Where is God in sickness and death?

In the first year of our church plant, I had the honour of officiating a funeral for one of our members. According to the Scriptures, Janet is not lost. Her family and her church family know precisely where she is. She enjoying the presence of God in a way that words could never convey. For Christians, thinking about our mortality is not morbid, but  reassuring. To be sure, we have deep sorrow in death – but we don’t have sorrow without hope. At the core of our worldview, we do not believe… Read More

On Politics

Voting is a privilege, a responsibility … and it’s often quite hard to do. While every political campaign positions itself as the “clear choice”, we voters often find that our choice is not quite so clear. Voting is always difficult because political platforms and the candidates representing them rarely, if ever, represent all our values in all respects. The headaches than ensue from mentally wrestling with each platform and how we align with the numerous issues at hand is a challenge shared by people of faith and non faith alike. Throw in… Read More

On Your Right … No Your Other Right.

As I write this from the window of a coffee shop, the traffic is driving by on the right side of the road … because I’m Canadian. If you’re reading this in Pakistan, Kenya, Fiji or one of 75 other possible countries and territories, then the traffic outside your coffee shop is  driving by on the left … which for you, is right. If you were to move here, we would say “Welcome to Canada – we drive on the right” and if I were to move there, you might say, “Welcome… Read More

The Hinge

Jesus Christ, for many people, is understood as a moral teacher, champion of the underdog and all around nice guy. He said a lot of “love your neighbour” type things, wasn’t afraid to sit at the social outcast table and unlike the religious-who’s-who, Jesus got invited to hang out at parties. The thing is, Jesus also said a lot of things that disqualify Him from being just another sage in a long line of tunic clad gurus. He said things like, “I saw Satan fall from lighting from heaven” [1] and “If… Read More

What is Lent?

What is lent? …. Is it scriptural? …. Should we observe it or not? Here’s an uber short FAQ on this historic practice on the Christian calendar … The spirit behind the season of Lent is beautiful: it is a time to prepare the hearts of the church to celebrate Easter. A time of anticipating the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. This year, the season of lent is from Wednesday February 14 – Thursday March 29. It is a season of intentional… Read More

White Belt Faith

A number of years ago, I took a karate class with my kids for fun. One day my class was sparring and the sensei walked onto the mat in between matches. Since we were on a break, one of the instructors shouted jokingly, “Who wants to spar sensei?” I volunteered. I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to attempt to land a punch on a black belt who was morally obligated not to kill me. I thought it would be a great experience. Well, it was an experience alright. I… Read More

God’s Last Word on Sin

Last Sunday at Redeemer, I unpacked the well known account of the woman who was caught in adultery. The difference between the religious leader’s judgemental hatred toward the woman and God’s gracious heart toward her is a chasm. What the religious leaders thought Jesus ought to do and what Jesus actually did could not have be more opposite. The religious crowd salivated over judgement, Jesus extended mercy. The reason that Jesus merciful actions were not a defiant act that contradicted God’s law is because Jesus came to bear the full weight of judgement… Read More

The Jesus Of No Importance

CS Lewis (1898-1963) was a philosophic writer with an atheistic worldview. Before coming to faith in Christ, Lewis was full of excellent arguments, intelligent questions and nagging doubts that kept Him from believing the Christian gospel. Perhaps you are a person of non faith who can relate. Perhaps as philosopher Charles Taylor once put it, you are haunted by occasional temptations to believe in the divine. Between 1941 and 1944 Lewis did a series of apologetic talks on the BBC radio which were later compiled and put into a book entitled, Mere… Read More

God With Us

Written by Susan Dunk I am writing Advent lessons for the kids classes at KW Redeemer and I was reminded of a brilliant blog I read at this time last year by Dr. Jono Linebaugh. “What’s in Two Names”. The Redeemer KiDS will hear from the Jesus Story Book Bible’s “He’s Here!” which is the Biblical narrative of Christ’s arrival… “Now the birth of Jesus Christ, was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph… Read More

Where Fear meets Hope

Written By Susan Dunk “O little town of Bethlehem,” is one of those Christmas carols I don’t sing too often. To be clear, it’s a beautiful song, it just feels like I’m singing to a town…instead of the Babe of that town. However, in that classic Christmas song lies a lyric that sums up Advent in a single phrase: Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight This is the heartbeat of Advent … into our darkness shone… Read More

Philosophy, Seinfeld and Soul Food

“There’s no danger in running out of appetites” Seinfeld’s humour lands with us for many reasons, the most obvious perhaps, is that his insightful wit is like a welcome mat inviting us to laugh at ourselves. In this bit, he argues that he’s never in danger of ruining his appetite because there’s another one following along behind it. His appetite is infinite. In 380BC, Plato wrote a political philosophical manifesto called the Republic in which he also identified the infinite appetite in the human soul. According to Plato, the thinking part of your… Read More

Remember

By Susan Dunk Saturday November 11th is Remembrance Day for us here in Canada and for most of the commonwealth countries. (That’s right … we still have a sovereign, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.) There is so much significance to this day and why it is called Remembrance Day. It used to be called “Armistice” after World War 1 and was recognized for the whole week. In Canada, the name was changed to Remembrance Day in 1930. I think it’s unfortunate the week was reduced to a day. We would do well to halt… Read More

Justification: One and Done.

When I was about 10, I went on a hike with a boys brigade. We were all racing down this path at lunchtime when I decided to beat everyone to the bottom by deviating from the path. I ran straight down the side of the hill and received an immediate, involuntary lesson in physics. My little legs couldn’t keep up with the momentum that was required to keep up and I ended up going down the hill Princess Bride “as you wiiiiiiiiish” style. The protestant reformation took place 500 years ago – October… Read More

Modern Reformation Anyone?

On October 31, 1517, Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. Luther’s pen unleashed cultural ramifications that today’s bloggers could only dream of. He nailed his theses to the door, a few people read it, translated it from Latin into German and thanks to the technological wonder of a relatively new piece of technology called the Gutenberg Press – his 95 theses went 16th century viral. After 4 years of debate on justification by grace & faith alone, Luther was brought before the church assembly… Read More

Everybody Hurts

I am embarrassed to say this, but for many years in pastoral ministry, I sat across from people in real suffering, but because of my own discomfort with suffering, I sought to fix those who weeped instead of weeping with those who weeped. A number of years back, Susan and I were out with some close friends and they had some people in their lives going through some really hard times. They asked, ‘what’s your theology on suffering?’ I fumbled around. The truth is, my understanding of the bible  at that time in my life was formed by… Read More