Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christian Thought class at Cedar Park

I'm very excited to be launching into a new class at Cedar Park. We met this last Sunday (Nov 27th) for the first time, and covered some of the basic definitions of what theology is and means. It was a great group, and I'm looking forward to the series.

For anyone who would like to subscribe to a weekly feed of the class, here are some links:

iTunes with audio and video - itpc://panopto.northwestu.edu/Panopto/Podcast/Podcast.ashx?courseid=7519af72-c344-42f4-8b88-07fb0035db42&type=mp4

iTunes with audio only - itpc://panopto.northwestu.edu/Panopto/Podcast/Podcast.ashx?courseid=7519af72-c344-42f4-8b88-07fb0035db42&type=mp3

RSS feed with audio and video - http://panopto.northwestu.edu/Panopto/Podcast/Podcast.ashx?courseid=7519af72-c344-42f4-8b88-07fb0035db42&type=mp4

RSS feed with audio only - http://panopto.northwestu.edu/Panopto/Podcast/Podcast.ashx?courseid=7519af72-c344-42f4-8b88-07fb0035db42&type=mp3

Holler in the comments below if you need some help with what to do with these links. Otherwise, those who are a part of the class, either gathering in person each week, or joining us in cyberspace, welcome!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween - Holy or Defiled?

This last Sunday (Oct 30th) was a sad day for me at Calvary Christian Assembly, as we finished off our session on Romans and I said goodbye to friends who love studying God's Word. (At the same time, I was excited to see the love of my life again, as Rosemarie returned from a three-week doctoral research and studies stint in Springfield.) We blazed through Romans 14-16, and spent some time on the issue of "disputable matters" in chapter 14.

As a child growing up in a quite conservative German church in Canada, I was trained to see Halloween as an example of depravity and evil, or at least that's what I recall. This was by no means the view of all believers in our small town, and I have a vague recollection of doing some trick-or-treating, but have difficulty figuring out how that happened! In the course of our class I brought up, in passing, the issue of Halloween as a "disputable matter".

It is good to think and to learn. One of the things which I had read just prior to our session was the Internet Monk rant on Halloween, presented by someone who had grown up in a likewise conservative setting, but had a very different recollection of Halloween: fun without any taint of the occult. And then I read this article by David Mathis on why Luther chose Oct 31st as the day for the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg: it was a day that celebrated the triumph of good over evil, among other things.

Hmmm... that's not what I had understood growing up, and yet I like that idea. Not as an excuse to have fun, but as a true expression of Romans 12:21 - "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Whatever your view on this particular day, may we be those who overcome evil with good!

Any thoughts to share in the comments?