40 days of evening technology fasting

My wife, Shelly, and I have started a 40 day fast in conjunction with a pilot project our church is doing. From November 15 through December 24, 2006, we are intentionally engaging together in a program of prayers, action, and fasting. The guidelines from the church on this include:

  1. For 40 days, pray daily, accomplish an action to glorify God (pick up trash, help someone… something big or small), and fast (give something up for God of worldly worth)
  2. Record for no more than two minutes a day (less is ok) and include your prayer and an up-to-date status on your actions and fasting.
  3. For video purposes, talk to the camera like you would talk to God. If you feel uncomfortable with the camera, you can put the lens cap on and just use the audio.
  4. Pray for an action during the day to glorify God and/or reflect on your actions of the day before (be specific in the action)
  5. Pray about your fast and how God can help you.
  6. Pray for something specific in your life that you have been struggling with or need help with. Ask for God’s guidance and wisdom.
  7. Be as animated as you want to be… you can walk around, scream, yell, hug the camera, etc.
  8. Before you start recording, write on a piece of paper or white board the day number and date. e.g. Day 1, Wednesday November 14th.

I don’t think we’ve been too animated yet and we haven’t hugged the camera, but we are three days into the “fast” and already this is proving to be a very good activity for us as a couple. I’m debating whether or not to post our short video clips online to YouTube or just turn them all in to the church and see what the editor comes up with when he pieces all these together. I think there are about 5 other couples or individuals doing this “fast.” Our church youth leadership team is in charge of putting this together, I think for Lent next year as they discuss fasting and focus.

I have had friends who have fasted for short periods of time (generally fasting by not eating during the day) and have found it to be very worthwhile in terms of helping them focus and renew their commitment to something. For me personally, I knew that what I needed to give up in my fast was computer use during the evenings. I love to read, write, podcast, etc., but technology use in the evening has also become an obstacle to other things that I need and want to do– spending time in conversation with my wife after the kids are in bed, reading books, just being quiet and still and enjoying a cup of hot tea.

Another thing that is immediately apparent is that this fast is going (and has already) gotten Shelly and I praying together regularly each evening. We’ve been married for 11 years and have known that we need to pray together regularly– we do at meals, but the efforts we’ve made in the past to pray together at night have not been sustained. Generally I go to bed later, we are both quite tired at the end of the day… the reasons go on and on. It is wonderful to be connecting with each other in the evenings now and being more in touch with what is going on in each other’s lives to a much greater degree.

Shelly commented last night that time like this together each evening is what she thinks she wanted more than anything in the first year when we were married. Perhaps this is what every bride wants. It really is great. I realized last night that part of what this is teaching me (and we’re just 3 days into the fast) is to be happy with doing less. Simplifying life means REMOVING things so that the things which are “left” are important and worthy of valuation. I think this is true for material objects as well as activities. So, even though I have a ton of podcasts to publish from the recent conference I attended, and lots of blog entries I want to write… I am having to do more prioritization and just be content not “doing” so much.

Another big benefit is that I am getting and will be getting a lot more sleep. Interestingly I have noticed the last two nights already that I am remembering more dreams– I don’t know if this is a function of sleeping deeper or what. I rarely ever remember dreaming at night– so it will be interesting to see how this (or if this) continues.

The fact that we have a wood-burning fireplace here in our Oklahoma house makes evening time even better. I LOVE making and enjoying wood fires, I’m not comparing or trying to say that my old stuff is better than you new “ SmartlyHeated” homes or anything like that.  Now that it is cold at night, the combination of a wood fire, a hot cup of tea and my wife to converse with is a great combination. I am very glad we are participating in this “fasting” for 40 days project, and look forward to learning and growing even more as the project continues. 🙂

The Age of Reformation: 1517-1648 (Seeds of Reform)

These are my notes from Ken Rees’ presentation at FPC Edmond, 10/25/2006

The point we have been making up to this point in this class is that roots of Christians in reformed traditions go back much further than the reformation

In 1517, the world was quite different: (1517 was when Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door)
– 4 nations of Europe (Spain, Portual, France and England) have strong monarchs
– Germany was more a collection of states with German speaking people, hadn’t been
– Italy more like city-states of ancient Greece (one is Vatican City)
– Renaissance was in full-flower (hard to put a date on it, people do argue about what it meant and means) – Michaelangelo and Da Vinci were at work
— in Medieval times, people were encouraged to stay where they were with their thinking
— now you have people thinking in new directions, starting to adopt the idea that the human is the center of the universe (growth of humanist movement)
— people becoming more interested in the human side of things, idealistic conceptions of humanity

