True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

Dealing with addictions can push a Christian to the limits of patience, trust, and exhaustion. The addiction might involve drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, pornography, power, popularity, wealth, social media, technology, or recreation—and many more. Recovering addicts soon find that they need help—help from God, help from family, help from friends, help from their church. As the battle rages to control the addiction, it has become very common for counselors and addicts alike to turn to self-help manuals. Who hasn’t been helped at least a little by getting some good biblical advice from a significant book like Heath Lambert’s Finally Free,[1] which deals with pornography and lust?… Continue reading

My Pilgrim Songs: A Birthday Meditation

billbarrick1948January 5 comes around right regularly—every year—on my birthday. Yes, my parents were among the “Greatest Generation” who fought and lived during World War II. My birth took place in the first year of the “Baby Boomers.” January 5 marks the traditional twelfth day of Christmas—“twelve drummers drumming,” according to the popular Christmas song. I share my birthday with a number of friends and acquaintances (at least two others in our church family). Famous people also populate the birthday list: Diane Keaton (same day and year; actress), Elena Barrick (my grand-daughter), Robert Duvall (actor), Jim Otto (NFL; his son was one of my students at The Master’s Seminary), Mercury Morris (NFL), Juan Carlos I (king of Spain), Konrad Adenauer (German chancellor), Walter Mondale (American politician), Charlie Rose (TV anchor, host), Carrie Ann Inaba (“Dancing with the Stars”), Umberto Eco (semanticist and one of my favorite authors), Jane Wyman (actress, President Reagan’s first wife), George Reeves (actor—Superman), Kathleen Kenyon (British archaeologist who excavated in Israel), Stephen Decatur (US naval officer in the American Revolution), and many others.… Continue reading

“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

Deny or Not to Deny? … Inerrancy, that is

Over the past several weeks, I have had the privilege of meeting with some men in our church to do a study in Theology. These men (ages from 18-40) have all grown up in the church-culture, most have sat under excellent Bible teaching during their life, but they have never taken the time to read-consider theology. They approached me and asked if I could help them in this and I agreed. So far, it has been a blessing, stretching, challenging time and we have only dealt with “why study the theology?” and a bit of Bibliology (the study of the Bible).… Continue reading

Back to the Basics: The Canon of Scripture

Back to BasicsMany times when a Christian encounters push back concerning the Faith, it comes in the form of questions and questioning about the Bible. In some of these cases it is a matter of how the Bible came to be recognized, compiled or created. In order to lay some ground work for a better understanding of this subject I would like us to look to the New Testament as an example of how the Bible came to be. The format for this post will be a bit unorthodox as it is presented as a series of questions and answers followed by some recommendations for further study, all for the purpose of taking us Back to the Basics.… Continue reading