March, 2010 browsing by month


Skeptics And Easter

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Any skeptics out there?

If, so, you’re in good company!

When the apostles had witnessed the risen Lord, Thomas was absent. He had missed out and remarked, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Was he disbelieving? No. Was he skeptical? Yes!

“It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them” New York Times best selling author Timothy Keller said. The apostle Thomas was not about to simply “inherit” the faith of the other apostles. He wanted to know for himself. And, Jesus obliged! Eight days passed and Jesus appeared to the disciples again but this time Thomas was present. Witnessing the risen Lord Thomas remarked, “My Lord and my God!”

This is a very special weekend. Easter IS for skeptics! Tell a friend. Bring a friend! We will be gathering for three special services, worshipping the risen Lord, and learning why faith in Christ is as sold as a rock!

6:00am Sunrise Service Placer High Stadium.

8:30am Calvary Auburn

10:30am Calvary Auburn

See you Sunday!
Greg Denham

More Than An Empty Tomb!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

 More Than An Empty Tomb!

How else could Christianity have been launched from Jerusalem and go on to impact the entire planet unless a bodily resurrection had been confirmed by the first followers of Jesus in Jerusalem?

An empty tomb would not have been enough to convince of resurrection.

It wasn’t for the disciples!

Initially they did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. More evidence was needed — and they got it! Over and over again during a forty day period Jesus made Himself known to the disciples and to countless eye witnesses. No reasonable explanation exists for the existence of Christianity other than the bodily resurrection of Christ.

But what does the resurrection mean?

In short, Jesus came to make all things new! And He wants to bring His regenerative resurrection power of the Holy Spirit into your life!

Do you need forgiveness? Do you feel stuck in your circumstances? Are you disillusioned by life?

The resurrection proclaims that there is a God and that we were made to experience a relationship with Him. It tells us that He loves us enough not to leave us the way we are. It tells us that everything is moving toward the King of the coming KINGdom! The Gospel is good news! The Gospel is that there is a Father who sent His only begotten Son to make all things new. But He won’t force Himself on you. You will need to open the door of your heart by repentance and faith and you can do that today!   

“God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel that our heart was designed to burn, or the food our heart was designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us Happy IN OUR OWN WAY without Him. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” (Oxford professor and author C.S. Lewis)

I want to encourage you to reach out to your friends this good Friday as we celebrate the incredible demonstration of sacrificial love on the cross for us and Sunday as we celebrate the risen Christ. Tell a friend and bring a friend! Let’s see what the Lord will do in impacting our lives.

TWO services FRIDAY 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m.


Sunrise Service 6:00 a.m. at Placer High Stadium



See you there!


Israel And Our Spiritual And Moral Thermometer

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Did you hear the uproar when Israel announced a new building project in east Jerusalem while V.P. Biden was in the Holy Land on a diplomatic mission? Our Vice President and Secretary State with the full backing of President Obama, strongly rebuked the Israeli’s for failing to show more good faith in the peace process!


Do you really think that the problem is a “land issue” or that “Jew’s are in the land (or even in the Middle East at all for that matter)”?

Palestinian leader’s (whoever they really are) want pre-1967 border’s, right?  But Israel was attacked in 1967, why? Was the issue land? Or that Jew’s were in the land? What about 1948?

Will building more residential sights in east Jerusalem derail a “peace process” that is ideologically driven by Islamic’s who hate Jews and want to drive them in the sea? Aahh pull back the curtain and there is Iran intoxicated by its false gods and hatred nursing Hamas and Hezbollah and now working closely with Al Qaieda.

Ironically, the day after V.P. Biden’s press conference and rebuke to Israel, the Palestinian Authority went ahead with plans to name a large public square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi, who carried out the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre that killed more than three dozen Israelis, including 12 children.

How nations respond to Israel is more telling than one might imagine. It reveals their spiritual and moral temperature. When a country, even ours, puts pressure on Israel, it is generally the result of succumbing to Racism, Islamic Terrorism and willful Ignorance. In this way, the peace process is an attempt to negotiate with the “devil!”

“I will make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating drink to all the nearby nations that send their armies to besiege Jerusalem. 3On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a burden for the world. None of the nations who try to lift it will escape unscathed.” (Zech 12:2-3)

The Madness For More

Sunday, March 14th, 2010


We’re living in a time of “madness!” Yes, there is Islamic Jihad but I’m talking the MADNESS FOR MORE!