Key technologies into the West
– gunpowder from China
– compass (had really limited mariners before this time)
– most important: printing press (just around for 60 years) – turned
– “America” recently discovered by Columbus, Cortez just starting conquest of Mexico, age of exploration

Muslim world: In last 50 years they were kicked out of Spain (Iberian Peninsula)
– occupy north Africa, Middle East, most of Greese and into Eastern Europe
– Ottoman Turks are a rising power

Africa is an unknown continent except for some posts where traders stop

Eastern Orthodoxy
– Constantinople: Fall meant that eastern Orthodoxy suffered a huge reversal
– center of orthodoxy has now moved to Russia, which had been evanglized by
– Russia had been ruled for a time by the Mongols, have shaken them off and emerging as a strong
– Moscow developing as replacement for Constantinople as center of orthodoxy

Other roots leading up to 1517
– 14th century: had been rival popes
– John Wyeclif became leading Oxford professor in 1372, entered the controversy about whether all authority over humans flows from God through the Pope regardless of the morality of church practices
— argues that the English king can discipline corrupt church officials
— rejected the idea of levels of sanctity for believers
— argued every righteous believer is equal in God’s eyes (dominion founded in grace)
— he was a zealot

These were novel ideas that the church hadn’t been
– Wyeclif “got this” message by studying the scriptures, going back to the source
– he wanted to see the whole church structure shorn of its wealth which had corrupted it
– felt the church didn’t need to be ruling like princes
– went beyond that: Said Rome doesn’t have all that authority vested in one person
– started studying Revelation and came to believe (and preach) that the Pope was the antiChrist

Focused on idea that God knows all the believers who will be in his church
– if that is true, how could we bargain with God via indulgences and penances?
– Wyeclif claimed these acts didn’t and don’t have anything to do with our salvation, because God knows who the ‘saved’ are
– encouraged focus on good preaching, not the sacraments
– at this time many priests were largely illiterate, many learned their job
– had some powerful friends among the nobility

Stayed at Oxford, and eventually crossed the line and argued that in scripture no where did it say for communion that the bread and the wine literally become the body and blood of Christ
– that caused his supporters to finally kick him out of Oxford
– preachers he taught went out into the countryside, sharing the message that everyone is equal in the eyes of God
– peasants started to question paying
– group was called the Lollards, were harshly put down by the English government who feared a broader peasant revolution

John Hus was a professor at the Univ of Prague
– picked up on Wyclif’s ideas in 1396 and began preaching them
– was excommunicated
– pled his case at the Council of Constance but was handed over to the Inquisition
– refused to recant and was burned at the stake in 1415

Biggest reason Martin Luther was able to lead the reformation starting in 1517 was Guttenberg
– by 1517 there were not only printing presses, but also publishers
– other reasons: Luther was fortunate to be in a good position
— may have been a more persuasive preacher, persuaded some princes that gave him sanctuary

Another important transitional figure: Erasmus
– was a scholar’s scholar
– didn’t have the zeal to overturn everything, he had a zeal for truth
– in the universities there was an argument that the Renaissance leaves you open to search for truth wherever you can find it
– Erasmus learned Greek to translate the New Testament from Latin into Greek
– published “A Handbook of the Christian Soldier”
– he stayed within the church, because he felt his mission was to reform the church
– later he was accused of laying the egg that Luther hatched as the Reformation

Another thing that happened in 100 years is the Papacy lost more of its power and influence
– had lost a lot of moral authority when there were two popes, three popes, some popes going to battle
– Pope wanted to be a partron of the arts like other Kings were, wanted to me a Medici
– cost a lot of money to build the Basilica of St Peter, church resorted to selling indulgences
– offering people the chance to buy salvation, and buy salvation for others to liberate them from purgatory

All that is left now of the temporal power of the Pope now is Vatican City
– that is the remnant of the former power and authority of the Catholic church

First time Luther heard the sermon on indulgences and become enraged
– had been a monk, and also a professor
– Luther was overburdened by the power of sin in his life early on
– in 1515 he began to study the book of Romans, when he found “the just shall live by faith”
– came to understand it is not something you have to DO to become free of sin: justified not by your own doings, but rather by the act of Christ on the cross

