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Kingdom Perspective

Coronavirus Response

The Gentleness of Jesus in our Affliction

July 20, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to “The Kingdom Perspective.” How should we process the difficulties of our lives? We should process them through the gentleness of Jesus. Many of us are suffering all sorts of anxieties. The good news of Jesus assures us that everything that comes our way, even the difficult, is not an evidence of God’s condemnation, but His care—not His judgment but His gentleness. He’s purifying not punishing us. Therefore, there is no need to compound your troubles by beating yourself up. Satan is our accuser. Jesus is our Advocate. Richard Sibbes’s (1577-1635) very helpful book, The Bruised Reed puts it this way: “Christ’s way is first to wound, then to heal. Think when in trial, Christ was tried for me; according to my trials will be my graces and comforts. If Christ be so merciful as not to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to the roaring lion Satan, to break me.” He goes on to say that the weakness we experience in our troubles is designed by our Savior’s gentle hand, to cause us to cling to Him all the more. “Christ ‘binds up the broken hearted’ (Isaiah 61:1). A mother is tenderest to the weakest child, so does Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest. Likewise he puts an instinct into the weakest things to rely upon something stronger than themselves for support. The vine stays close to the elm, and weakest creatures have the strongest shelter.” The gentleness of Jesus is our shelter. Rest in Him. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB) Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

The Terror and Tenderness of Jesus

July 15, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. How should we respond to the coronavirus threat? We should take great comfort in the terror and tenderness of Jesus. Now, I realize this may seem a strange way of speaking of Jesus, and perhaps a bit counter-intuitive, to say that he is both terrifying and tender. Nonetheless, when John details his appearance in the book of the Revelation, he is described as having “a voice like the roar of many waters” (1:15); and eyes “like a flame of fire” (1:14); and “from his mouth [comes] a sharp two-edged sword, and his face [is] like the sun shining in full strength” (1:16). Is it any wonder then that when John saw Jesus, he fell at his feet as “a dead man” (1:17)? Just a few chapters later, Jesus is described as the conquering Lion from the Tribe of Judah. What could be fiercer and more frightening than coming face to face with a lion? However, when John looks up to see this terrifying lion, he does not see a lion at all. Rather, he sees a tender lamb. And not just any lamb, but a slain lamb—yet alive! Standing—having conquered sin and death! What does this imagery tell us? It tells us that the King of creation is also the Christ of the cross. That the judge of heaven and earth was judged for you. That in the roar of the Lion we find our rest in the Lamb. You see, in the gospel, Jesus’s terror does not overpower his tenderness, but rather is poured through it. His power becomes our protection. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” ~ Revelation 5:1-10 (ESV) Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

Our “Antifragile” Faith

July 8, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. How should we respond to the coronavirus threat? We should respond with a fighting faith, because our faith grows stronger in the face of trouble. The New Testament writer James commands us at the opening of his letter: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete [i.e. mature], lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV) You see, what James is saying? The path to a mature faith is through trials. Our faith actually grows stronger and steadfast, as we navigate difficulties, trusting in the promises of God. Lebanese-American writer Nassim Taleb is famous for coining the term “antifragile.” “Antifragile” is different than “resilient.” Something that is “resilient” does not easily break under stress (think of a plastic cup; you can bang it around with very little damage). And, of course, something that is “fragile” easily breaks under stress (think of a fine wine glass). However, something that is “antifragile” does not merely withstand stress; it grows stronger under stress. Think of a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes, and the less you use it, the weaker it becomes. Your muscles are “antifragile”; and so is your faith. The more you use your faith the stronger it becomes. Though this may be a hard pill to swallow, true faith is never hurt by trials, but always helped by them. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1 (ESV) Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

Consider the Tenderness of Jesus

July 6, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. How should we respond to the anxiety that coronavirus has unleashed upon us? We should take great comfort in the tenderness of Jesus towards us. The Bible presents to us a Jesus that is overwhelmingly powerful and awesome. He is the creator of all things, visible and invisible (Colossians 1:16). He is the absolute ruler over all things, not only in this age but also in the one to come (Colossians 1:19). And he is the absolute judge of all creation (Acts 17). At his return, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2). Yet, this same Jesus is spoken of as being “humble and gentle” (Matthew 11:29)—so gentle in his dealings with us that he will not “crush the weakest reed” or “put out of the most fickle of flames” (Matthew 12:20 and Isaiah 42:3). Right now, you may feel like the weakest reed. You may feel that your flame of faith is about to go out. What should you do? Look to Jesus! Look to the all-powerful, yet tender-hearted Judge of heaven and earth, who says to you: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT) [And]…“whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37b ESV) Jesus is not only strong enough to sustain us, he is also tender enough to want to do so. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” ~ Matthew 12 (ESV) Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