The Bible says, “Watch out for all kinds of greed!” Greed is an obsession for more than one needs and an excessive anxiety over money and materialism.

This is a particular challenge in our generation where it seems everyone is trying to sell you something. There is a subtle message that accompanies the ads, it is that one’s well being / even identity and value – is based on “things” — “things” that we don’t really need, but are really just “greeds!”

When I think of what happened 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem that led to the unjust crucifixion of the Lord– the main reason that I see was simply greed! There were power-brokers in Jerusalem who were making a killing off of the worship in the Temple. Jesus had spotlighted the mismanagement saying that the Temple had become a “den of thieves …” I believe those “thieves” intoxicated by “greed’s” were threatened and did their best to stamp out the Light of the world.

The MADNESS FOR MORE. Greed. Materialism. They are NO friend’s of the Family. They are no friend’s of Marriage. They are no friend’s of the ministry of the Gospel, and the church. Greed has a consuming/ intoxicating influence, that get’s your focus on the temporal rather then the eternal and it is consuming. It consumes days, and weeks and years. The Bible calls it the “pride of life!” It trying to derive one’s value and significance and identity based on “things” and it is an endless pit that never delivers.

When the rich lost man Zacchaeus, the chief tax-collector of Jericho, welcomed Jesus into his home it wasn’t long before the issue of greed and materialism and the madness for more came to the surface. Zacchaeus promised to give ½ of his money to the poor and repay any injustice. When Jesus came into his home and came into his life — the idol of greed and materialism was broken and replaced with Jesus!

Similarly, when the Lord has his rightful place in our life money goes back to just being that, money. We’re no longer driven by greed’s. Money now becomes a tool for doing good and serving people. We learn that we have enough to meet our needs!

Epilogue—Where Do We Go From Here?

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I know there are  few out there enjoying the book “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller that we’ve been recommending in the church for a few months now. I’ve decided to switch gears a bit and jump ahead with a few excerpts from various chapters in the book. If you are new to the blog I encourage you to take the time to read all of the exerpts I have posted from  Keller’s book. I think you’ll enjoy all of them and of course feel free to comment!



Epilogue—Where Do We Go From Here?

 One of the most recent people to note this logic in Bono, the lead singer of U2, in a conversation with Michka Assayas:

Assays: Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers.But Son of God, isn’t that for-fetched?

Bono: No, it’s not far-fetch to to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says, No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no, I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is either Christ was who He said He was—the Messiah—or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking on the level of Charles Manson…. I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me that’s far-fetched…

The faith that changes the life and connects to God is best conveyed by the word “trust.” Imagine you are on a high cliff and you lose your footing and begin to fall. Just beside you as you fall is a branch sticking out of the very edge of the cliff. It is your only hope and it is more than strong enough to support your weight. How can it save you? If your mind is filled with intellectual certainly that the branch can support you, but you don’t actually reach out and grab it, you are lost. If your mind is instead filled with doubts and uncertainty that the branch can hold you, but you reach out a grab it anyway, you will be saved. Why? It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.

CHAPTER 13–The Reality Of The Resurrection

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

CHAPTER THIRTEEN –The Reality Of The Resurrection

N.T. Wright does an extensive survey of the non-Jewish thought of the first-century Mediterranean world, both east and west, and reveals that the universal view of the people of that time was that a bodily resurrection was impossible. Why? In Greco-Roman thinking, the soul or spirit was good and the physical and material world was weak, corrupt, and defiling. To them the physical, by definition, was always falling apart and therefore salvation was conceived as liberation from the body. In this worldview resurrection was not only impossible, but totally undesirable. No soul, having gotten free from its body, would ever want it back. Even those who believed in reincarnation understood that the return to embodied life meant that the soul was not yet out of its prison. The goal was to get free of the body forever. Once your soul is free of its body, a return to re-embodied life was outlandish, unthinkable, and impossible.

In the first century there were many other messianic movements whose would-be messiahs were executed. However,

In not one single case do we hear the slightest mention of the disappointed followers claiming that their hero had been raised from the dead. They knew better. Resurrection was not a private event. Jewish revolutionaries whose leader had been executed by the authorities, and who managed to escape arrest themselves, had two options: give up the revolution, or find another leader. Claiming that the original leader was alive again was simply not an option. Unless, of course, he was.

