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Materialism

One of the pressing concerns of 21st century individual and congregational spiritual life is the question of depth. To be blunt, there isn’t much. Study after study has revealed the sad truth that much of what we call faith and commitment is actually a thin veneer of religious ritualism that wilts at the first hint […] Read More

My mind has been dragging and my heart has lingered in this week and a half that I’ve been home from my recent trip to Kenya. When the faces of such precious people are fixated in your mind, you just stay put for a while. The joy washes over you and you don’t want to […] Read More

Our church has just entered into its annual stewardship season. I find it impossible to consider my own, personal stewardship without considering my relationship to “stuff.” An honest Christian will have to admit that a major factor in a decision about what we give to God is the question: “How much will I have left for ‘stuff’?” Very […] Read More

Final Reminders

A sermon by Michael Cheuk, Pastor, University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va., on September 1, 2013. Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 For the past three weeks, I’ve been preaching from the book of Hebrews, a book that was written to a group of first-generation Jesus followers who were being imprisoned and mistreated for their faith.   We examined the […] Read More

Reza Aslan’s basic thesis in his book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” is that Jesus was a failed revolutionary who was willing to use violence to overthrow the political and religious order to bring in God’s kingdom. Aslan rejects outright the many teachings of Jesus about nonviolence, peacemaking and love of […] Read More

Recently, the Missouri House of Representatives endorsed legislation that would allow advertising on school buses. This would allow school districts to lease space on the inside and outside of their buses to private corporations. The intent of this legislation is to help cover the costs of school transportation; each school district will be required to […] Read More

I like the phrase “conspicuous consumption.” It sounds neat. It has the gritty feel of reality. The words snarl and spit at you with the hard Cs and the popping Ps sliding along the icy Ss. It feels like a skater slipping into a wall. The words cannot be good. They bear some malevolent message. […] Read More

Given the sex scandals that seem to plague American political life – to say nothing about the preoccupation with sex in American popular culture – who would be surprised if most Americans would think the Apostle Paul was referring to sex when he crusaded against becoming a slave to unrighteousness? In Romans 6, he wrote, […] Read More

The scene takes place in heaven at the conclusion of a surprise birthday celebration for Jesus. Several heavenly luminaries have just treated Jesus to cake and ice cream. As the party breaks up, Jesus and the angel Gabriel are speaking to each other.   Gabriel: Well, that was nice. Were you surprised? We were so […] Read More

At the time this was written, it wasn’t quite clear who were the lucky winners of the latest EuroMillions lottery jackpot, which spans several European countries including Britain. There are two winning tickets apparently. At least one is an individual, and the other may or may not be a syndicate.   Camelot Group, which operates […] Read More