Not Driven by Fear

July 2, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. How should we respond to the threat of the coronavirus? We must determine not to be driven by fear. Certainly, we need to do everything we can to follow the wisdom of medicine and science. God gave us a mind to think and act wisely. But God also gave us a heart to trust Him, and that raises the question of where our ultimate security lies. The anxious heart can manufacture an endless list of “what if” questions. But to live at all in this world is to risk the “what ifs.” We are contingent beings living in a contingent universe. We cannot possibly know all the “what ifs”. You cannot possibly predict every particular of your future. And there’s a reason for this—a reason why God has not told you the particulars of your future. Why? He wants us to trust him. This is the thinking that drives the heart of David in Psalm 27 (v. 1 ESV): “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” We are contingent beings. Therefore, all fear is not necessarily bad. However, God intends all fear to drive us to faith, to the One who knows the end from the beginning. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” ~ Psalm 27 (ESV)

The Pandemic and Spiritual Despair

February 12, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. The coronavirus has many of us feeling overwhelmed and maybe even incompetent in the routine tasks of our life and work. This is true spiritually, as it is vocationally, and it leaves many of us feeling like a failure of a Christian. Spiritual despair is settling in, as the accusations of the devil flood our conscience. What should we do? The great Martin Luther gives some advice in a letter to a young man who had become overwhelmed with similar spiritual despair. He counsels him: “By all means flee solitude, for the devil watches and lies in wait for you most of all when you are alone….” For us this may mean, we must call a friend, perhaps several friends, and ask for prayer. But it is what Luther says next that is most potent, for it draws its strength from the very heart of the gospel. “[The] devil is conquered by mocking and despising…, not by resisting and arguing with him. . . “When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: ‘I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made a satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.’” My friends, even when your faith fails, the faithfulness of Jesus does not. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” ~ 2 Timothy 2 (ESV) Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

Encourage One Another

January 7, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. What should we as a church be doing in the face of the coronavirus? We should be going out of our way to encourage one another. The devil’s tool is discouragement. He loves getting God’s people feeling down and under-valued—that their efforts are useless, that nobody cares, and the situation is hopeless. He loves futility. He loves dragging down the work of God in us and through us. And, it is my experience that he is most effective with this weapon when people are isolated and tensions are high. Discouragement is exhausting; it sucks the life out of an individual, a church, a nation. Encouragement, on the other hand, is life-giving; it invigorates us to greater action and perseverance. What can you do to be an encourager? Here’s a starter list: • Point out where other people are doing a good job. Catch them doing something right and tell them. • Thank others for their work. • Tell your children, your spouse or a friend how thankful you are for them. Give specifics as to why. Do this regularly! • Tell someone that you are praying for them…and indeed do pray for them! Email them what you are praying for them. • Spread “good gossip” (e.g. “Did you hear the wonderful thing that so-and-so has been doing?). Gossip spreads. • Text someone an uplifting verse from Scripture. • Tell someone how you see God at work in and through them. Encouragement is powerful. Is it any wonder that the Bible makes such a big deal about it? Consider Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 …encouraging one another, …all the more….” Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” ~ Hebrews 10:24-25

The Marathon Mentality

January 6, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of the Kingdom Perspective. What should we do in the face of the coronavirus epidemic? We should prepare mentally and emotionally for a marathon and not a sprint. Sprints require a short burst of energy; marathons require endurance. There are many indications that this pandemic is going to disrupt our normal way of life for a long time to come. No one knows exactly how long, but some data suggests that it could be unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. Now, perhaps this will blow over with little incident. If so, great! But if it doesn’t, then, we need to prepare ourselves mentally for a race of endurance. Regardless, though, the Scriptures everywhere commend to us an endurance mentality. Biblically, perseverance is essential to our faith. Consider these passages: In Romans 5 we are told to “exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope….” In Colossians Paul prays that we would be “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11). Jesus himself warns us: “…many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:10-13 ESV) It is not surprising then that the writer of Hebrews describes the Christian life as a marathon: “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB). Perhaps, if nothing else, the Lord is using this crisis to grow his people in endurance. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” ~ Romans 8:18-25 (NASB)

