In Justice For All

We all want to rid the world of injustice. But we can only recognize injustice if we know what justice is to begin with. We don’t always agree about what is just. So, who gets to define justice?

Andy did a great job of unpacking this question in the next installment of Who Needs God? There are gads of additional resources available on the dedicated website for the series accessible at Who Needs God?

The message this week – In Justice For All


The God of Jesus 

This week’s message from the series “Who Needs God?” Out of Northpoint Church in Atlanta. Here’s the link:

The God of Jesus

Here are some of the notes:

For those who have stepped away from your childhood faith: you are being invited to step back and explore again the claims of Christ.

There were no Jesus followers when Christ was crucified. But when the resurrection happened, a great many began to follow.

Isaiah 53 was a direct prophetic reference to Jesus and the Christians had the audacity to take the Jewish scriptures and combine them with the historical records of the New Testament

So if you walked away from faith because of something that you found in the Bible that you couldn’t reconcile with science or something else, you probably left your faith for the wrong reason.

We take the OT seriously because Jesus did!

Christianity does not rise and fall on the viability of the OT scriptures.

People followed Jesus after the resurrection because of the resurrection 

If Christianity was as fragile as all that it would never have survived the first century

Just as what Jesus said about Himself was trustworthy and reliable, so too was what He said about God.

John who was there when Jesus said, “If you want to know what God says, listen to me. If you want to know what God does, watch me.” John 14:7-10 paraphrased

What did Jesus say about God?

God is Spirit

See the woman at the well

You could say the first cause was supranatural.

God is Father

Jesus taught, “When you pray, say Father…”

This is the best relational picture that exists.

God is Love    1 John 4:16

God for other people reflected the nature of God

Shade requires the sun. You can have sun without shade. You cannot have evil without good, but you can have good without evil.

Love must necessarily pre-exist unlove

Whenever you do and seek good and justice you declare the glory of God

Love pre-existed everything less than God

Why do you know there is evil in the world?

How do you know what you ought to do?

Why do we excise it with, “Nobody’s perfect.”






Pray to the Father when you go to bed tonight. 

Read the book of John this week – what do you learn about the Father from the Son?

Serving the Homeless

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Downtown, St. Louis – This week’s service project allowed our students to step into a new part of the city and minister to a segment of the population that most of us have little to no ongoing relationship with – those forced to live on the streets.

While Cortland was taping a segment on a local cable tv show that broadcasts from the studio at New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC), a group of our students (Caleb, Katie, Isaiah, Jesse, Schuyler and Amber) served in this downtown shelter organizing storerooms, toddler watching and packing bags of toiletries and basic items to be handed out to those who come to NLEC for food and respite and leave having experienced a tangible touch of God’s love. It was a great way to kick off Schuyler’s 18th birthday!

sheltercrewNLEC is the largest homeless shelter in
downtown St. Louis, and while they often have their fill of volunteers around the holidays, it was clear from our experience this week that they are in ongoing need of volunteers.  We are praying this can be a monthly service project for our church. As the weather begins to turn colder, would you pray about joining us for our next outing?

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:34-40

Following God into Refugee Ministry

September 3, 2016

Cornerstone Farms, St. Jacob – We kicked off our partnership with Oasis International Ministries with a visioneering trip to the Farm. Oasis’ founders, Mark & Joanie, urban missionaries Matt & Kim, and their extended families spent the afternoon with us and a number of our students blue sky dreaming about how God might use what He is doing, and inviting all of us into, to minister to refugees here in St. Louis.

The great gift of the day was the refugee family who came. Eman and her 3 daughters are from Jordan, and Eman’s husband is from Baghdad. While he was unable to join us, Eman immediately recognized the paintings of a mosque she and her husband knew well from his home town. After a few minutes of walking through our home, she said, “I feel as though I am back at home in Jordan, in my family’s home.” It was a beautiful moment.

