The conclusion to the series on the Gospels, and secular interpretations of the origins of Christianity.
The summation of many years of wrestling and searching, this candle-light service represents my best attempt at describing God's real answer to the achings of the human heart this Christmas season.
The hardened steel of belief is rarely forged on the sunny slopes of rote memory, recital and pleasant conversation. Rather, it is the midnight forge of doubt, the rattle and smash of controversy and the grinding wheels of dissenting opinion which forge the keenest edge of conviction.
Originally titled "Diagnosis, Prognosis, Cure," this sermon looks at the reality of Sin, and the Good News that it can be "fixed" in Jesus Christ.
The task of an apologist is to preach the gospel in a way that makes sense to a particular culture. ....They must work to understand the culture well enough to build a bridge from there to the gospel: it is here, however, that the problem occurs. Some become so consumed with the intricacies of building the bridge on the side of culture that they never make the leap, and start building towards Christ. The result is a church founded on culture, which holds itself up in opposition to Christ. This act is the great act of treason which apologists have made time and again in history!
In preparing for this first sermon, I found and listened to the classic on the subject, the sermon by Johnathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." (Read text, or listen to a very well done audio version). This historic sermon (it dates back to "The Great Awekening" of 1730-55) presents a thoroughly accurate, vivid and compelling presentation of the Bible's teaching on the wrath of God, and hell.