Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finally, a christian band I can get into!

So I just rediscovered this band called Gungor. I say "rediscover" because I had heard their song "White Man" before but never really looked into the masterminds behind the music. But now that I have --they seem totally legit! I'm looking forward to listening to them more because to be honest I really don't care for that many "Christian" bands out there anymore but these guys have a sound that I can get into. They seem to have a very diverse style. At times they remind me of bands like, Sufjan Stevens, Mumford and Sons, and even Fanfarlo. You should check them out!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Eternal Kingdom: Eschatology and the Kingdom Part 2

In the second year of king Nebuchadnessar's reign he had a dream that deeply troubled him. So he gathers together all of Babylons wise men to have his dream interpreted. This means he rounds up all of the diviners, priest, mediums, sorcerers and the nations astronomers to find out what his dream meant. Now, here's the catch. The King wouldn't tell them the dream! He wanted them to not only interpret the dream, but to first tell them what the dream was! The nations so called "wise men" explain that this an impossible task and no one has ever asked of such an undertaking. So king Nebuchadnessar decides to have all of the nations wise men executed. I guess he figured it was time to downsize and reformat his whole operation. 

Stick with me, we're getting to the good part. 

The executioners are sent out to round up everyone. When they reach Daniel, Daniel asks why the execution was issued and learns of the king's dilemma. Daniel asks the king for some time to figure out the interpretation. He goes to his fellow Judean friends and they beseech God on the matter and the mystery is revealed to Daniel. 

Daniel tells the executioner to not to kill the wise men of Babylon. And demands that he be brought before the king to give the interpretation. 

The king asks Daniel, "Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?"

Daniel answered the king, "No mere human can solve the king's mystery, I don't care who it is—no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner. But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries, and he has solved this one.” Daniel is letting King Nebuchadnezzar in on what is going to happen in days to come.  

“This is the dream you had when you were lying on your bed, the vision that filled your mind”:

This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.” (2:36)
After first describing the dream as the king had commanded be done Daniel begins by telling king Nebuchadnezzar how the God of heaven has given him “sovereignty, power, strength and glory,” and exalting him and his great success as a king. Daniel tells the king “you are the head of gold.” (v.38) As Daniel interprets the dream we learn that the dream is about five different kingdoms. Here we find the identification of the first mentioned kingdom, the kingdom of Babylon existing from 605-539 B.C.

After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. (2.39)
Daniel then lets the king know of two kingdoms that will rise after his own. Daniel here describes the kingdoms of Medo-Persia (538-332 B.C.) and Greece (331-65 B.C.). No know, the kingdoms of the famous Xerxes depicted in “300”, and of Alexander the Great. Notice that he says that these kingdoms are “inferior” to that of Nebuchadnezzar’s. As each new kingdom arises the quality of it’s metal on the statue decreases.

A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron. (2:40b)

This fourth kingdom mentioned is the Roman empire. The Roman empire expanded the reaches of the know world more so than any kingdom before it. It was powerful and ruthless. Thus, described as iron.

The kingdom did however have great difficultly in uniting its people --which became their weakness. Roman law aloud conquered lands to keep their own laws and traditions to a certain extent. Daniel said that “the people will mix with one another but not hold together.” During the time of Pax Romana (meaning “Roman Peace”) there was the appearance of strength and unity but really the people were never mixing into Roman society, just as clay and iron never truly mix.

In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. (2:44)
Daniel now begins to speak of the Kingdom of Christ that would come to the world. During the time of the Roman Empire. This Kingdom grows up from the rock, the rock being Christ. It starts with Christ but it doesn’t end there! The rock is portrayed as being alive –living. It grows and fills the whole earth like a great mountain. It is this great mountain that is the Kingdom of God. One eternal Kingdom is what God is here describing. In Mattew chapter 3 John the Baptist said the Kingdom was at hand. And again in the first chapter of Mark Jesus said the time was fulfilled for the Kingdom. Verses such as Col 1:13 make it clear that we (the church) are currently apart of this Kingdom.

Therefore Christ is the mentioned stone that fills the earth. We the church are a part of this Kingdom of God here on Earth (Rom 9:30-33, Rev 5:9-10). Thus, the “millennial” reign of Christ is now! The Kingdom of God is among us right here right now! I hope that you are a part of the Kingdom that has no end. I pray that God will continue to expand His Kingdom throughout all the earth as we take His message of love, grace and truth to all people. And as we live in this world as His body allowing Him to reach others through our own actions of compassion, grace and healing.   

In "Eschatology and the Kingdom Part 3" I will explore the importance of recognizing the Kingdom of God as a spiritual force from Heaven rather than a physical power on Earth.

Monday, October 18, 2010


This past weekend I directed a Fall Retreat at Camp Wabashi in Terre Haute, Indiana. The weekend was incredible and I am so thankful to God that Michelle and I were able to be a part of this wonderful ministry.  

The theme was "I am Radical" and we focused on the radical nature of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. The life that Jesus lived on this earth was extreme.  No one had ever seen anything like it. The words He spoke were radical. Jesus came with a message that seriously blew the world away! The things He did were radical. Jesus spent time reaching out to and loving people that most of the world wouldn't give the time of day to. And this same radical Jesus gives us the invitation to come and follow Him. So at the retreat we explored how the invitation to be a disciple of Jesus is one that must take seriously in our own lives.
One aspect that I was really excited about was our break out classes. In our class sessions we taught an easy approach to sharing the gospel. We also equipped them with the necessary tools to be able to share the gospel with friends who hold completely different world-views from their own.
The retreat was both encouraging and challenging. And I believe that everyone that went (staff included) had a blast! I've placed several links bellow to some of the resources that we used. I hope and pray that we all can continue to show the world we take our lives as Christ's followers seriously. I pray that we can have the boldness to live the radical life that He has called us to -in our words, in our actions and in our discipleship unto Him. Lets Get RAD and show the world the love of Christ through in all that we are!

Click bellow to view printable PDF 
GOSPEL Track based on John 3
Click here to see how to to share the GOSPEL