In January-February 2010, I preached a series called “YouAskedForIt.” The Northshore congregation sent me many questions they wrestle with, are perplexed by, and wanted further clarity. I received questions about God, the Bible, theology, church, science, culture, and life in an imperfect world (plus many, many more). I selected the top 8 categories of questions since many of the individual questions really fit within a larger question. And here were the top 8 questions (click on the link to go to the blog and audio of each message):
As you can see, many of these questions are wrestled with and through by folks that are churched and unchurched alike. Every week, we brought it back to the centrality of our faith… Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel.
Here were a couple of “ground rules” for the series:
1) This is going to be a great series to ponder more deeply the things of God and how we as the Church are called to respond to the things of God in a world that does not operate the “way it’s supposed to be.” When we ponder the things of God, there will always be mystery. We’re limited to a finite perspective because God is infinite and we’re not. Therefore, we will approach each of these questions and attempts at answers with great humility.
2) I cannot and likely will not answer every question to everyone’s satisfaction. I will give an overall theological and biblical “answer” to each question by wrestling through the larger question(s), by taking us to appropriate biblical passages, and by giving us the “boundaries” of what is appropriate for an evangelical theology. I will attempt to address further issues in my blog after each message to share further insight, possibly more questions to wrestle with, and other resources to explore.
3) As much as I would like to answer every question that each of you sent me, time does not permit. So if your questions were not picked in the top 8, please be gracious and don’t expect me to individually answer each one. I would love if there were 48 hours in a day, but there aren’t.
4) Some of you will not agree with the conclusions that I come to… and that’s okay. Once again, each week, I will give what I believe to be the boundaries that are appropriate within an evangelical, theological framework. Another way to say this… we will not split Northshore over any of these issues. There is “room at the table” within the boundaries. I trust that any further dialogue and conversation that extends from each Sunday will be done with respect, civility, and humility… that goes for any discussion in person, in emails, on blogs, and Facebook posts and notes. I’ll be a stickler on this one!
Please feel free to use these blogs and messages as a resource for growing in your vision (i.e., your theology) of who God fully is and what it looks like to live Him and His gospel out in our world.
~ Pastor Jonathan