Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yikes: the sermon series

Following The Prodigal God series we will have a series that looks at some of the more scandalous material in scripture. I haven't finalized my list of texts to include. This is a huge challenge because, quite frankly, some of the material in scripture isn't fit to preach in mixed company (especially with children present). I know some branches of Christianity have a history of book burning, but I doubt any of the charred remains top the Bible when it comes to outrageous material.

This is your chance to help me out. I'd be happy for you to post a comment (or just email me) letting me know what text you think I should include. Remember, there are a few that I'm just not going to touch from the pulpit. Some texts are better examined in smaller Bible studies.

Examples of what I might, might not, or won't preach:
  • Judges 11--Jephthah's Daughter (Rollin Ramsaran preached a good sermon on this one back when I was in seminary. I may try to get him to re-preach it).
  • 2 Kings 2:23--Should Elisha Bear Children? (have no idea what I'll say about this).
  • Genesis 38--Oh No, Onan! (I'm on the fence about this one, but will probably include it).
  • 1 Samuel 18:25-27--(probably won't use this one).
  • I will use nothing from Ezekiel 16 or 23. Don't even suggest those.
Okay ... I'll take your suggestions. Thanks!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This is a cartoon by Truong Son that I am thinking of projecting during the sermon on Sunday. It's an oldie, but a goodie.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just so you know ....

The youth are in Mexico and the daily reports are on the Grandview website: link.
It sounds like they're working very, very hard!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, no ... Big Butter!!!!

How could I not blog about the untimely demise of the 63' tall statue that comedian Heywood Banks dubbed "Big Butter Jesus" (the song "Big Butter Jesus" is linked at the bottom of this post)?

I remember the odd feeling I got when driving along I-75, north of Cincinnati, and seeing Big Butter Jesus for the first time. I am at once pleased and repulsed. I'm pleased that church would attempt such a grand gesture. It takes a visionary group of people to attempt to do something like this.

I'm repulsed, though, because it just doesn't work. The statue plays into every silly cliche' ever uttered against cultural Christianity. Also, despite the grandness of the idea, it just looks silly.

Interestingly, Jesus has always been a lightening rod for controversy [insert rim shot]. Christians are torn over whether or not the statue is a good idea. Non-Christians (I suspect) just find it ridiculous.
Well, as many of you already know, the statue caught fire last week.

How apocalyptic does this thing look after being hit by the bolt and catching fire? Let the jokes begin. Who is responsible? God or some sinister power opposing God? This is the problem with heavenly signs. They can be interpreted in soooo many different ways.
Regardless where blame is assigned, all that's left is the skeleton. The church has pledged to rebuild it. I think I would leave well enough alone. I throw no stones at Solid Rock Church. They will do what they will do. I suspect they've tied their identity with the statue and that without it, they will feel adrift (I don't KNOW this. I suspect it. I don't know a single person who goes to this church).

That's the problem, though. If Solid Rock can't be the church without the statue, things need to change. Any church that ties its identity to a statue, a building, a song, a style of song, a preacher, or ANYTHING other than God as God is revealed in Jesus of Nazareth needs to rethink its vision.

At Grandview we don't have a big statue, but I'm sure we have a few idols....

Here's the song by Heywood Banks. The song isn't exactly reverent, but the comedian who sings it is lampooning the statue, not Jesus.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Bad Blogger

I don't blame you for failing to stop by lately. I just haven't had the time I would like for blogging. But I will interrupt the sermon prep this morning to post some pics from the past few weeks (some older than that).

Meg graduated from Science Hill High School last week. We're proud of her for being dutiful and for loving her parents (even when we aren't the best parents ever).

Here she is with her great-grandfather. He's 93 and she loves him, too.

All of my siblings and their kids were here for the event. It was great seeing them all. I guy couldn't ask for a better family.

I forgot to wish Cora a happy birthday in the blog. We went to the Firehouse (her favorite) to celebrate. She even got a birthday desert!

We start a new series tomorrow. If you want to do any advanced reading on it I recommend Tim Keller's book, "The Prodigal God". He gives a compelling and faithful interpretation of the Luke 15 and the story we usually call the "Prodigal Son." It's a short book and well written. Thanks, Tim (and Scott Wakefield for hitting me up to it).