There were doens of other messianic pretenders who lives and careers ended the same way Jesus’ did. Why would the disciples of Jesus have come to the conclusion that that his crucifixion had not been a defeat but a triumph—unless they had seen him risen from the dead?

CHAPTER 12—The (True) Story Of The Cross

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

CHAPTER TWELVE—The (True) Story Of The Cross

“Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God just forgive us?” This is what many ask, but now we can see that no one “just” forgives, if the evil is serious. Forgiveness means bearing the cost instead of making the wrongdoer do it, so you can reach out in love to seek your enemy’s renewal and change. Forgiveness means absorbing the debt of the sin yourself. Everyone who forgives great evil goes through a death into resurrection, and experiences nails, blood, sweat, and tears.

Should it surprise us, then, that when God determined to forgive us rather than punish us for all the ways we have wronged him and one another, that he went to the Cross in the person of Jesus Christ and died there? As Bonhoeffer says, everyone who forgives someone bears the other’s sins. On the Cross we see God doing visibly and cosmically what every human being must do to forgive someone, though on an infinitely greater scale.

Rather, this is a God who becomes human and offers his own lifeblood in order to honor moral justice and merciful love so that someday he can destroy all evil without destroying us.

CHAPTER TEN—The Problem Of Sin

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

CHAPTER TEN—The Problem Of Sin

When we turn good things into ultimate things, we are, as it were, spiritually addicted. If we take our meaning in life from our family, our work, as cause, or some achievement other than God, they enslave us. We have to have them. St. Augustine said that “our loves are not rightly ordered.” He famously said to God, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee!”

CHAPTER 7—You Can’t Take The Bible Literally

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

CHAPTER SEVEN —You Can’t Take The Bible Literally

It is often asserted that the New Testament gospels were written so many years after the events happened that the writers’ accounts of Jesus’ life can’t be trusted—that they are highly embellished if not wholly imagined. Many believe that the canonical gospels were only four out of scores of other texts and that they were written to support the church hierarchy’s power while the rest (including the so-called “Gnostic gospels”) were suppressed.

In his landmark book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham marshals much historical evidence to demonstrate that at the time the gospels were written there were still numerous well-known living eyewitnesses to Jesus’ teaching and life events. They had committed them to memory and they remained active in the public life of the churches throughout their lifetimes, serving as ongoing sources and guarantors of the truth of those accounts. Bauckham uses evidence within the gospels themselves to show that the gospel writers named their eyewitness sources within the text to assure readers of their accounts’ authenticity.

Mark, for example, says that the man who helped Jesus carry his cross to Calvary “was the father of Alexander and Rufus” (Mark 15:21). There is no reason for the author to include such names unless the readers know or could have access to them. Mark is saying, “Alexander and Rufus vouch for the truth of what I am telling you, if you want to ask them.” Paul also appeals to readers to check with living eyewitnesses if they want to establish the truth of what he is saying about the events of Jesus’ life (1 Corinthians 15:1-6). Paul refers to a body of five hundred eyewitnesses who saw the risen Christ at once. You can’t write that in a document designed for public reading unless there really were surviving witnesses whose testimony agreed and who could confirm what the author said. 

 All this decisively refutes the idea that the gospels were anonymous, collective, evolving oral traditions. Instead they were oral histories taken down from the mouths of the living eyewitnesses who preserved the words and deeds of Jesus in great detail.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, however, were recognized as authoritative eyewitness accounts almost immediately, and so we have Irenaeus of Lyons in 160 A.D. declaring that there were four, and only four gospels. The widespread idea, promoted by The Da Vinci Code, that the Emperor Constantine determined the New Testament canon, casting aside the earlier and supposedly more authentic Gnostic gospels, simply is not true.

CHAPTER #5 – Science Has Disproved Christianity

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Timothy Keller excerpt …

CHAPTER FIVE – Science Has Disproved Christianity

The first reason that many people think science has disproved traditional religion is that most of the major faiths believe in miracles, the intervention of God into the natural order. The miraculous is particularly important for Christian belief. Christians annually celebrate the miracle for the incarnation, the birth of Jesus, each Christmas, and the miracle of the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead each Easter. Armed with this presupposition, scholars turned to the Bible and said, “The Biblical accounts can’t be reliable because they contain descriptions of miracles.” The premise behind such a claim is “Science has proven that there is no such thing as miracles.” But embedded in such a statement is a leap of faith.