Friday, May 31, 2013

Biblical Authority as an Acquired Trait

I write notes to myself and occasionally need to corral all my scraps of paper.  Found this one today on the changing place of Scripture in faith formation.

"As we move further away from Christendom and Modernity I think we will need to accept that you can't use the Bible to convince anyone to believe in Jesus, but rather, it will be faith in Jesus that will convince people to value the Bible."

Other than the hyperbole in using "can't... convince anyone," I'm thinking this is pretty much on target.  The Bible, for many, doesn't begin with authority that you can use to found a faith.  Rather, it will acquire authority from the relationship between a believer and Jesus himself.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"Shameless" Sermon Series and TED Talks

I'm gearing up for a series of sermons of freedom from shame.  The spark for this series was a hugely popular TED Talk by Brene Brown (see below), and I wanted to lift that up for people regardless of their interest in my own series.  It's good stuff.  I'm curious, also, just to know who may have already seen her talk, and if others have used it in worship or for teaching.

Here's the official article on my series.  It will be recorded and the videos will be posted here each week, typically by Sunday afternoon.

I am very excited to tell you about the sermon series I will be doing in June! It's entitled Shameless and will explore how the love of God frees us from feelings of shame and inadequacy. 
This series was inspired by a "TED Talk" video I saw online not long ago. TED Talks are short presentations by creative thinkers on a huge range of topics - everything from physics to fishing! The one that really grabbed me was by a woman named Brene Brown. In her presentation, she talked about the deep human experiences of connection and shame, love and vulnerability, sharing both her research and her personal journey towards whole-heartedness. This talk has been viewed over 9 million times! Brene has touched a lot of hearts with her insights and her personal courage to be open. Her core message is "Let yourselves be seen, and believe that you are enough."  
This is a true, profound and life-changing word of grace. And yet it leaves one essential thing unsaid: who is it that sees you, who says you are enough? The Shameless sermon series will seek to fulfill the promise of her talk by answering that question, inviting everyone to let themselves be seen by God and to believe their loving Father when he tells them they are enough.

Wrestling with shame has been a challenge for me personally over the years, and I'm so eager to share with others the grace I've found for dealing with that in Jesus. If you or someone you know ever struggles with feeling "unworthy" please be sure they get the word about this series! And by all means,encourage people to view Brene's talk online first. If they like what they find there, tell them the news gets even better when the love of God get into the mix!  
The series will go something like this...
Sunday June 9..............Brené to the Rescue!
Sunday June 16............The Shame Game
Sunday June 23............Brené, to the Therapist!
Sunday June 30............unComfortably Numb 
Now, is plugging my own sermon series a shameless thing to do?  Maybe so.  I guess I can live with that.  ;)