Luther decided the entire idea of “treasury of merit” was a crock
– idea was that the “saints” had stored credits in heaven, who had more than they needed
– that was and is why many people appeal to the saints for help

1517 Luther posts 95 theses to Wittenberg church
– argued that authority does not reside with humans
– we are invited to approach God through Christ on our own
– we have that level of freedom: we don’t need the intercession of people living and dead (priests and the Saints) to approach God
– source of authority was and is NOT the church
– says scripture is the authority for our faith and practice

University training in general at this time did not have different degrees
– Wittenberg was not a theological seminary: but everyone studied theology
– everyone who obtained a university education probably until the last century had a background in theology from the university

Popes at that time were paying large bribes for their positions
– parish priests tended to be less literate, and just knowing the liturgy they’d learned on the job

as we moved into the 16th century, more people were learning to read and had access to the written word

Earlier Popes going back to Benedict said there were 7 sacraments
– Luther said he could just find scriptural support for 7 sacraments: The Lord’s Supper and baptism

Luther called for the priesthood of all believers
– tried to narrow the gap between the priesthood and the pew
– before that time often, the cup was only taken by the priest
– now, both the cup and wafer were taken by the people
– in the past during communion, the priest used to take communion facing away from the people, similar to how the priest would go into the holy of holies

Luther did NOT have the radical idea that Wyclif had that the bread and wine were just symbolic
– Catholic church believed in transsubstantiation (trans: cross over from physical elements to the literal body and blood of Christ)
– Luther came up with idea of consubstantiation (con: idea of “with” – elements maintained their physical characteristics but also become the bread and body of Christ.

Luther was immediately attacked by the church, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther
– German king declared Luther an outlaw
– Duke of Saxony hid Luther, during which time he translated the Bible into German and got it to a printer

Luther was a Renaissance man in many ways, he was also a musician
– said we shouldn’t just listen to a choir doing chants in Latin, he said in the early church they sang hymns
– he introduced congregational singing into the life of the church
– he wrote several dozen hymns, including “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

Luther viewed salvation as NOT mediated by a sacrament

KEN ACTUALLY CITED “I FOUND A WEBSITE THAT SAID LUTHER DID NOT ADOPT BAR SONG MELODIES” – NO INDICATION OF THE WEBSITE SOURCE!

Luther’s message of freedom provokes a peasant revolt which was ruthlessly put down after he failed to support the peasants
– later in life, teaching veered into anti-Semitism

Augsburg Confession was written in 1530 without Luther:
1- salvation by faith alone, not works
2- All authority is from scripture, not Roman Church
3- Church is the priesthood of believers
4- essence of Christian living is serving God in any useful calling, lay or clergy

MY THOUGHT: LACK OF STRONG CENTRAL AUTHORITY IN GERMANY AT THIS TIME WAS CRITICAL TO LUTHER’S CONTINUED SURVIVAL AND THE GROWTH (EVENTUAL SUCCESS) OF THE REFORMATION

Ulrich Zwingly in 1519 in Switzerland, influenced by Erasmus and more radical reforms of Luther, lead movement toward austerity
– trying to avoid idolitry at all costs
– were first to get the principle of infant baptism
– couldn’t find scriptural support for infant baptism, so said it had to be for believers “of the age of understanding”
– were called “anabaptist”
– believed in freedom from state authority
– were pacificsts, believed in individual conscience, didn’t have a church hierarchy (congregationalists)
– setup confession in 1527: wanted to be witnesses in a transformed style of living
— saw themselves called to be Nazarites like Sampson
— foresweared accumulation of wealth
— this idea was so radical: no princes supported Zwingly
— tried to lead a popular movement, took a lot of heat
– pushed into rural areas of Eastern Europe, Jakob Hutter was one of those leaders (Hutterites)

1532 radicals under Jan of Leiden, similar to David Koresh and Branch Davidians

Differences between Lutherans and Anabaptists: Anabaptists were just surviving, not very widespread
– Lutheranism established itself as a force to be recognized
– Omish had their roots among the Anabaptists

Separation of Church and state, focus on independent thinking are roots of our form of government here

Man being qualitatively equal before God is rooted here

Next week: Calvin!

