Open Up the Heavens

When Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, the heaven or heavens “opened.”[1] [See Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-22.] The Holy Spirit descended like a dove as God the Father spoke audibly to everyone present. It was a public event. Heaven won’t open again publicly until Jesus’ Second Coming (Revelation 19:11). God’s…

The New World Order: Church

Bob Roberts Jr. is the founding pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas (near Dallas). The statement of faith for this non-denominational charismatic church appears doctrinally sound. I cannot say the same for Roberts, his church, or his new book Lessons from the East (2016).[1] One of Roberts’ many lessons is “family connections,” which he…

Wheatley and Race: Blind Spots

In The Trials of Phillis Wheatley (2003), Henry Louis Gates Jr. discusses the cultural trials that Phillis Wheatley (c.1754-1784) endured as a slave poet in order to “audition for the humanity of the entire African people” (27).[1] The first trial took place in 1772, before an 18-member panel of Boston’s civic and moral leaders. They…

Heaven: I Can Only Imagine

MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine,” from their album Almost There (2001), popped into my head this morning – unbidden and unwanted. I’ve hated this song since the moment I first heard it. Every time a DJ plays it, I switch stations or turn my radio off. “I Can Only Imagine” encapsulates everything wrong with contemporary Christian music…

Louie Giglio: Finding Purpose

Three years ago, I heard Pastor Louie Giglio speak at a college chapel service. I summarized his message below. Message Giglio considers apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias a church resource. However, he does not care about apologetics because we should not have to answer every argument. Giglio’s apologetic is “I’m in love with Jesus and you can’t stop me…