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The Pattern and the Pattern Breaker

We are starting the first week of school with Catalyst. Catalyst will be a time where people who want to go deeper in their faith, be equipped, and empowered to share their faith will meet. It starts at 7pm on Wednesday nights when NIU classes are in session. Our first meeting will begin with Genesis. If you want to know more about the Christian faith, there is no better place to start then in Genesis. Genesis Chapters 1-3 are so jam-packed with seeds that bloom throughout the rest of the Bible that it is essential to unpack as much of it as you can. If the Gospel of John is a deep pool Genesis 1-3 is a cave that once you start exploring never seems to run out of new adventures. There are al

THE FAITH OF BATMAN

Amazingly we can learn something about our faith from the latest Batman comic. For those that do not know, Batman has historically been a Christian. He, like his parents, was Episcopalian. For those who don’t know Batman has had a rough year so far. The Dark Knight was almost married but left waiting alone at the altar. The comic tells us at the beginning that Bruce Wayne had become an Atheist. He was his father’s faith that said it could “save him,” seemingly fail him. Bruce explains he spent many years searching for something transcendent, only to find nothing. However, in the darkness of his despair, he finds Batman and makes him a god. His argument stands that he puts his complete faith

Christians or Disciples?

Today many people who align themselves with the Christian faith are beginning to identify less with denominational affiliations and more with the identity of Christian. Having spent the last few years with college students, the generation primarily leading the trend, I feel I have an understanding of why this trend is widespread. Many people I have come into contact with feel a sense of confusion. Many don’t understand how or why there need to be different denominations. Almost always the questions come up, “Who is right?” or “Is anyone right?” I think our generation is seeking to just follow Jesus the best they can and wanting that to be the focus of their faith. In this regard, I push bac

BACK TO SCHOOL

It is back to school season and here at NIU, it can be a wonderful and conflicting time. I remember being a student and being excited to take the new classes, meet new people, and reconnect with friends who I knew were going to be on campus. At the same time, I remember coming on to campus for the first time and feeling overwhelmed. I also remember cramming for tests, writing papers all day and all night, and feeling the anxiety of not knowing what the classes would be like. Like I said, back to school season is a wonderful and conflicting time. I also remember the intense isolation I felt. I grew up in a family where I had siblings and someone was always around. When I first came to NIU, I

Sin and Grace: Walking Like An Infant

Sin. It is a hard concept for many to grasp. At its core, it is a rebellion against God. Putting yourself in the driver’s seat and not God. Fundamentally, it is a break in the relationship. Often I find that more and more Christians have a problem understanding not sin, but the grace that comes from forgiveness. As Christians, we understand that we sin and that it is a terrible thing. However, grace and forgiveness is something that we often need to be reminded that we have. It is in contemplating the relationship between sin and grace, that I am reminded of my son. When babies start to learn to crawl, it does not happen overnight. Believe it or not, crawling takes a lot of build up. Their b

A Way to Explore the Scriptures

Sometimes the hardest part of reading the Bible is reading the Bible. Often we read the scriptures to try and get something out of it but fail to fully grasp it. For centuries people have come up with methods that help people to walk faithfully with God in reading the Bible. There are many good resources and methods out there, but there is one that sticks out to me. Being taught in the church and again at seminary, a method kept repeating itself. I believe one teacher told me he had gotten it from the group Navigators. The method simply asks, what is the text saying, what does it mean, and how does it call us to respond. More simplistically what does it say, mean, and what do we do. I sugges

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