Need for authenticity

I want to avoid a tendency that often happens in Christian circles, for people to be “fake” and pretend everything is hunky-dory– and for “outsiders” to the body of believers to get the mistaken impression that either all Christians “have it all together” and don’t have problems with sins of multiple types– or that all of them are fake, ridiculous pretenders who are hypocrites that don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

The following paragraph from John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul” has a good paragraph on page 55 about this phenomenon of Christian “posers” at church:

That sort of thing goes on Sunday mornings, its just a different set of rules. Dave runs into Bob in the church lobby. Both are wearing their happy faces, though neither is happy at all. “Hey Bob, how are ya?” Bob is actually furious at his wife and ready to leave her, but he says, “Great, just great, Dave. The Lord is good!” Dave, on the other hand, hasn’t believed in the goodness of God for years, ever since his daughter was killed. “Yep– God is good, all the time. I’m just so glad to be here, praising the Lord.” “Me too. Well, I’ll be praying for you!” I would love to see a tally of the nubmers of prayers actually prayed against the number of prayers promised. I bet its about one in a thousand. “And I’ll be praying for you too. Well, gotta go! You take care.” “Take care” is our way of saying, “I’m done with this conversation and I want to get out of here but I don’t want to appear rude so I’ll say something that sounds meaningful and caring,” but in truth, Dave doesn’t give a rip about Bob.

There can often be a large amount of truth in what Eldredge is saying here. Many, many people are very sincere in the church, and I am not generalizing to everyone– but I do think this issue of “posing” is something we should acknowledge and address.

A Christian blog is a very interesting thing– even an experimental thing. This is the first “Christian blog” I’ve ever written for. No one taught me how to do this, or what the rules are. Because the rules are being socially negotiated constantly, I think. I wanted to write this post because I want people to know that from where I sit (which I acknowledge is a very limited frame) I think we have a strong need in our face to face as well as virtual interactions to be authentic. That won’t mean I’m going to blog about every problem and difficulty I’m having or have had. But it does mean I want to be honest and forthright at all times, and not give someone the impression that I have all the answers and have it all together. I certainly don’t. That is a primary reason why I want to write about and continually work on my own journey of faith.

Whatever your struggle, whatever your triumph, it is not too small or too insignificant to keep entirely to yourself and not share with someone else. Maybe not on a blog, but certainly with a friend and hopefully with other believers. As believers we are the body of Christ, and we’re called to support one another and hold each other up. I think we are also called to be honest and authentic.

Christians on the web

The movie short “What If God Had a MySpace” is a clever example of digital storytelling, but also raises some viable issues that are worth thinking about.

The scenes of the devil asking to be God’s friend, and having to be repeatedly denied, remind me of some of the friend requests I received on my own MySpace page before I wised up and changed my birth year to 1901. Based on my gender and age (when I was reporting my real birth year) I was getting friend requests that may not have been named “Satan” but were probably close in the thematic focus of their MySpace pages. 🙁

The scenes of people “asking for stuff” made me think about how many people view God, and how many people are missing a relationship with Him. Unfortunately I am too busy, quite often, and don’t spend the time with God that I need to and should be spending each day. Who do people think God is? That question seems to be raised by this video also.

The video also raises the issue of relevance to me– and exemplifies the need we have for more Christian voices on the web. What an amazingly exciting as well as shockingly horrible environment we live in today– in this flat world which can and does bring people together for common purposes, both good and evil.

iFilm (the site who owns the blog linked above) is quite an eye opener into the world of viral video. I first learned about iFilm a couple of summers ago, at the Digital Media Academy’s workshop on Digital Storytelling. Of course YouTube can be a bad place to explore as well– there is more there than any of us should go out and try to see and find. I have real mixed feelings about all of this. I guess in the online environment of the flat world, there are less “checks” and “boundaries” on individuals’ access to content of all types, good and bad. That is simultaneously exciting and horrifying. I wrote about some of this back in January 2005, in terms of the power of mere still images to powerfully affect the mind and the imagination.

Lots of thoughts raised here. We need more Christian voices on the web. Not because any of us have all “the answers” ourselves, but because we know where and to Whom we can and should turn for answers.

God is good

It has been pretty stressful at times to move from Lubbock, Texas, which I have called home for the past 13 years, to a new community and job in Edmond/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The worst part was being separated from my family for about 1 1/2 months this summer, before they moved to join me in August, but many things about the moving process are stressful and challenging even when a family is all together.

