This Sunday, January 10, we are launching an 8-week message series called “You Asked For It.” Throughout December many of you sent me great questions that you wrestle with, are perplexed by, and want further clarity. Thanks for taking the time and effort to send me these questions. 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 are the top 8 questions (drum roll please):
January 10 – “How can I trust the Bible?”
January 17 – “What’s the rub between the Bible and science?”
January 24 – “What is sin and why do I still struggle with it”?
January 31 – “Do I choose God or does God choose me?”
February 7 – “What’s going to happen in the end?”
February 14 – “What’s the Church’s role in politics?”
February 21 – “How can a good God allow suffering?”
February 28 – “What makes Jesus Christ and Christianity unique?”
As you can see, many of these questions are wrestled with and through by folks that are churched and unchurched alike. Look through the different weeks of the series and think about a friend or family member that you could invite on a particular Sunday. Every week, we will bring it back to the centrality of our faith… Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel.
A couple of final thoughts and “ground rules” about this series before we begin on Sunday:
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!
Thanks in advance for making this a great series, and may Jesus use our time each Sunday to show us more and more who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing “for His glory and our good.”
~ Pastor Jonathan