God is our beginning and end, [therefore] our journey will not be meaningless, for God surrounds and enfolds our time in his eternity . . . [O]ur creature-relationship to God defines our essence . . . Taking creation and the Creator seriously can transform the way you feel about the world around you and your own existence. And taking the faithfulness of the creator seriously by coming to embrace the doctrine of God’s all-embracing providential care, can begin to liberate us from the pervasive anxiety that robs us of the “peace that passes understanding.” — Ron Highfield, excerpted from “Creation: The Most Neglected and Underrated Teaching in Contemporary Christianity,” ifaqtheology (Sept. 18, 2015).
To read the entire blog article (strongly recommended), go to: ifaqtheology.wordpress.com/creation
Ron is Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Califonia. For details about Ron’s books, go to: ifaqtheology.wordpress.com/ron
LOVING GOD AND LOVING GOLF
“Oh, how I love your law! . . . How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:97, 103) . . . How much do we really love the word of God? . . . It is so easy for us to read this Psalm and say we love God, his word, his law and his commandments but do we really? When we are asked about our priorities we will almost always say that God is the most important thing in our lives . . . After all, Jesus said we are to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and we are to love the Lord God with all our heart and all our soul. So we say we do.
In my attic is a box with a trophy I received many years ago after playing in a golf tournament at what was at the time a leading PGA course in Las Vegas. When I am asked, I often tell people I love to play golf. What that really means (as shown by my practice and my life) is that I play at least once or twice a year at least most years. In a really good year I may even play five or six times. On a really good day I can come close to breaking a hundred. Now some of my friends and co-workers would say I dont really love golf or I would play a lot more than this. I would put more effort and time into it.
Is this how we love God and his word? We may open our Bible once in a while and read a few verses? We talk about spiritual things if we are with the preacher? We seldom ever let going to church interfere with other activities that actually fill our lives and consume our time? When was the last time we spent an hour reading and studying Gods word? When was the last time we spent an hour at the ball field, watching television, reading Facebook or other things we really love? — Robert Fudge (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For other devotionals by Robert Fudge, go to: www.ephesuschurchofchrist.org
CONFERENCE ON DVDs
For the past two years, the Rethinking Hell Project (RHP) has sponsored international conferences on conditional immortality, at Lanier Theological Library (Houston) in 2014, and at Fuller Theological Seminary (Southern California) in 2015. But while the subject was hellish, the behavior was quite the opposite. As participant Jerry Walls put it, Seldom, if ever, have passionate evangelical proponents of competing views on a controversial topic gathered with the express purpose of discussing (arguing about) it, while nevertheless voicing their critiques with respect and in Christian love, enjoying the kind of camaraderie, fellowship, and unity to which their Lord has called them.”
A box set of 4-DVDs containing all six of this year’s plenary sessions, four breakout sessions, and the concluding panel discussion is now available for $35 from: rethinkinghell.com/order-dvds
Video recordings of some breakout sessions will be available on YouTube in the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference playlist. And audio recordings of all of the breakout sessions presented by their authors are available for free download at: www.rethinkinghell.com/conference-2015-breakout-audio