God Does Not Stay Dead – The Doctrine of the Resurrection (Part 2)

the doctrine of resurrection, church, Easeter

I was nine years old with an insatiable appetite for the dangers of weapons. I had collected pocket knives and had filled an entire briefcase with my many flea-market spoils. My parents eventually bought me my very own BB gun, which turned out to be as much a source of entertainment for my father as it was for me. My father and I would shoot at milk cartons filled with water in our backyard and watch as our shots left the carton to bleed water from its many holes. But there is one incident with my BB gun that stands out more than any other. It was family camp week for Ramona First Baptist, the church my father was pastoring at the time. We brought my BB gun. During camp I pleaded with my father to take me out to shoot it. Finally, he agreed to take me out with several other kids at the church. I would stick the gun between my legs to pump it up as many times as I could. We shot it out into the distance at really nothing in particular. When my dad took the gun to shoot a few himself, all the kids gathered closely to watch

God Does Not Stay Dead – The Doctrine of Resurrection (Part 1)

church, resurrection, church doctrine, doctrine of resurrection

It was a hot summer day in Ramona, California, a dead-end, desert town in the San Diego region. The dry heat radiated off the unbearable asphalt in visible waves. I was 7 or 8, walking with my best friend Taylor, to his house from mine. His parents were gone but his dog was in the backyard and we were going to pay him a visit. When we pushed past the gate at the side of his house and made our way to the back, what confronted us was far and beyond what we could ever have expected…

Filled With Purpose: The Doctrine of Creation

doctrine of creation, church, church doctrine, Matt Conniry

My son, Rogan, is 3 months out from being born. And if it were the case that I did not believe in an omnibenevolent (all-good) creator of the universe, I think I would avidly avoid broaching the subject of how the universe began. I could, in different words no doubt, tell my child when he was old enough to hear it, that all of matter purposelessly materialized by unguided and largely unknown processes, where over millions of years of agonizing nothingness, through death and despair, protoplasmic, vertebrate hominids made an appearance and over millennia of Darwinian selection, he was finally born to an ultimately and objectively meaningless existence, where he will live only briefly and die as he was born—for nothing—without objective purpose or meaning. It is a conversation I am fortunate to avoid…

Scripture as Vital (part 2)

Scripture, reliability of Scripture, Bible, church

Before reading, check out Scripture as Vital (part 1). I have heard some people defend the veracity of the Bible by quoting the Bible. Let me submit to you that such a method is an exceptionally poor way of convincing others. [bra_blockquote align=’right’]To appeal to the authority of the Bible in order to prove the authority of the Bible is not substantially different than allowing the accused to preside as judge over their own hearing. [/bra_blockquote]To appeal to the authority of the Bible in order to prove the authority of the Bible is not substantially different than allowing the accused … Read More

Scripture As Vital (part 1)

reliability of Scripture, Bible, Matt Conniry, Wilsonville

I once had a professor who informed my class that we ought to think twice about including the belief in the inspiration of the Bible as a core church doctrine when we worked on forming creeds for our latest assignment. At first I thought he was joking, but then when I saw all the enthusiastic nods of students in my class, I realized with unfortunate certainty that not only was he not joking, but many students already agreed with him.[bra_blockquote align=”]A bible without authority proclaims an impotent gospel, mere words without power to make its readers tremble. To take inspiration … Read More

Doctrine Matters – Jesus as Redeemer

church doctrine, church, Creekside Bible, Jesus

Keep your eyes on the crucifix, for Jesus without the cross is a man without a mission, and the cross without Jesus is a burden without a reliever. —Fulton J. Sheen I think it only prudent to begin this series by talking about some of the Church’s most central doctrine. There is no person more central to Christianity than Christ, so it seems judicious enough to start there. And like any adventure into theology, it is best begun with story. I was on the edge of my seat—as were the other students present—while my professor recounted the ordeal of his … Read More

Without Doctrine – A Church That Stands For Nothing In Particular

church doctrine, church, Creekside Bible Church, Matt Conniry

I walked on the empty beach in Lincoln City, Oregon, hand-in-hand with my then high school sweetheart. She was very pretty, blunt (if not a little shy on wits) and Mormon. There is something odd about how proximity to the vastness of the sea can bring about some of our most contemplative moments. Finally, in that time of serenity with only the sound of the lapping ocean on distance rocks and the steady rumble of waves breaking on the sandy shore, we spoke truly about God. I remember saying, in the sort of bluntness that she was so fond of, … Read More