Later this month Woodland Hills will be doing our annual baptism ceremony at Lake Phalen, and so in light of that Greg used this week’s sermon to talk about baptism and contrasting it with the magical way of thinking about it that we see in the movie ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou’. Read More
The word “repent” is often associated with fear based tactics like street side preachers shouting “turn or burn!” Though fear based attempts to motivate change rarely have lasting positive impact. The New Testament picture of repentance is instead displayed as a joyful invitation to acceptance of the grace and mercy poured out by a God of love.
This week in our Moving Pictures series we explore the film ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ to better understand the complexities of a world with free will. Every decision we make unfolds massive ripple effects, making it almost impossible to know why things happen as they do. Our hope in the midst of this beautifully complex world is found in God who is infinitely smarter than we can ever understand. Read More
The story of the transforming power of love over shame is all around us. This past weekend Sandra showed us this theme in the movie ‘The Beauty and the Beast’, and we learn how powerful love can be to defeat even the most paralyzing shame. Read More
This is our first week of the new sermon series, Moving Pictures. In this series we will look at different movies that show a particular theology. This week we were entertained with the film, Bruce Almighty, a film which highlights the question of free-will. Greg takes us through the illusion of fatalism. The foundation of fatalism (also understood as determinism and/or Calvinism) suggests the world and all its happenings are determined. All that unfolds, including all suffering, is a result of fate, a pre-determined destiny of events established by God. But, there is a different way of understanding the world and God’s relationship to the created order. God created a world with free-will; where humans have the capacity to freely choose life or choose death. God is a relational God and longs for relationship with humans who freely choose love. With the free-will understanding of the created order we discover God is not the author of all that unfolds in the world, but that humans play an integral role in what comes to pass.