Processing our Emotions before God

January 4, 2021 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of The Kingdom Perspective. How should we respond to the coronavirus crisis? We should use this time to observe our emotions and learn better how to process them in faith before our Heavenly Father. If you are like me, you have been repeatedly, in various ways and at various times, overwhelmed by emotions. Not surprising since this is such an unsettling time! What are we to do with, what often feels like, unwanted guests? My good friend Alasdair Groves in his new book Untangling Emotions does a great job looking at our inner life through the lens of Scripture. I commend this book to you. He shows that our emotions are a way to explore the deepest movements of our soul—what we most deeply believe, treasure and long for. Thus, engaging our emotions honestly—understanding and processing them—is intended by God to drive us to Him, so that we might more fully believe, treasure and long for Him. He writes: “Every time you run to a bottle, a screen, or an event instead of your heavenly Father, you are disengaging from your emotions and from him. “Don’t be deceived. Each of the actions is ultimately more than an action. Actions always reveal our core beliefs and confidence.” (Untangling Emotions by Alasdair J. Groves and Winston T. Smith, p. 166) How you engage your emotions will either drive you to God or away from Him. One is the way of spiritual life; the other the way of death. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate click here or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

The Skepticism of Science

October 13, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective. Science is God’s gift to humanity. It is a particular form of knowledge that is intuitive to us as those made in the image of God. That’s why, historically, modern science blossomed in a context suffused with a Christian imagination—a context where it was acknowledged that we live in an orderly universe created by an orderly God, that empowered rational creatures, human beings, to explore and care for that world. This is why the true scientist is always curious. Science is always a learner. The Bible commands us to ponder and be curious about God and all that He has made. Science is never content with the facts at hand. It wants to know more. Moreover, it doesn’t accept facts as conclusions. Rather, it wants to see all the data, all the angles. It asks questions of any conclusion, trying to see if there’s another way to see it. Thus, the history of science is one of revolution—the overturning of former conclusions in the face of newer conclusions that take into account a bigger picture, more data points. And so, for example, we speak of the Copernican Revolution, overturning the longstanding Ancient Greco-Roman understanding of the solar system (the Ptolemaic model). Thus, a posture of science that is too dogmatic, too entrenched in the given assumptions of the “scientific establishment”, is not the posture of true science. It ceases to be a learner; it ceases to be curious. And so, science is skeptical not only of the skepticism of the “science deniers”, but also it is reasonably skeptical of the received scientific wisdom itself. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” ~ Job 38:1-7 (ESV)

The Humility of Science

October 8, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective. Classical Christianity provides the foundational building blocks for scientific investigation. On the one hand it acknowledges that there is such a thing as truth. We live in an orderly universe created by an orderly God, and so can know certain things about our world. But on the other hand, it tells us that we are limited observers, always discovering new data. Therefore, it calls us to be humble in our interpretations and open to the wisdom of God and others. But this is where we go wrong. St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans (Romans 1:18-25) describes the problem as two-fold. First of all, we do not acknowledge that this is God’s world; we fail to honor the Creator. And secondly, we then set ourselves up as the objective judge of all truth, thus failing to see ourselves and the world accurately. Our understanding becomes darkened. Professing to be wise, we become fools (Romans 1:22). To say it another way, we fail to acknowledge the two most obvious truths: 1) there is a God, and 2) we are not Him. This insidious side of our humanity is the essence of sin. We are not objective truth seekers, but instead use “truth” for self-serving ends. The gospel, however, checks us in our sin by reminding us that one day all our supposed “truth claims” will be examined by the One who is the Truth. Therefore, all that we do, even our scientific pursuits, are ultimately done before the face of the One who alone is objective. He sees it all. Thus, His perspective will have the final say. This both elevates our scientific endeavors, while humbling us. However, cut off from this truth, science itself can become a tool for more nefarious purposes. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. ” For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” ~ Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)

