Welcome to Provocative Church

As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.

Worship

We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

The Church

The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.

Ancient Future

Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.

Freedom

There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are made for heaven


From Mark Driscoll:
The next time you are standing in line at a store, take a moment to look at the covers of the magazines on the rack. Each cover presents a picture of some sort of heavenly life. There is vacation heaven, fishing heaven, hunting heaven, pet heaven, entertainment heaven, sex heaven, bridal heaven, nicely organized home heaven, baby heaven, and so on. The articles in the magazines speak of life in hellish terms but offer functional saviors to take us from our hellish life to our heavenly one if we just obey the steps and buy the products.
The question persists, however, why? Why do we live for the endless pursuit of heavenly perfection on earth, and spend our hard-earned money relentlessly pursuing that perfect place, perfect thing, perfect person, or that perfect day? Perhaps all of our toys, hobbies, home improvement projects, festivals, parties, toys, joys, and vacations are simply our way of looking for paradise and practicing for heaven.

Read the Rest Here.

Holy Week

As we are now in the middle of holy week, don't let this week pass you by without taking time to contemplate the events leading up to the cross and Christ's resurrection.


This tool by Google Earth, posted by Justin, you might find useful as you look at the events during this week.  In this map it shows the locations of the major events (to the best of our knowledge) along with descriptions and biblical passages describing those events.

Click on the image below to go to the Google Map, then click on each letter to see a summary of the events for each day.




The KML file lets you interact with this map in Google Earth, allowing you to rotate the view and zoom in from various angles

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Catholic Church and Social Media


A shameless plug.  I was quoted for a recent Orlando Sentinel article on the Catholic Church and Social Media. You can read the article online HERE.  Read the whole article, but make sure to go to page 2 to see my quotes.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Medical Missions Trip to Honduras

This video below captures the experiences of our medical missions trip to Tela, Honduras from March 13-21, 2010



Tuesday, March 09, 2010

After You Believe


I am so excited to have just received my free copy for review of N.T. Wright’s new book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters.   This book rounds out the “trilogy” that began with Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope.
Since I just opened the book from it's padded envelope and haven't yet read it..below is an interview from Trevin Wax's blog of an interview with N.T. Wright has he answers a few questions regarding his new book on virtue.
You can read this interview for now as my review with be a few weeks forthcoming.
Trevin Wax: After You Believe is a book about Christian virtue. In fact, the title of the UK version isVirtue Reborn. Why the difference in titles?
N.T. Wright: We had discussed the book as a book about virtue, following some work I’d done the previous year for a paper which ended up in Richard Hays’ Festschrift. The people at Harper Collins were excited about the concept but believed that the word “virtue” simply wouldn’t communicate its true content to an American Barnes-and-Noble type audience, which is what they have in mind (followingSimply Christian and Surprised by Hope).
afteryoubelieveAt the same time, Harper realized that in America there is a well-known problem that involves the perception of new converts that, having “prayed the prayer” or “accepted Jesus” or whatever, and being assured of salvation after their death, there seems to be a vacant slot in the in-between bit.
So… what (other than personal evangelism to get more people into the same position) is one supposed to be doing? What happens, in other words, “after you believe”? I have met this pastorally, so I am aware of the problem, though I have to say it isn’t nearly as common or obvious a problem in the UK (we have other problems but not so often that one!).
The US and UK editions are slightly different in the introduction and first chapter, reflecting these different perspectives. By the end of the first chapter they are more or less the same! I hope the two books catch their intended audiences.

Read the whole interview HERE

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Say What?!


"The church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith.  Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it."

-Alan Jones, from his book Reimagining Christianity.


I think the book should be more aptly called - Christianity, No More - because without the cross there is no redemption.  Hebrews 9:22-"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Internet will never catch on!


Yesterday, I discovered (via Justin) an article by Clifford Stoll, in Newsweek in 1995, In the article, the author bemoans the triviality of the internet.  Here are some of his comments:

"Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper. . . ."  (I have one word for Clifford, GOOGLE)

"Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure."  (I guess he will never try the KINDLE)

"We’re promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn’t—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople." (Don't buy this guy a gift for Christmas on AMAZON)

(if you want to read the whole article, click here)

Of course we may chuckle or roll our eyes at his comments, mostly because we have the benefit of hindsight.  But throughout history and culture there have been too many naysayers who could only look at the problems and issues of today or the past rather than dreaming about the possibilities for the future.  It is easy to fix one's eyes on what is merely seen in the moment.

But God calls us to live differently.  He calls us to walk by faith not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)  We are to fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2) not our problems and circumstances.  When we live this way, we can trust and believe him for more than what we merely see in the present.  When we fix our eyes upon Jesus we can boldly walk by faith and trust him for immeasurably more than we could ever ask for or imagine. (Eph. 3:20)

I am only 10 days away from my medical missions trip to Honduras, and as myself and the team prepare we need to continue to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus - because there are going to be big challenges ahead (we have already faced a couple of them).  But I need to always remember we serve a big God whose plans and purposes will not be thwarted and whose Kingdom plans will be accomplished.