The Danger of Doing Theology Without Your Bible

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written by Justin McKitterick

My son just started playing baseball. As someone who enjoys baseball and helps coach, going to practices and games has become a fun weekly ritual for our family. Each time we get ready to go to the field to play we have a little mental checklist. Cleats? Check. Ball? Check. Glove? Check. Bat? Check. It is hard to play baseball if you do not have a glove, a bat, and a ball. In fact, if you take away the equipment, you might end up on a baseball field, but you are not playing baseball. You can run around on the field, make up other games to play on the field, you can even run the bases, but you are not really playing baseball. At best, you are playing a game that has some baseball-like components. More accurately, what you are doing is not baseball at all.

Sadly, I think this illustration can be applied to how many are approaching theology today.

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Testimony of the Week: Eve Teng

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Eve is a second-year linguistics major from Taiwan. She enjoys walking, journaling, star/sea/cloud/tree-gazing, and eating sushi and dumplings. 

Though my family was not Christian, I was exposed to certain “Christian morals” at a young age, such as no murdering, no cussing, no lying, no pre-marital sex, etc. I received these morals willingly and even built on these morals with my own concepts of morality to guide my outward behavior, and judged others according to them. I was externally well-behaved, and enjoyed adoration and praise from family, teachers, and peers. But in my private life and thoughts, I was self-centered, prideful, and lustful. My conscience would bug me sometimes when I thought lustful thoughts, gossiped about someone, or looked down on someone. But because I thought I was doing fine (at least outwardly) in comparison to my cussing classmates, the students caught cheating, and all the cruel criminals out there, I was not too serious about the warnings of my conscience. I thought, if there was a hell, those people would be the ones deserving to be there. Not me. Even if I’m not good enough for heaven, I’m certainly not bad enough for hell.

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Fear of the Lord

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written by Sam Fong

It’s been encouraging to read this blog! So when I was asked to write one, I knew it was a great opportunity to encourage. I’ve been procrastinating on writing this, though. My excuses sound something like, “I’ll write this when I have more time.” But it wasn’t really that I needed more time. One reason I was avoiding it was because I was worried about how my blog post would be received. Kind of embarrassing for me to admit, but underneath this is an issue in my heart that God has graciously been revealing to me throughout my christian walk and I’d like to share how God has been teaching me through it.

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Testimony of the Week: Joseph Wan

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Joseph is a second year biology major at UCLA. He loves eating, playing basketball, and listening to music!

By God’s grace, I was born and raised in a family with Christian parents. My parents faithfully brought me to church every Sunday, where I learned about God. During Sunday school, my teachers gave points and prizes to those who memorized Bible verses. Wanting those prizes, I memorized verses every week. I never doubted God’s existence as a child but He also held no importance in my life. I knew I was a sinner and was in desperate need of Christ and that whoever was not in Christ would go to hell. I was horribly terrified by this prospect. During my elementary school years, my Sunday school teachers would ask us every year if any of us wanted to accept Christ. I did not want to go to hell so I prayed with my teachers to accept Christ. I was never sure of my salvation so I prayed multiple times to “accept” Christ.

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An Important Question: Do You Trust God?

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written by Tim Peters

Scripture teaches us that in this life we will face trials.  Job states this in Job 14:1, “Man, who is born of women, is short-lived and full of turmoil. . .” Jesus said it in John 16:33, “In this world you will have tribulation. . .” James also promises trials as he wrote in James 1:2, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…”  For Patti and me, the calendar year 2015 seemed full of turmoil, tribulation, and various trials.  All required us to trust our Sovereign God as we dealt with the loss of employment for a family member, the death of an unbelieving brother-in-law after a lengthy illness, a reoccurrence of a potentially deadly disease in a family member, and dealing with the onset of dementia in an aging family member.  Each of these trials could have become overwhelming if we did not have the promises of scripture to lean on and a loving Heavenly Father who promises to never leave us nor forsake us. (Deut. 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5)

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Redemption in Regret

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written by Alyssa Lok

You regret procrastinating on your ten-page paper due at midnight.  You regret eating Nutella even though you know very well that you’re allergic to nuts. And you really regret wearing shorts in the rain. Because now you’re sick. And may possibly have bronchitis. The fact of the matter is that life is filled with decisions you regret. It’s easy to look back at our lives and think about all of the impulsive choices we’ve made, careless things we’ve said, and prime opportunities that we’ve passed up. But these types of regrets all point to a worldly grief. We feel pangs of remorse because we lost out or we were hurt in some way. The focus of worldly grief is ourselves—we mourn over the way that our pride has been injured, our image tarnished, and our plan foiled.

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Testimony of the Week: Millie Chang

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Millie is a 3rd year materials engineering major who has been selected for jury duty, is allergic to ibuprofen, and marathons Lord of the Rings every time she goes home for break.

By God’s grace, I grew up in a Christian home, attending church every Sunday with my family. I attended Sunday school, memorized Bible verses for Bible bucks, and knew Bible stories on the surface level. I prided myself in being the well-behaved daughter that parents and teachers praised. Despite attending church every week, I don’t think I truly understood the entirety of Gospel. I knew that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, but I didn’t get the fact that I was a sinner in desperate need of a Lord and Savior. I knew God was real, but far too often I relied on my own strength, pushing Him onto the back burner. I considered myself a Christian just because I had grown up in the church. Church was part of our family’s regular routine… and because I had prayed and accepted Christ into my heart, I thought that I was set.

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