Questions about Christianity

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I’ve always been a firm believer that with faith, not all of the questions can yet be answered. I’ve also always believed that a faith that can’t withstand questions isn’t much of a faith at all.

So I’m excited that Rich Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, made a stop at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church to answer some questions about the faith, hosted by John Ortberg.

You can check out the video here and the audio here(I’ve put the time stamps next to each question, in case you want to skip forward.)

  • What does “evangelical” mean? (2:51)
  • Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? (6:15)
  • Are Mormons Christians? (9:55)
  • Can we trust the Bible? And why? (15:00)
  • How do we as Christians talk about human sexuality–divorce, same-sex attraction, etc.? (21:51)
  • How can we be people of conviction and also people of civility? (24:54)
  • How do Christians talk, especially with non-Christians, about hell? (30:34)
  • How do we think about the passages in the Bible that contain violence? (32:50)
  • What is God waiting for before he comes back? (35:25)
  • What do you see in the world that makes you hopeful? (36:50)

And if you have follow-up questions, I’ll see what I can do to answer them. 🙂

Questions, answers, and waiting

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

My Most Important Question

It’s become tradition in our church (at least as much as toddler-aged churches can establish traditions) to have a summer series entitled, “My Most Important Question,” where we have people in our community share about the questions and struggles that they’ve gone through–or are going through.

We don’t believe that you have to leave your doubts at the door in order to be accepted; you don’t have to reach a certain level of accomplishment or certainty to find a place with us; just as Jesus welcomes all, regardless of where they might be on their journey, so we welcome all, too.

I’m always encouraged to hear people’s stories–it reminds me that our God is a great big God and he works in amazing and mysterious ways.

Last week:

Yesterday:

 

Angela asks, “Where’s my joint?”

More questions at The District Church

What a week! Earthquake on Wednesday (I lived through five in California and never felt a single one; I move to DC and feel the first one!). And outside my window, Hurricane Irene is making life very, very wet and windy. (But prayers definitely going up for the folks who’re getting hit much harder than we are/have been.)

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to blog about church this past week but that got squeezed out by the events and general busyness of this week. On Sunday, we finished out our “My Most Important Question” series, and got to hear from Daniel — “Why is it so hard to trust in God’s provision?”, Heather — “Is God good?”, and David — “What do you want me to do?” As with the week before, it was so good to hear from folks in our community; and once again, the honesty of their stories, the passion in their telling, and the presence of God in the midst of the struggles shone through. Heather, in particular, is a dear friend of mine; and while I’d heard her story before and talked with her about some of the things she talked about, it was so moving to see and hear her sharing it with the church community.

If you have time–actually, I’d strongly encourage you to make the time to go listen to the podcast; you can find it here.

I love The District Church

This past Sunday’s service at The District Church was a simultaneously humbling and inspiring experience. We’re in the middle of our “My Most Important Question” series, where we talk about some of our biggest issues. Part of the reasoning is that we don’t want to be a church that tells its people to leave their questions at the door. That’s not what God asks us to do–the Psalms are full of honesty, even brazen honesty. God doesn’t get worried when we voice our questions, our doubts, our struggles; all he asks is that we voice them to him, that we include him in our conversation, that we’re in relationship with him.

And so this past Sunday, Blythe, Bruce and Lindsay shared their stories, respectively: “What if I’m not doing enough?”, “What grace is there for those who have not met Jesus Christ?”, and “What is freedom?” And what stories. Their honesty, their passion, and the clear evidence of the Spirit of God clearly at work in their lives were such an encouragement to me. God has brought an amazing band of people to this church, and God is doing an amazing work in the life of every person that calls him- or herself a part of our community.

So grateful to be on staff at The District Church. All glory to God.

You can listen to the podcast online here.