Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Ferroni’

Sermon 02-21-16: “In Spirit and Truth”

March 1, 2016

John Sermon Series Graphic

In his conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4, Jesus exposes the woman’s sexual sin—an uncomfortable topic that she would rather avoid. So she changes the subject: Where is the correct place to worship God? Why does Jesus let her do this? In this sermon, I argue that it’s because Jesus recognizes the connection between worship and sin: In a way, sin is “worshiping wrongly.” Straightening out our “worship problem,” therefore, helps us straighten our our “sin problem.”

Sermon Text: John 4:16-30

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

I’ll never forget my first day on Emory’s campus when I started seminary. One of the main things I had to do on that first day on campus was go to the Financial Aid department and check on the status of my scholarships and loans. Now, I know from my experience at a large public university like Georgia Tech that dealing with the bureaucracy of Financial Aid means waiting in long lines, putting up with employees who don’t seem happy with their jobs, and who seem to enjoy telling people “no”—all of which is enough to make me want to gouge my eyeballs out. Needless to say, I was expecting the worst when I went to the Financial Aid office at Emory’s Candler School of Theology.

But Emory is not a large public university. I walked into the Financial Aid office of the theology school. I looked around. There was no line. Before I had a chance to introduce myself, I was ushered into the office of the director, who said, “Hello, Mr. White, how may I help you?” And I looked at my shirt to see if I was wearing a name tag or something. I wasn’t. And I’m thinking, “How does she know me?” And all I can figure is that she had names and photos of new theology students who were financial aid recipients. And she had been studying it to match faces with names. I had no other explanation… How did she know me?

And of course, the Samaritan woman at the well must have wondered the same thing after she tells Jesus that she has no husband. And Jesus responds: “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” And she’s never met Jesus before in her life! How does he know me? she must have thought. Read the rest of this entry »

Good memes, bad memes

February 19, 2016

Here are a couple of things I saw on the interwebs yesterday that merit some comment. First this:

bad_meme

Assuming this gentleman, called the “sexiest teacher alive” by People Magazine, said the words attributed to him in this meme, he needs to read the Bible more. It says nothing about left-handedness being sinful, nor has the church ever interpreted the Bible to say that left-handedness is sinful. In fact, Judges 3:15 says the following about Ehud: “Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.” Ehud is able to slay the evil King Eglon, we’re told, because of Ehud’s left-handedness. You can read about it here.

But why let facts get in the way of this popular progressive Christian narrative—that we theologically conservative Christians “pick and choose” what parts of the Bible to believe, and who could possibly take the Bible seriously, anyway?

Please note: It’s true that Mr. Ferroni, alongside me and everyone else, was born a sinner. At least he got that right!

On the positive side, there’s this from Lutheran Satire, not a meme, per se, but it ought to be:

good_meme

I have had this same conviction for a few years, as I’ve blogged and preached about a lot. All of us, Christian or not, need to hear the gospel constantly. I hope I preach it, in one way or another, in every sermon.