Archive for August 2009

Against Existentialism-On the God-Given Purpose of Man

Are Christianity and existentiliasm mutually exclusive? It is important first to know something about existentialism to help one make that detirmination. Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Albert Camus are some of the names associated with existentialism. "Sartre's slogan-'existence precedes essence'-may serve to introduce what is most distinctive of existentialism, namely, the idea that no general, non-formal account of what it means to be human can be given, since that meaning is decided in and through existing itself. Existence is 'self-making-in-a-situation.'  In contrast to other entities, whose essential properties are fixed by the kind of entities they are, what is essential to a human being-what makes her who she is-is not fixed by her type but by what she makes of herself, who she becomes."[1]Read more ...

Published on August 2, 2009 at 4:12 am |

Worship Services in the Early Apostolic Church

Worship in the Early/Apostolic church is an issue that receives much attention today because of the growth of the Emergent Church movement[1]. Unfortunately, much of the attention that is received is either unfairly negative (as a reaction against the Emergent Church) or so unflinchingly positive as to accept the PRACTICE of the early church as AUTHORITATIVE for today. These tendencies are wrong on multiple levels.

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Published on August 5, 2009 at 2:14 am |

The Christian and Birth Control

This is admittedly a difficult subject, and one that has been widely debated.  Those in favor of using artificial means of birth control [1] maintain that they are exercising wise stewardship in the size and timing of their families.  Those opposed to birth control contend that birth control exhibits a lack of trust in God's wisdom and ability to provide.   This article will attempt to provide a biblical approach to birth control.

It is important for us to realize that the Bible does not make an explicit statement about birth control either positively or negatively. [2]  But God's Word does say a lot about human life and human sexuality, and these passages can give us a framework in which to examine the many challenges of this study. Read more ...

Published on August 7, 2009 at 3:10 am |

The LORD Is A Warrior

I recently received a request for help understanding the actions of King David and the Israelites in 2 Samuel 12:29-31. The person who asked for help was confused that though Jesus is kind, merciful, and loving (and we are supposed to be the same-Ephesians 4:32), God's people in the Old Testament were often commanded to destroy their enemies brutally.Read more ...

Published on August 9, 2009 at 2:16 am |

Sermons Posted

We are finally up to date on posting sermons! Because we posted fourteen at once, we just put this text entry in the all resources feed. You can access all the sermons (listed individually) on the sermons page (and its archives), or you can access them via the list below.

From now on, we will endeavor to have each week's sermons posted before the next Sunday. We are also working on setting up a podcast feed so that you can have your favorite music syncing software automatically deploy all the new sermons to your portable media player. Stay tuned for further announcements about that.Read more ...

Published on August 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |

Some Very Positive Negatives

There are many similarities between Greek and English.  But there are also many striking differences.  In the English language for example, it is considered a grammatical faux pas to use a double negative in a sentence (example: I'll never, never eat asparagus).  But the Greek language has no such rule.  In fact it is a point of style to add multiple negatives to increase emphasis (our sentence would read "I absolutely will never eat asparagus").  Let's compare two examples:Read more ...

Published on August 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm |

Basic Biblical Timeline (Part 1-OT)

It occurred to me recently that we know so many Bible names and hear so many stories, but it is difficult to put them all in their correct places. This article will not solve all your timeline woes, and the dates I give are not meant to be exact dates of exquisite historical accuracy. I am trying to give you basic ranges that will give you a framework upon which you can build your knowledge a bit at a time.Read more ...

Published on August 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |

Historical Theology: Church Councils - Intro

We're going to follow a multi-part study of the ancient church councils. There are seven councils (commonly known as the General Councils, Ecumenical Councils, or Catholic Councils) that we will consider ranging in date from 325 A.D. to 787 A.D. There were certainly other councils during that time period, before that period, and since that period, but these seven are generally regarded as the most significant and are accepted by Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox alike. While we certainly do not agree with every single aspect of each of these councils, we can affirm, to a large degree, the major conclusions of all of the seven General Councils.

"Why should I care?" you may ask. In general, we believe that there are many valid reasons that you should care about church history, but these councils are specifically important because of the condemnation of heresy and affirmation of and clarification of specific terminology about biblical teachings (doctrine) that occurred at each of them. As we studies the councils each in more depth, we will see some modern examples of the heresies condemned where they still exist, and we will see the strengths and benefits of the teachings affirmed.

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Published on August 20, 2009 at 1:29 am |

Do You Mortify?

"Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you."  (John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation)

It is with these famous words that the Puritan John Owen challenged every Christian to make killing sin a daily priority.  Ridding our lives of sin is not something foreign to us.  There are many different ways to do it.  In fact, I would venture to guess that most of us know how to kill sin. We know what we should do and what we should not do. Our problem is not a lack of knowledge; it's a lack of faithfulness. It is a lack of grit and determination to spend the years and years necessary to weaken sin's grip on us. The challenge is to realize that the fight against sin will be just that-a fight. It will be difficult and long, lasting all day, every day until we see Jesus. But the rewards gained by killing sin far surpass the effort expended in the struggle.  Read more ...

Published on August 22, 2009 at 3:08 am |

Basic Biblical Timeline (Part 2-NT)

The New Testament came after a period of roughly four hundred years in which there was no word from God. These were very active years, however, historically. The Old Testament ended with the Persians as the dominant power. During the period between the Old and New Testaments the Greeks rose to world-wide dominance. This was the golden age for Greece (think Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great). This Greek dominance affected the New Testament greatly. The books of the New Testament were written in Koine Greek (the common language of the people), and though the apostles/original leaders of the church were former devout Jews, many of the "second-generation believers" were Greeks and Hellenized Jews (Jews by blood, but Greek by lifestyle). Shortly before the beginning of the events of the New Testament the Roman Empire replaced the Greeks as the world power. Thus, Jesus Christ was born into a Roman world.Read more ...

Published on August 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm |

New Sermons, Discussion Question Links, Videos

Six new sermons were posted last night/this morning bringing us completely up to date on sermons preached/recorded at Oasis. The new sermons are available on the sermons page and are listed below for your convenience.

A link to the applicable discussion/study questions (used in our Tuesday Night Small Group Bible Studies but also helpful for further study of the theme/message of the sermon) will be placed directly below each new sermon item. These links will be added for all new sermons going forward and have been added for the most recent four sermons posted. We intend to add the links for the existing sermons as well as we are able to do so.

We have begun broadcasting/recording video of our sermons. These videos are available on the sermon videos page or via the video links underneath each sermon item on the main sermons page. We intend to post video for all sermons moving forward. Video for the most recent two sermons is available now. We intend to embed the sermon videos into the sermon videos page so that you can view them without leaving our site. Stay tuned for that!Read more ...

Published on August 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm |

Confrontation and Forgiveness

Tolerance is perhaps the most highly praised virtue in our society today.  People are not praised for standing for truth or what they believe in.  Rather they are lauded for their ability to accept everyone as they are and to never suggest that they need to change.  For most of our society, confronting someone about the reality of their sin is not even  an option.  So the question before us is "when do we confront others, and when do we quietly forgive?"  The Bible gives us clear principles for determining when to forgive and when to confront.  Read more ...

Published on August 27, 2009 at 8:49 pm |

Full Articles

Please note that the four entries displayed on the main category pages are only portions of their respective entire posts. To read the entire post, please click the title of the article or the "Permalink" link.

Also, please note that only the most recent four entries are displayed on the main category pages. Please use the "Archive" link at the bottom of the category pages to view older content.