Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I also am now engaged to be married to a beautiful girl by the name of Beth. We have started a simple blog on wordpress which you can visit: kyleandbethsmith.worpress.com
As well as the launch of a whole new blog. This one I am doing in conjunction with a very good friend of mine named Seth. I promise to post much more regularly on it, and hope you will join me in having a cup aroundthecoffeeshop.com
Monday, March 26, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Pietism is generally understood as Christianity based on experience. Olson in The Story of Christian Theology quotes Ted A. Campbell as saying, “Pietism stressed personal religious experience, especially repentance (the experience of one’s own unworthiness before God and of one’s own need for grace) and sanctification (the experience of personal growth in holiness, involving progress towards complete or perfect fulfillment of God’s intention).” (Olson pg 474) It was an encounter with God that brought someone salvation, along with an ongoing process of personal reflection in comparison to God’s will. In fact there was such a strong belief in an encounter with God that, “Personal experience of God, then, was the Pietist’ focus and emphasis…A change of life called conversion must take place at some point at or after an age of awakening of conscience, and it must be accompanied by a transformed heart—a new set of affections for godly things—or else it is not genuine and authentic Christianity does not exist in that person.” (Olson pg 475) Through these new feelings and life one would begin to believe the right things.
The man who started Methodism, John Wesley, had a profound experience of God, which led him to propagate experiential Christianity. After having been formally trained for ministry he still knew there was a lack of spiritual fervor in himself. It was not until his personal experience that he went onto found Methodism. As he recorded, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken my sins, even mine and saved me from the law of sin and death.” (Olson pg 511) Here Wesley’s experiential Christianity and a zeal for the lost was born.
Through these personal experiences of the Pietists and Wesley a great push for missions was born. No longer was the status quo of basic orthodoxy used as the measuring stick for a Christian, instead how one lived out their life was emphasized. Previously many people had been left in the ditches along side the road of Christianity because of the orthodoxy practiced by the church. Olson says, “Wesley preached conversion and holiness to the masses who felt excluded from the formal atmosphere of the state church.” (Olson pg 511) The grip legalism had/has on the church began to loosen. While people in the Pietists, movement such as August Hermann Francke, made great strides in helping the poor, “He moved easily among both the rich and powerful and poor and downtrodden and had a heart for the latter even though he curried the favor of the former in order to gain their financial and political support.” (Olson pg 482)
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
In the New York Times yesterday they had a very interesting piece on the "Christian Right" and their efforts to find a 2008 presidential candidate. Apparently there is a secret organization of influential conservative Christians who gather to talk and strategize about the evangelical influence on politics. Although it doesn't seem to be quite as secretive now.
I found several things very interesting about this whole thing. First was where it was held: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida which seems to be quite an exclusive and expensive hotel. With rooms ranging any where from $250 - $1800 a night, not to mention the cost just to get to the island.
Second, was how secretive this group is. They decline to talk about what was discussed and appear to want anonymity, yet the premise of the get together was to find some one that they all could support in their moral war on America.
Third, is the fact that they in large represent Christianity to most of America. This last one is what hurts the most. While they wage a moral war and look to establish a political kingdom here on Earth they seem to leave The King out of it. It is almost if they are the Zealots of today. Unfortunately issues of abortion, same sex marriage, and taxes are the most important to them, not God's glory. Don't think I am say those issues aren't important, but truly they pale in comparison to Jesus. As one of my friends explored in his blog: Obedience = Moralism? We need to come to Jesus not a moral code.
A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to preach at the local church I am apart of and hit on this point a bit. If you wish you can hear the message here or get our podcast through our rss feed: http://hccmessages.podomatic.com/rss2.xml
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
- I would encourage everyone to check out my friends organization that is working with child soldiers in Uganda. Child Voice International
- Also see this movie put out by Invisible Children
- Finally read this book, it is a heart wrenching account of what it is like to be a child soldier
Friday, January 26, 2007
When kingdom come, you ready?
When kingdom come, uh huh
Not only N.Y.C. I'm hip hop's savior
So after this flow you might owe me a favor.
Just when they thought it was all over
I put the whole world on my back and broad shoulders...
The parallels to Jesus are very eerie; here a man is claiming that he not only came to save a certain select group (N.Y.C.) but all of hip hop. While we see that Jesus came not only to save Israel, but for the redemption of the entire world. Paul wrote in Romans 15:8-13:
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised [Israel] to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
"Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name."
And again it is said,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people."
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him."
And again Isaiah says,
"The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope."
May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
For those that are celebrating Jay-Z's return and apparent saving of hip hop, look to the original savior. Look to the one that Jay-Z ripped off and came not only for Jews, but also gentiles. Celebrate the One that didn't merely save hip-hop but the entire the world. Look to the savior - Jesus.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Today as I was walking to the local library so that I might get online I was handed a tract by one lady and then a football fields length down a man was declaring Jesus as Lord very openly and loudly. Unfortunately, no one crowded around him, nor did I see any one stop to ask questions or listen.
I felt a bond between him and I, yet I didn't know what to do. He boldly spoke truth and nothing that I heard was condemning. In fact he quoted John 3:17, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." Still I questioned his methods. The tract was all right a generic one that a local church had bought then stamped their name and address on the back. It was a bit archaic, King James Version of the Bible and showed kids turning down cigarettes. As a tangent, smoking is not good, but as one guy I know said, "I am not interested in their cigarettes, but their souls." Unfortunately the entire process was very impersonal and no one even sought a conversation with me.
The question then is how do we do what this guy was doing, preach the gospel, but in a way that is effective? I am a VERY big proponent of preaching/speaking/sharing the gospel in more then just actions; words must be used to tell of Jesus. Yet, I can't quite see myself doing what he was doing. I want people to listen instead of just ignore me, some how we have to earn the right to be heard. How that is done I don't quite know, but I know that it is possible.