Devotionals

  • Occupied?

    By Josh Moody

    Watching St Paul’s, London, from a distance has been an interesting experience recently. I was then intrigued to discover that this Christian street preacher in Calgary was comparing his treatment with that of “Occupy Calgary.” Artur Pawlowski comments that, “I have stood over 70 times in the courts. We have been charged over 100 times. Eight arrests,” he says. “Just because I believe in Jesus Christ, I’m treated differently.” Apparently his treatment is in contrast to the more familiar and understanding attitude that the Occupy protesters receive. There may be many reasons for this beyond the scope of the theological, perhaps, and beyond the scope of this article. But it raises an important question for Mr. Pawlowski and for us: what sort of ‘counter-culture’ campaign is the church allowed to launch these days? What kind of marching would be permissible? When was the last time anyone threw any money lenders out of any temples? If the Guardian’s statistics are correct (‘grauniad’ anyone?),  the…

    Continue Reading >

    Heaven’s Compound Interest

    By Josh Moody

    As we come to the end of 2011, I write to tell you a story. It is a story of “Heaven’s Compound Interest.” During World War 2 many little girls and boys became homeless. My great-grandmother and great-grandfather helped one such little child. After the war had finished, a daughter of one refugee in London came to the attention of my great-grandparents. She worked hard and showed unusual intelligence. Unfortunately, her father didn’t have the means to send her to university. My great grandparents decided to do it for her. The text from the Bible that came to their mind was from Ecclesiastes — you may remember we studied it this year at College Church — “Cast your bread upon the waters.” They had no particular hope that their investment in this one little child would make much difference. But they felt it was the right thing to do, so they “cast…

    Continue Reading >

    Time to Play

    By Josh Moody

    With economic activity indicators all around us, and earnest disciplined parents driving their children to succeed, it is easier to feel that life is about working hard and forget the adage that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ I came across this quotation from C.S. Lewis recently: “It is only in our ‘hours-off’, only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we are placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of heaven.”[1] How our earnest world needs to hear that! Perhaps, in addition, not only is ‘play’ the “serious…

    Continue Reading >

    An Evening with Atheists

    By Josh Moody

    As we continue in our sermon series “God’s Answer to Atheism” at College Church, guest blogger Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal,  shares with us his experience attending an atheist gathering in his neighborhood: Christians love talking about atheists. Generally, however, we’re less excited about talking to them. Well, one night last winter I set out to change that, at least in my own life. I attended an atheist gathering in my neighborhood. But first I had to go online and join their “meet-up” group. I remember my hand freezing on my computer mouse, unable to click the “join us” invitation. For a moment the cursor hovered over the button. Did I really want to do this? I had already interviewed dozens of atheists for the book project I was working on, but most of my interviews had been conducted over the phone or via email. Somehow the prospect of sitting face to face with them was…

    Continue Reading >

    9/11 Anniversary Lessons

    By Josh Moody

    Evangelicals Now published this month a recent article I wrote on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11: To even attempt to broach such a demanding topic in a few hundred words is to rush in where angels fear to tread. So first a preliminary word: this will not be exhaustive. It will not be ‘exhausting’ either, for which you may breathe a sigh of relief, because of its appropriate brevity. But the temptation in such a piece as this, on such a topic as that, is to attempt to provide ‘bullet points’ on all the major aspects that should be addressed (for instance, suffering, providence, war, religion, martyrdom, death, bravery, rescue missions, firefighters, security, to name but a few, and not to mention the massive secondary ‘literature’ about the event ranging from the popular urban legends to the more diatribe like, probably academic too). Instead, I will simply attempt the topic of “hermeneutics.” Yes, I know,…

    Continue Reading >

    Justifying Justification

    By Josh Moody

    Christianity.com has published an article on justification that I wrote as a follow up to Jonathan Edwards and Justification. You can read the article here.

    Continue Reading >

    Preaching Ecclesiastes in a Secular Age

    By Josh Moody

    A new series on Ecclesiastes begins this Sunday at College Church.  Ecclesiastes has a unique voice in the context of our secular age.  There have certainly been significant contributions made in recent years to the “God debate.” Some interesting conversations about that debate would be spurred by reference to Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (Yale University Press, 2009), a publication of Eagleton’s lectures at Yale for the 2008 “Dwight Harrington Terry Foundation Lectures on Religion in the Light of Science and Philosophy.”  Perhaps few, if any, readers would agree with everything that Eagleton says, but his telling, often funny, sometimes bromide-laden, always insightful, demolition job on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (or as he suggests calling them “Ditchkins”) is compelling.  Eagleton’s main point is that most new atheists have what he calls a “superstitious” view of God. Instead you might reference books by James W. Sire (Why Good…

    Continue Reading >

    Seven Steps to the Perfect Start to College or University

    By Josh Moody

    This month many students are beginning their first year of college or university. Here are seven steps to the perfect start, not only for these new freshmen, but also for those students who have already begun and are seeking a fresh start. 1.  Read the Bible and pray. This sounds obvious, but it isn’t. With more social pressure, less time, and less privacy, maintaining a regular, daily, discipline of quiet times is going to be difficult.  Don’t let it slip. 2.  Be a member of a local Bible teaching church. The one consistent predictor of who stays a Christian and thrives spiritually after university or college is who is committed to a local Bible teaching church. I love para-church groups, have been involved with many, and support them, but if a student is not a part of a local church, they are far less likely to be part of a local church…

    Continue Reading >

    Some Thoughts on Christian Weddings

    By Josh Moody

    Two Principles: Marriage is a creation gift from God (Genesis 2:18-25). That means that you don’t have to be a Christian to get the benefit of marriage. This is something that God – as an expression of his loving goodness – gives to all his creatures made in his image. It is a part of the natural created order, and like the sun and the rain it falls on the just and the not so just. But marriage is more than a creation gift; it is a message about Christ’s love for the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). Within the created order, God in His providence invested a type, a foreshadow, a sign to point to Christ and his love for the church.  Many times in the Old Testament, and in the New, the relationship between God and his people is compared to a marriage relationship. This is not just a cutesy metaphor.  Marriage, in a very…

    Continue Reading >

    Vacation

    By Josh Moody

    With summer officially upon us, here are some ways to make the most of your vacation/holiday: 1. Rest For the inveterate workaholics the idea of any sort of break can seem faintly guilt inducing. Remember that rest is God’s idea, a creation ordinance, affirmed in the Ten Commandments, and a part of expressing the gospel by resting in God’s sovereignty. So rest. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting up really late (if you have young children that’s never going to happen anyway), but it might mean going to bed early. And perhaps an afternoon nap. 2. Relax Relaxation is not the same as resting. Relaxation might well involve some pretty vigorous exercise. Or it might involve consciously giving yourself to think through some things in your life in quiet. It might mean ‘getting away from it all’ mentally as well as geographically enough so that you do not have the needs of the office, or…

    Continue Reading >