Throughout this moving process, I have been encouraging my wife and myself with the words, “Don’t worry about the house. God is going to take care of it.” We actually had our Lubbock home on the market since March of 2006, because although we did not know then where He would lead us, we felt certain that we were called to move on to new jobs and new opportunities during the summer. The completion of my PhD coursework at Texas Tech along with many other factors contributed to this family decision. How joyful we were this past week to see the following sign in our front yard in Lubbock!

Our house is sold!

Last Friday we were back in Lubbock signing closing documents on the house. Yesterday afternoon, we received a phone call from our realtor indicating that the buyers had accepted and signed the contract, so at this point we are no longer homeowners. What a relief! Making a house payment along with a new rental payment has been challenging. Now we just have the rent!

I admit that although I KNOW from repeated personal experiences that God does take care of things, and that he does and will continue to care for me and my family, it was still a great relief to sell our home. It was also amazing to see how God worked through this situation. We were prepared to pay about five times more than we ended up paying to close our home– but it worked out that we did not have to pay nearly as much. Our realtor was amazed, and also said that “It was God,” not him. None of us predicted the sale would turn out as well as it did, in fact we all were bracing for a much worse outcome.

So, our challenges continue in our new home and situations, but my primary thought in writing this blog entry is, “Praise God!” God is good all the time, and yet again he has demonstrated his power to act in my own life beyond my own expectations.

I think some people have the mistaken impression that once you become a Christian, you do not struggle or go through suffering anymore. That is definitely NOT true. Struggles, challenges, and even suffering remain a part of our lives on earth for a variety of reasons– but becoming a Christian does NOT make a person immune from these experiences. Being a Christian and seeking to know God’s Son, Jesus Christ, does mean that in all circumstances I know who I can call on for help. Who I call on to take the burdens of my worries and stresses, and who I rely on to see me through each day. Praise God! I am so excited about being free of the debt of our Lubbock home I feel like dancing! 🙂

Inspiration from Irwin

I heard Irwin McManus speak at a Promisekeepers event several years ago, and when I started looking for Christian-focused podcasts I was thrilled to find his California church, Mosaic, regularly publishes Irwin’s sermons as well as other presentations on their podcast channel. Unlike some other inspirational Christian preachers who sell their sermons online, Irwin and Mosaic are giving their content away for free. The messages are Christ-focused and Biblically centered, and I really appreciate the scripture, thoughts, and insights they share as I continue on my own walk of faith. They are planning on offering archives of podcasts for sale eventually, but the latest ones are and evidently will continue to be available for free.

Irwin’s latest sermon, “Does God Care,” takes on one of the toughest questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is all knowing and all powerful, how could he let such seemingly senseless and evil things happen on earth?

I appreciate the fact that Irwin offers several perspectives on this answer, unlike Rabbi Kushner who wrote the book “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” which I read several years ago and found very lacking theologically. Irwin points out that one of the most important things to realize is that GOD CARES, and he acts in our fallen world that yes– does have evil and sin in it– because He loves his people.

I think catastrophic life events often either drive people away from God or can serve to drive us right into the waiting arms of God. I don’t have all the answers, and Irwin admits he doesn’t either, but I appreciate his perspectives and hope more people will hear the Gospel message through the Mosaic podcast.

Podcast3: Step Aside Satan!

This podcast is a recording of a sermon shared by Pastor Leo Wideman at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma on September 17, 2006. The title of Leo’s message was “Step Aside Satan!” His text was from the sixteenth chapter of the gospel of Matthew. Leo reminds us all to make sure we are focusing on Christ, and not falling into the trap of the enemy by focusing on ourselves or on the messages the world would have us regard as most important.

Program Length: 29 min, 18 sec
File size: 6.8 MB

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Show notes for this podcast include:

  1. Matthew 16
  2. First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma
  3. “Enter the Mystery” by Michael Popenhagen on the Podsafe Music Network

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Age of Catholic Christianity 70-312 AD

Notes from Pastor John Gruel’s lecture at First Pres Edmond 9/20/2006

Stratification of church which evolved during this period:
– Martyrs: (the Saints) those who died for the faith
– Confessors: those who stood
– The lapse: those who sin / fall short

Question came up: can renouncers be forgiven?
1- one answer: the church can’t forgive, only God can forgive
2- some said yes, the church can forgive sin
— at one time, a Bishop that was forgiving people who had been caught in the sin of adultery (Callistus)
— made analogy to Noah’s ark, clean and unclean animals together

