June 2012 - Archives

I Can’t…

June 27, 2012 | Chad Stuart

“I can’t.”

Those are the words my dad spoke two-and-a-half years ago. It was his response to a question I had put to him: “Dad will you do a Bible study with one of our contacts?”

“I can’t.”

Let me tell you a little bit about my dad. Almost all of his adult life he has been a teacher. He taught in Adventist academies for six years, and then at Pacific Union College, Loma Linda University, Andrews University and University of the Pacific. He has degrees in both education and physical therapy. He has two Master’s Degrees and a Doctorate. He founded a Masters-level physical therapy program from scratch, and was then its director for more than a decade.

“I can’t.”

It seemed like a pretty ridiculous answer.

And even more significant than his academic accomplishments, was his constantly telling me how much he loved Jesus and how much Jesus was blessing his life.

“I can’t.”

Given this, it was an even more unbelievable answer!

“I can’t” is really “I won’t.”

“I …
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Chad Stuart

Pastor
Visalia Adventist Church & The Ark

Abraham: Father of Justice

June 21, 2012 | Jeffrey Rosario

A BLOG SERIES EXPLORING THE THEME OF JUSTICE IN THE BIBLICAL NARRATIVE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH.

THE ABRAHAMIC INNOVATION

Historian Thomas Cahill has pointed out that “to appreciate the Bible properly, we cannot begin with it.”1

I think he’s on to something. It’s too easy to take for granted the way we think about reality and even how we feel about the world. It’s helpful to take a step back and think about where our most basic assumptions come from in order to better appreciate the significant contributions of the biblical worldview.

The backdrop in which the biblical narrative unfolds is a world of primitive paganism in which our present views of time, history, and the value of the individual would be completely alien. In the ancient world of Mesopotamia2, ‘the cradle of civilization’, reality was understood in connection with the Great Wheel, which is why we keep finding figures of wheels in the early art and tablets discovered in the area.

This ‘Wheel’ represented the idea that everything …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Why You Matter So Much

June 14, 2012 | Ty Gibson

Today in a little Australian town called Byron Bay I noticed a sign that says, “I saw the universe change today.” Whoever wrote those words was paying attention.

According to “chaos theory,” the single movement of a butterfly’s wing may be the determining factor in the formation of a hurricane. According to the Bible, the movements of each individual life exert determinative effects on the quality of other lives, even to the point of impacting eternal destinies.

Each deed you execute triggers a series of outcomes for which you are the solitary source.

As God went forward with the work of creation, only three conceivable possibilities lay before Him. He could create (1) machines, (2) slaves, or (3) free moral agents. Only the third option would be consistent with the aspirations of love, which is the essence of who God is. So here we are, beings of huge and magnificent significance, beings who matter so much that our actions run adjacent to God’s actions as genuinely free, beings who possess …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Just Justifying Justice

June 5, 2012 | Jeffrey Rosario

A BLOG SERIES EXPLORING THE THEME OF JUSTICE IN THE BIBLICAL NARRATIVE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH.

IT’S WHO HE IS

God is a God of justice. It’s not optional to the divine identity, it’s integral to who He is.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. . .  —Psalm 89:14; 97:2 

He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. —Deuteronomy 32:4

This is why God’s heart aches when people become victims of oppression:

when the helpless are exploited,

when basic human rights are violated.

It’s not that God merely ‘feels sorry’ for them, but as Walter Brueggemann styled it, God experiences an “emotional upheaval in His guts.” Injustice, the distortion of human relations, is against His essence and contrary to His government.

This is the God that the Old Testament presents. There’s a difference between knowing about this God and actually knowing Him. And it’s not possible to …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers