Doctrine

Lesson 11: Giving Up Church

Lesson 11: Giving Up Church

Remember we are using “Is it a sin?” as a gimmick for examining what is good for self, others, and society. I was surprised that both the face-to-face classes wanted to discuss giving up church attendance and again how they handled it. Usually people make the decision based on “Do I need it?” or ‘Am […]

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Lesson 12: Stem Cell Research

Lesson 12: Stem Cell Research

One of the face-to-face classes discussed “Is stem cell research a sin?” thinking it might be less emotionally loaded than the other life issues, such as abortion, in vitro fertilization, contraception, genetic engineering, and euthanasia. People obviously find it easier to speak about using some of the 100,000 or so embryos left over from in […]

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Lesson 13: Euthanasia

Lesson 13: Euthanasia

Euthanasia is often defined as mercy killing, meaning a relatively painless death. People use the term for a variety of practices that run from the passive withholding of treatment to the active use of lethal substances or forces to kill. Some are widely accepted, such as giving medications to relieve pain knowing that they may […]

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Lesson 14: Incarnation

Lesson 14: Incarnation

Christmas forces us to repent, to rethink all our assumptions about God. We naturally think a god must be completely separate from and absolutely superior to us in all ways. A god is to be a perfect being, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. But incarnation proclaims Immanuel, God as human dwelling among us. (John 1: 14) […]

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Lesson 15: Epiphany

Lesson 15: Epiphany

An epiphany is an appearance of God. If the biblical creation is not so much the origin of a cosmos as the start of a history we share with God, you would expect to find a number of these manifestations in the scriptures. You would, also, assume they would convey an insight into who God […]

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Lesson 16: The Last Days

Lesson 16: The Last Days

I am simply going to use the discussions of our high school reading group during January and February. Once a month my wife, our youth minister, and I meet with 25 to 30 ninth to twelfth graders. We begin with a fine dinner and proceed to a discussion based on a topic they chose the […]

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Lesson 17: The Last Days

Lesson 17: The Last Days

Let’s change plans. Juan’s questions, Bob’s observation, and e-mailers’ inquiries reveal people have questions about “The Last Days” Let me make a few short observations in hopes you will respond with your ideas. Juan asks how we discern the “prophetic” aspect in Revelation and the rest of the Bible. I obviously reject the methods of […]

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Lesson 18: What Does God Look Like?

Lesson 18: What Does God Look Like?

When the senior suggested we discuss “What does God look like? What did Jesus look like?” at our next meeting, my first thought was, “This is silly” Then I realized the question probably hid some much deeper concerns. I sent out the following very brief essay which asked the young people to spend time pondering […]

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Lesson 19: How Does God Operate in this World?

Lesson 19: How Does God Operate in this World?

We say God is invisible, but claim he is a person. We do not use empirical science to study God, yet speak of his presence in our world. Many, such as Luther, write God is hidden in our world; however others claim to know exactly what he is doing. Sometimes this is unsettling. For instance, […]

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Lesson 20: How Does God Operate in this World 2

Lesson 20: How Does God Operate in this World 2

Bob offered a pretty thorough list of answers to our question and then refutations of each. There are certainly passages throughout the Bible describing God’s participation in natural events. However, Jesus, our ultimate standard, agrees with our readers who refuse to see God using natural disasters to punish or teach. (Luke 13: 1-5, Matthew 6: […]

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