2 groups
– those who said church must be kept pure, society of saints
– church is school of sinners, we need to be able to forgive

Sense that martyrs for who they were had a special level of holiness, had extra merit
– started talking about “treasury of merit” that eventually led to the selling of indulgences, praying to martyrs

Confessors were also thought to have a higher status

Cyprien, bishop of Carthage, said he wasn’t sure about martyr and confessor thing
– if you could make the penance match the level of sin, then you could forgive
– the decision of whether someone could be readmitted into the church laid with the bishop
– church started becoming this mix of worthy and unworthy
– power of the bishop to convey divine forgiveness

Main body of the orthodox church marched forward with “school of sinners”
– penance became a sacrament during this era
– salvation was at that point in the hands of the church, and specifically in the hands of the bishiop

When the church granted the power of forgiveness to the bishop, catholic christianity was complete

this model of leadership drove the church well through the era of the Roman empire

Christianity caught on, there was increasing interest among people of reason, the intellectual class
– some people like Paul began to write in a fashion more understandable to Greeks, communicating the gospel in a contextual way
– Tertullian was against this, didn’t want to reconcile the teaching with greek thought and philosophy

Are faith based approaches during this time, and reason-based approaches like what Paul wrote
– go to Acts 2 and read Peter’s sermon at Pentecost (fidaistic – faith based, more from the Hebrew tradition)
– go to Acts 17 and read Paul’s sermon in Athens (more contextual style)

These shows the contrast in these two preaching styles

struggle with gnosticism
– showed that greek thinking could be a threat, because of an inability to engage greek thought leads to heresy

Had a school developed in Christian gnosticism, was engaging the gnostic thought but providing orthodox answers
– fast forward to the 20th century
– think about CS Lewis: doing the same thing that Pandues was doing
– communicating with the philosophers of the day with where they are, he speaks their language, and inserts an orthodox theology
– read some of “The Abolition of Man”
– Francis Shaeffer also did the same thing

Sept 19th in Wall Street Journal
– what Pope Benedict thinks
– Christianity is informed by dialog between reason and revelation, the dialog between Athens and Jerusalem
– faith and reason are essential in the Pope’s view now

Student Clement become one of the first really Christian scholars
– combines with Christian thought and scripture
– “Just as the Jew had the law to teach his heart and guide him to the gospel, so too the Gentile had philosophy”

Origin succeeded Clement around the year 200
– carried on his work
– trying to bring all Christian truth into focus
– both stressed the aim of philosophy as the ethical, by focusing on that ethical they could reject the gnostic claim that creation is evil

Origin is noted for system for interpretation of scripture, threefold model
1- literal and plain meeting
2- moral application
3- spiritual and allegorical application (how does it relate to Jesus)

Origin: not all his allegories are as direct as Nathan’s story of the sheep to David, relating to Uriah and Bathsheeba

Origin was one of the first to do systematic theology
– at a basic level: this is taking the things we know from scripture, the doctrines we develop from those (revelation, creation, etc) and try to make those fit together in an organized way
– a system of thought that it all links together
– challenge is: there are always grey areas
– Origin did this for his desire to fit this into greek thought and philosophy
– got himself in trouble because he was kind of a universalist

Universalism holds that some day God will reconcile all people to himself

Clement and Origin took that risk of going too far to accommodate Hellenistic thought

Different philosopher-theologians crop up in history to interact with different types of thought: St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas

Prayers for Miguel and family

Please keep Miguel Guhlin, his father and family in your prayers. Miguel’s dad was hospitalized today and prospects for a recovery do not look good. Updates will be posted– but whatever happens this is a difficult time for the Guhlin family. May the God of peace comfort his sons and daughters in this time of suffering and uncertainty.

Podcast1: The Age of Catholic Christianity by John Gruel

This podcast is a recording of a Wednesday night adult Christian education class taught by Pastor John Gruel of First Presbyterian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. John’s topic was “The Age of Catholic Christianity 70 – 312 AD: Persecution and Orthodoxy.” Among many reference texts for this lesson is Bruce Shelley’s “Church History In Plain Language.”

Program Length: 1 hr, 6 min, 2 sec
File size: 15.9 MB

[powerpress]

  1. Text notes from this lesson
  2. Bruce Shelley’s “Church History In Plain Language.”
  3. First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma
  4. “Enter the Mystery” by Michael Popenhagen on the Podsafe Music Network

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