easily translate it into the worldview of adults.  We must “know our stuff”, or we might well end up serving as someone who helps a seeker believe that atheism is the more intelligent and reasonable worldview.

I will include 5 “tips” each week.  Below are No’s 1-5.

Salviander writes:

There is a special type of atheist that deserves your attention. These atheists were raised in Christian families, and walked away from their faith almost as soon as they left their homes. Many of them are quite bitter about it. In speaking with these atheists, I noticed certain patterns popping up again and again. Things their parents said or didn’t say, things their Sunday school teachers told them, things their families modeled for them, issues their pastors didn’t address. These adult-child interactions were so spiritually detrimental it was as though these parents and pastors were consulting a manual on how to turn Christian children into atheist adults. If such a manual existed, it would read something like this.

  1. When your children ask difficult questions–especially questions you don’t know how to answer–just tell them God works in mysterious ways and leave it at that.
  2. Resist the urge to ever say “I don’t know, let’s look into that” to your children.
  3. If your children persist in asking difficult questions, make them feel bad about not having enough faith.
  4. If your children express doubts about Christianity, don’t discuss the reasons for their doubts. Just make them feel guilty about it.
  5. Don’t encourage your children to pray for boring things like faith, wisdom, and obedience to God.

 

From this past Wednesday evening:

To get to the resurrection we must first go through the crucifixion.  To arrive at the Empty Tomb, we must first travel through the Cross.  To celebrate Christ’s victory over sin, it behooves us to consider God’s wrath upon sin – placed upon Christ at the Cross.

Jesus, while transforming the Old Testament Passover meal into what we now call The Last/Lord’s Supper, by introducing God’s new covenant through Christ’s blood, was clear when he used the bread & wine as metaphors for his broken body and his shed blood, and said, “remember me.”

Wednesday evening, we remembered You can view the talk in its entirety here.

 

I HAVEN’T HAD THIS HAPPEN IN A WHILE

The last time I wrote something that went viral was in 2016 when I wrote my blog on the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why.  It’s was viewed over 200,000 times in over 50 countries and I was interviewed by two local news stations.  Except for a few spikes in views here and there, all has been relatively quiet – until now.  Linked here is a recent blog of mine that has now been shared from my Facebook page almost 400 times.  There’s no way to know how many times it’s been shared from the sites of those 400 who shared it.  It’s a curious thing, really.  You can view the blog here.

 

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ASTRONOMY

Many people know my first aspiration was to be an astronomer.  As such, I never cease to be amazed at the order/fine-tuning of our universe.  I caught this pic with my phone while waiting at a red light the other evening. The sun looked immense and imposing as it was setting just above the horizon. It’s hard to believe (1) it’s 93 million miles from earth, (2) unlike the earth, because the sun is made up of gaseous plasma, different parts of the sun rotate at different speeds, and (3) based on how far its light has to travel to earth, the light we see from the sun is 8 minutes old. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God.”

 

  • Dana Kluzek asked me to ask if your class might be willing to provide one meal during our new format for VBS this June.
  • VBS will take place each Wed. evening in June.
  • The meal will be offered from 6-6:30 in the FLC.
  • Can your class help while these precious children learn about Jesus?  Contact Dana.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

It is important for this generation to understand that the Jesus in whose resurrection we believe is a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew who broke through every racial and cultural barrier of His day. — Rebecca McLaughlin

I’ve never regretted checking up on a friend. I’ve never regretted encouraging someone. I’ve never regretted telling someone I’m proud of them & I believe in them. The world has enough critics – be an encourager. – Ryan Meadows

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Desperate Road to Hope

For this week’s devotional entry, I offer you seven and a half minutes of truth from Psalm 42 that, hopefully, will provide insight into the hope of the Empty Tomb.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick