Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do you know?

This shocking billboard, sponsored by American Athiests, showed up this season at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel in New York.

You may not think its a myth, but do you know how to converse with someone who does?

Every Thursday morning at 6:00 AM, 30 men and I have been grappling with how to do that using Tim Keller's The Reason for God as a guide.

(I wish I could get every person in our church to thoughtfully read this book from cover to cover!)

In chapter 9, entitled "The Knowledge of God", Keller argues that any discussion of human rights (and everyone argues for human rights) is based on an assumed knowledge of God. . . .

All of nature is based on violence. Yet we inescapably believe it is wrong for stronger human individuals or groups to kill weaker ones. If violence is totally natural, why would it be wrong for strong humans to trample weak ones? There is no basis for moral obligation unless we argue that nature is in some part unnatural. We can't know that nature is broken in some way unless there is some supernatural standard of normalcy apart from nature by which we can judge right and wrong. That means there would have to be heaven or God or some kind of divine order outside of nature in order to make that judgment.

There is only one way out of this conundrum. We can pick up the Biblical account of things and see if it explains our moral sense better that a secular view. If the world was made by a God of peace, justice and love, then that is why we know that violence, oppression, and hate are wrong. If the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed, that explains the violence and disorder we see.

If you believe human rights are a reality, then it makes much more sense that God exists than that he does not. If you insist on a secular view of the world and yet you continue to pronounce some things right and wrong, then I hope you see the deep disharmony between the world your intellect has devised and the real world (and God) that your heart knows exists. This leads to a crucial question. If a premise ("There is no God") leads to a conclusion you know isn't true ("Napalming babies is culturally relative) then why not change the premise?

Man, I dig that! We've somehow got to learn to have conversations like this with folks we know and love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

7 reasons to RSVP for GraceSLO events online

We've just enabled folks to RSVP for select events on our newly redesigned website. For example, currently you can RSVP for these events. . .

Night of Caroling on Sunday, December 19

Men's Huddle on Saturday, January 15

Here are 7 reasons we're committed to this new process and why we think you should register online for these events now and all future events, when given the opportunity:

  1. It saves money. It's one less piece of paper our administrative assistants have to handle and transfer to a spreadsheet. When you RSVP online, it drops your registration right into a spreadsheet. That saves time, which, in turn, saves money. The wonder of google docs.

  2. It's convenient. You can register anytime, 24 hours, 7 days a week. You don't have to take the time to find a sign-up table or remember to stick your tab in an offering bag.

  3. It cuts down on worship service clutter. It potentially cuts down on the need to say "rip off your tab, fill it out now and put it in the offering bag or take it to a "welcome center". At times, we actually altar the arrangement of the service, so folks can hear the announcement and then can stick the tab in the bag as it comes around.

  4. It cuts down on courtyard clutter. That courtyard square footage is precious real estate. We want as much room for comfortable movement and face to face fellowship as possible. Sign-up tables clutter up the courtyard and make it tough to move around.

  5. It's informative. It allows you to see and experience the wealth of other helpful information on the website, so you better know what's going and feel more connected.

  6. It's helpful for our planning. Boy it's helpful to know in advance who is coming to what. It allows us to plan and prepare better. It allows us to do what we do with excellence and not be anxious about the unknowns as an events gets close.

  7. Its fun. You're likely on the web all the time anyway. On our end, it's like magic. You probably don't think so, but we definitely do. It's so easy to make happen and it just works. It's exciting and encouraging to see people RSVPing, engaging and getting involved.

So, thanks for coming along with us as we experiment with this new technology.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

revamped website now live

The big news of the day is that our new website is now live at Check it out!

We think the site is going to be useful for our life together. Our vision is that the site becomes the hub of our communication as a church family.

Here are 3 new features our Ministry Staff is really excited about and we think you might be too. . . .

  1. A full GraceSLO calendar of Upcoming Events organized by ministry with everything you need to know on an daily basis.

  2. Online event sign-up and registration. Go ahead and register for the upcoming Night of Caroling on December 19 RIGHT HERE. We're even going to try and do some Winter Growth Group enrollment

  3. A sermon Resource Library that is browseable by date, Scripture, series and speaker. (By topic is coming soon.)

We owe GraceSLO congregant, Aaron Barker and his company, Tap Consulting (, a huge thanks for their hard work, incredible insight and amazing expertise. Aaron has been a joy to work with. If you know him, thank him when you see him.

Paula Phillips, Christina Carroll, Debbie Johnston, and Trevor Miller have also been working like crazy to get the site ready. Many thanks to them as well.

The plan is to move Life Together within to the site after the first of the year. Stay tuned.

Hope you like the site. If you'd like to send some encouraging or constructive feedback, send it directly to me at I'd love to hear your thoughts.