Jean Vanier knows something about community.
Born in 1928 as the son of a high-ranking official in the Canadian government, Vanier traveled the world and served in the Royal Navy. Sensing that there must be something more to life, he resigned from his naval commission in 1950 to study theology and philosophy, eventually completing a Ph.D. at the Catholic University of Paris. Through his friendship with a Catholic priest, he renewed his faith in God and became deeply concerned about the plight of people with intellectual disabilities. In 1964, Vanier invited two disabled men to leave their institutions and move into his home. This led to the establishment of L’Arche (“The Ark”), a worldwide federation of residential communities where people with intellectual disabilities live, pray and worship together with caregivers in an atmosphere of friendship, mutuality and inclusion. Although L’Arche was founded as a Christian organization, the communities are open and welcoming to people of all religious beliefs. Vanier has studied, taught, and written extensively on topics related to faith, disability and community. He became a close friend and mentor to the late Christian author Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), who resided at a L’Arche community in Ontario, Canada for the last ten years of his life. In recognition of Vanier’s influence and achievements, he was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2015. (Previous winners of the Templeton Prize include Billy Graham and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.)
A “Person of Peace” And The Family
“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil 1:3-4, NIV) Continue reading →
Have I committed the unforgivable sin? This coming Sunday I will preach on The Unforgivable Sin from Isaiah 22. One of my Bible students has asked me repeatedly over many years whether or not he has committed the unforgivable sin whenever he “falls into sin.” He asks this because he thinks that the unforgivable sin is to curse and swear at God out of his own frustration and anger. My response to him is always the same, “The fact that you ask and wonder about this tells me that you have not. Yes, you have sinned, as I have, but you have not committed the unforgivable sin. Those who do commit the unforgivable sin very likely don’t know and don’t care.” Continue reading →
Those who know me only know me a short while before I recommend Gk. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I am not sure I would not be a Christian today had I never found Orthodoxy. We often think that discipleship as a type of mentorship program, wherein the more mature person advices and help the less mature person to grow. But words are the means to meaning and meaning is what discipleship brings. I am more and more convinced that discipleship does not need to occur between two living people. One is never dead as long as their words survive, and so we can all be discipled by those great Christians whose words have shaped culture and brought Christ into the hearts of countless generations.
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Born in Chicago, and Son to Korean missionaries, I lived within the UBF system from birth to high school graduation. I’ve had a taste of the Large UBF church through my time at the TOLEDO UBF as well as was the 5 small house churches my parents created throughout the US.
BK recently submitted an article about Trump and Evangelicals. And it made a lot of sense. But what doesn’t make sense is how much media coverage Trump is getting. He pretty much is the laughing stock of the nations. How is it that a beauty pageant organizer/reality tv star/real estate agent is running for US president? He has no political experience. And yet he has gotten so far in running. Like BK said it’s because he’s all about money and that’s what people value most. Continue reading →
At West Loop, I’ve been preaching on Isaiah every Sunday since the end of June 2015, beginning with How Stupid Can You Be (Isa 1:1-9). This coming Sunday will be my 18th sermon: True Believers (Isaiah 19-20). In this post, I’ll share what the marks of true believers are.
Historically, Egypt has been the enslavers of God’s people and their most memorable adversary. But one day they will be converted, transformed, saved and become the people of God together with Israel. They will display evidences of true believers, such as: Continue reading →
Dear spiritual children,
It seems as though the words in my last testimony made you react with so many strong outlashings and bitternesses. I planned to comment and share my spiritual wisdom with you, but this reaction greatly frightened me and thus prevented me from doing so. To be honest, I felt like the Saint Paul when he was lashed forty times plus one from the Jews. But you know, Saint Paul was tended to by Luke the physician, whose gospel we happen to be studying. In the same way, as I read and meditate on his gospel, it is like he is tending to my spiritual wounds as well. I was like Daniel in the lions’ den and God protected me by eventually shutting your mouths after you got all of your garbages out through commenting.
The Christian Church is the body of Christ. All those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, by faith, are parts of the body of Christ. The body has many parts. Hands and feet work together. A nose and an eye are both essential. Each part compliments each other and steps in the gap when another part is weak. We like to think of each part of the body as individual Christians, but also, on the macro level, each ministry and missional entity, has essential functions within the body to bring glory to Jesus. We must respect each part, and even nurture relationships with them, for they are part of the body of Christ utilizing their various gifts to build up the church. Continue reading →
Yesterday I got some exercise by walking 4 miles around Las Vegas. On the way back I saw one of the buildings in Donald Trump’s hotel empire. It dawned on me then why Trump has garnered support among the religious right-wing Evangelicals. This match seems so crazy at first. But it is not so crazy. Here are three reasons why I think the Trump-religious right match makes sense–painful, obvious sense.