The Posture of True Science

October 6, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome the Kingdom Perspective. Science, by its very nature, is reasonably skeptical. It always considers any claim to knowledge with a “can-you-prove-it” attitude. It doesn’t just accept what we know; it wants to verify how we know what we know. It is driven by a posture of skepticism. But it is a reasonable skepticism. It doesn’t refuse to believe without absolute proof—what is that anyways—but carefully weighs the evidence and settles on the most reasonable conclusion. To say it another way, this means that good science always seeks understanding. It is for this reason that it works best in a context of relational reasonability—a context where it is able to persuade and is willing to be persuaded. Science operates best in the free exchange of ideas—a framework not of power plays but persuasion. And so, true science doesn’t use “scientific truths” to shut down the conversation but rather to open them—to reasonable dialogue about the best interpretation of all the data. Classical Christianity gives us this framework. On the one hand it acknowledges that there is such a thing as truth. We live in an orderly universe created by an orderly God, therefore we can know—through observation and interpretation—certain things about our world. But on the other hand, it tells us that we are limited observers, always discovering new data. Therefore, we are humble in our interpretations and open to the observations of others. Classical Christianity gives us those foundational building blocks—the proper worldview—for scientific pursuit. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” ~ Proverbs 4:7-9 (ESV)

Being Constructive and not Critical

September 29, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome the Kingdom Perspective. Increasingly, many from all different persuasions are tempted to become mere critics and complainers—trying to find fault and pin blame. However, this is not the roadmap the gospel gives. Jesus’s way is not that of finger pointing or trying to score cheap political points. Rather, Jesus calls us to put our faith to work, bringing not only a positive and hopeful attitude into the public square—blessing where there is cursing—but also bringing our own time, treasure and talents to help those in need. How do we do this? Biblically speaking, this means upping your game to the shared ministry of your local church, so that the collective ministry of the gospel can flourish in your particular community. Your local church is God’s embassy to your city or town. This means we must be careful to avoid bickering, whether in person or on social media. Rather, we must take up the burden of doing social good in the real world. For example, are there ways you can provide practical care to your fellow Christian or to your unbelieving neighbor? Are there ways, you can speak words of encouragement and reconciliation—that short-circuit the vitriol of the present moment? Are there ways you can increase your generosity? What I am suggesting is not some add-on tactic to make the gospel look good. Rather, what I am suggesting is absolutely intrinsic to the gospel itself. God so loved the world that he did not sit back in judgment and critique. Rather, He gave Himself for us. As Jesus himself put it: He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life away for others. This is true Christianity, and those “infected” by it will be true to the pattern portrayed in it. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective. “Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’” ~ Mark 10:42-45 (NASB)

Loving our Neighbor through Science

September 24, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective. The Bible suggests to us that one of the practical ways we can fulfill the biblical command to love our neighbor is through the practice of good science. Science comes from an old Latin term for knowledge. Biblically speaking, science is a good and true thing because we live in an orderly universe, created by an unchanging God who governs his world in an orderly way. Thus, we can gain understanding by applying ourselves to the basic task of data collection and interpretation. Through our collective application of this scientific method, generation after generations, we grow in knowledge. Now, there are certainly limits to scientific knowledge. Science is not the only type of knowledge we need, in order to live well together. Nonetheless, it is a gift of God for the well-being of society. Science is not only a social phenomenon (something that happens in community), but also a social good (something that benefits community). We can love our neighbor by not only doing good science (as many in our medical/college community do), but also by following good science. For example, we can know better how to avoid spreading disease by applying ourselves to such knowledge. A desire to help your neighbor is a very good thing, but zeal without knowledge (without science) is at best incomplete, and at worst very dangerous. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

The Gift of Science

September 22, 2020 • Don Willeman

Transcript: Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective. What exactly is the intersection between science and the Bible? The word science comes from an old Latin term for knowledge. When we speak of “science” we speak of a particular method of obtaining knowledge and the collective/generational wisdom that comes from following that method. Biblically speaking, such knowledge is categorically a good thing. Science is essentially good and true because we live in an orderly universe, created by an unchanging God who governs his world in an orderly way. Thus, we can know things through observation and testing. We can gain understanding by applying ourselves to the task of data collection and interpretation. For those of us who are Christians, this means we should always be looking for the best science available. We must think critically about the claims we hear. We must look to and listen to expert scientists who follow good methodology. We must make a habit of seeking out proven, reputable sources that avoid sensational claims—that drive us either to false hope or unnecessary fear. On the flip side, we should avoid immersing ourselves in the 24/7 news cycle. Such sources, though entertaining, thrive on the sensational “breaking news” instead of what is tested and proven. They live on the sensational anxious edge of fear—a great tactic for attracting viewers, but not for promoting wisdom and knowledge. Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

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