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Answers to the 10 Most Common Questions About Christmas

College Church has made available a short book to accompany our Christmas series. It’s called How Christmas Can Change Your Life: Answers to the 10 Most Common Questions About Christmas. You can pick up a copy at College Church in the Commons or at the welcome desks in the Narthex. Give one to a friend, and invite them to join us this Christmas as we think about how Christmas really can change your life. ...

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How Christmas Can Change Your Life

The Advent and Christmas services begin this Sunday, December 1, at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. at College Church. Our series this Christmas season is “How Christmas Can Change Your Life.” For the first Sunday of Advent, I’ll be preaching a message entitled “Overcoming the Darkness” from John 1:1-5. For a list of other services this month, visit the College Church website. John 1:1-5 (ESV): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it....

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Preachers of L.A.

The following article was written for Evangelicals Now and published in their news publication for November 2013. From a British point of view it is scarcely believable. But coming soon to American TV is a reality TV series based on the flamboyant lifestyles of preachers from Los Angeles. Called Preachers of L.A., it promises a behind-the-scenes look at how certain kinds of megachurch pastors really live. The concern that this announcement has generated has largely been about the evident ‘prosperity gospel’ emphasis of these ‘Preachers of L.A.’ (see last month’s column). I am reminded, though, a little of the old quip about Mary Baker Eddy’s ‘Christian Science’ movement, that it is neither Christian nor Science. Similarly the ironic aspect of the prosperity gospel is that it is neither offering true prosperity nor the real gospel. Christian subculture I am mentioning Preachers of L.A. not so much to comment on the prosperity gospel but to remark on the sheer cheese factor....

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Expositing Psalms

How do you preach the Psalms? Consider Psalm 130: 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. In Journey to Joy I call my chapter on this psalm “Living Guilt Free.” That is because right at the core of the psalm (sometimes called “De Profundis” because of the beginning words “Out of the depths”) is a wrestling with sin and forgiveness. Most authorities on the Psalms would...

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History Channel’s The Bible Shows How the Bible Can Be a Guide to Joy

When it comes to finding lasting joy, satisfaction, and delight, people will turn to many other things – before they finally turn to the Bible. But the new series on History Channel is showing why, when rightly and effectively presented, the Bible is the place to go for lasting joy. In its second week, The Bible series on the History Channel was the number one show in all of television from 8:00-10:00 p.m. It commanded 10.8 million total viewers, and 3.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. Since it began, over 50 million have seen at least a part of the series. This is considerably more than many so-called cutting edge shows enjoy on other platforms. If we are looking for joy, the place to look is the Bible. You could start by reading that joy-filled letter: Philippians. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it as if your life depended on it....

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Finding Peace in Trouble by a Journey to Joy

As I write, the city of Boston – where I have many friends – is recovering from a horrific bombing. Questions are asked now that were not asked the week before: Where is God? What is the purpose of this event? Why did this happen to me? Why now? Who could do such a thing? As Christians we believe that God is sovereign over every single event, good or bad, small or massive, that has ever happened, ever will occur, from eternity to eternity. We know bad stuff happens. We know Romans 8:28 is still true. After all, if God can use a crucifixion to save, he can certainly use evil for good. That said, at a real personal level recovering from such events is not easy. Here is where the Psalms come in, and in particular the Psalms of Ascent. The Psalms have the aim of pointing us to Christ in the...

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Five Reasons to Come to Church Sunday

We’d love to have you join us at College Church this Sunday, April 7, during one of our morning services at 8:00, 9:30, or 11:00 a.m. We’ll be continuing in our series, “iTeach: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount,” with a new sermon from Matthew 6:5-15 on “Understanding the Lord’s Prayer.” In follow up to yesterday’s post, “Why Go to Church?” I’m reposting a blog from last year with five reasons that can encourage us to come to church this Sunday: It is biblical. “Not neglecting to meet together” (Hebrews 10:25); “day by day” (Acts 2:46); gathered “on the first day of every week” (1 Corinthians 16:2). A Christian not in church is like a fish out of water. Church is not Starbucks and my two friends. It is the gathering of God’s people around God’s gospel. That is more than a campus group, or parachurch organization, healthy and helpful as they can be. It...

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