Iraqi/Jordanian and American students sitting on a rug from Cairo, Egypt, playing spoons on a table that was made by a Palestinian carpenter in Amman, Jordan. More of this God, please! We want so much more of this.

Iraqi/Jordanian and American students sitting on a rug from Cairo, Egypt, playing spoons on a table that was made by a Palestinian carpenter in Amman, Jordan. More of this God, please! We want so much more of this.

Julie Tucker provided an amazing lunch spread and when Eman saw it she exclaimed, “Ah! Arab food!!” Well done, Julie! It was such a blessing, and no small accomplishment to succeed in showing proper Arab hospitality. We finished the visit with Arabic coffee from Amman.

Eman is a new follower of Jesus, and life is not easy. Let’s remember to pray for her and her family.  The Hendrick family are excited about joining her and her family at their home in a couple of weeks for dinner.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to our next Fall event – a Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 22nd. We want to be in a position to provide transportation for as many refugee families as possible. There will be pony rides, pumpkin carving, hay rides, face painting, live music, chicken races and more. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus with a great many people who may have never stepped foot outside of a city setting before. Imagine! Please save the date and think of who else might be interested in volunteering time and resources to this exciting opportunity.

Meeting our City

Saturday, August 27

Tower Grove Park, St.Louis – Rene & Cortland had the joy of escorting students to the International Institute’s 2016 Festival of Nations to gain a better understanding of all the different people groups who have been re-homed here in the city of St. Louis.

Food booths, artisans, music, dance and sports demonstrations were just a few of the things offered by refugees from over 75 countries who now call St. Louis home. This was a wonderful opportunity for our church to see the global community that is literally in our backyard.  It was a significant first step in beginning the process of better discerning how we may serve refugees.  The more that our eyes are open to what surrounds us, the easier it will be to fully open our hearts as well.


The Bible Tells Me So

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

Should we really believe something just because the Bible tells us so?

This week’s sermon was the next in the series “Who Needs God” by Andy Stanley – a compelling discussion for those who have undergone Christian deconversion. Here’s the link:

The Bible Tells Me So – Northpoint

Here’s a drive by of what was covered:

The Christian faith doesn’t exist because of the Bible, any more than you exist because of your birth certificate. Your birth certificate documents something that happened. If your birth certificate was lost to you, you would not disappear.

The Bible exists because of the Christian faith.

If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, as the Bible goes, so goes our faith.  If the entire Bible isn’t true – if a single thing is found to be incorrect  (through archaeological or scientific discovery for instance)- then Christianity isn’t true.  It was never meant to be the center of the whole debate, and if we make it that, everything can quickly become a house of cards.

A quick history lesson:

  • Jesus was born about 2-3 before 0 AD
  • He was crucified in 30 AD, a few weeks later the church is launched. In 70 AD the temple was destroyed.
  • Between 49 & 89 the NT manuscripts were written.

The NT manuscripts were written in a historical motif, not a story motif. Luke 3:1-2 shows a historian asking you to fact check him. He’s showing that this is a historical narrative.

This would be very high risk to write if you were lying. Luke was recording factual events of his time.

These documents were copied and distributed throughout the Roman world. We copy things that we want to preserve. These men and women didn’t make copies because they thought they were inspired. They did so because they were true eyewitness accounts.

Christianity was not born on the back of the Bible. It didn’t exist yet. 

The Jewish scriptures weren’t combined with the NT until 350 AD. This was in the FOURTH century.

Before they were combined and titled “The Bible,” Christianity had already become the state religion of the Roman Empire, even though no one had ever actually held the Bible in their hands.

For the first 300 years the debate focused on an event, not a book! 

The resurrection was the center of everything. 

Christianity does not hang by the thread of “the Bible tells me so.” It’s better than that!

The pre-Bible version of the Christian faith was persecutable, defensible, believable, endurable and compelling.

The writers did not document what they believed they documented what they saw!

Christianity disrupted the Roman Empire because of a resurrected Savior, not because of the Bible.

Christianity is not about a book, it is about a WHO.