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The Good Works Epi: A Revealing of Christ in Eph. 2:10

  The NIV translates Eph. 2:10 as, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This translation can easily lead to misunderstanding. The text does not appear to say anything about works “to do.” Let’s look at Paul’s flow of thought. In verse 6, he points out that we have been co-resurrected with Christ and co-seated in the heavenlies with Him. These glorious realities result in God’s excelling riches of grace … [Read more...]

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Questions with Jon Zens

Questions with Jon Zens By Nick Mackison, Scotland I recently sent Jon Zens a list of questions related to organic/house church issues. He kindly responded and I have his permission to print his answers here (in bold throughout). Dear Jon, Over the last year or so, I’ve become convinced of the biblical basis of the organic church espoused in much of your writings (along with those of Frank Viola and Steve Atkerson). JZ: The phrase “organic church” itself needs some important … [Read more...]

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UNINSTITUTIONAL 2

Introduction Jesus simply cannot be institutionalized. He said the Spirit is like wind. You can’t put wind in a box and make it happen. Inherent in wind is freedom. The only image that really captures reality is Vine-branches, organic relationships.... Visible Christianity is trying to serve an organic Jesus in non-organic structures. Is it any wonder that things work out like they say in the commercials –”your results may vary” — “some assembly required” — “batteries not included.” On … [Read more...]

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“WHAT GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS?”

                In 2011, I was substitute teaching in a high school English class. That day, the lesson plan for one class called for a section of Act 2 of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to be read aloud. This is a fictionalized historical play that takes place in late 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, concerning the infamous Witch Trials. Tucked away in the dialogue are some very striking points concerning the outworkings of … [Read more...]

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HUMBLE PIE, ANYONE?

“Who being in very nature God . . . made Himself nothing . . . humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2) ================================================================================= “It is so amazing to see how quickly pride in one person can quench the spirit of others (even multitudes are ultimately affected and influenced). How my heart aches for God's glory to manifested -- and it will be -- as we walk in humility towards one another – … [Read more...]

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N.T. Wright Interview

I would like to encourage you to read the following interview with N.T. Wright: N.T. Wright Interview: “Simply Jesus” & Wright Responds to Critics Click this link to read the unedited interview: http://frankviola.org/2012/01/23/ntwright … [Read more...]

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The Body With One Part?

                In answer to the question, “Why don't women ever read or pray in Bethlehem's church services?” John Piper answered in part: But the real question, I think, they're asking is about the prayers of praise, the reading of the text, and the preaching, and none of those the women do at Bethlehem. And that is intentional. My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view  that moment and that place in … [Read more...]

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CRUCIFIXION — Nail In Ankle Bone

“But there are no explicit descriptions of how crucifixion was done. Until fairly recently there was not a single piece of archaeological evidence to explain the practice. In 1968, however, a significant archaeological discovery was made in a suburb of Jerusalem: an ossuary with the skeletal remains of a man named Yehochanan who had been crucified. Yehochanan had been nailed to an upright beam of wood through the ankle, but the nail hit a knot in the wood and bent, making it difficult to be … [Read more...]

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SHOULD THE TAIL WAG THE DOG?

“If you indeed continue in the faith having been founded and steadfast and not being moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I Paul became a servant” (Colossians 1:23). “In fact, Christ, Himself, spelled out the mission of the church in what we refer to as The Great Commission . . . . That commission from Christ is the sole reason why the church exists today.” – James Longstreet, http://www.christianpost.com Is … [Read more...]

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WHAT ARE MY REASONS FOR WANTING TO GO ON LIVING?

Recently, Dotty and I attended a Marriage Encounter (www.wwme.org) weekend. Toward the end of the sessions, the husbands and wives were to spend an hour writing a letter to their spouse and then read their letters to each other. The letter would be in response to nine questions that were listed on a sheet of paper. This sheet opened in such a way that only question #1 was visible at first. The other questions were to be looked at only after #1 was answered. Here is my response to #1. After I … [Read more...]