24 Jul 2016 10:00am – Living Authentically – Rev. Dr. Keith Howard

The “city” in which we live is no longer a Ford vs Chevy, Coke vs Pepsi world. Many ways of defining the good life exist, each with their own images and evangelists. How does one live and act as a Christian in a world where we each are urged to “speak our own truth,” where decisions are often more impacted by a YOLO (“You Only Live Once") ethic or a morality where all is permitted “as long as no one gets hurt.” The writer to the early Christian church at Colossae offers some answers that provoke a double-take of head and heart.
Fullness of Life in Christ
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14 erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17 These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

Keith is profoundly curious about the interface of the Christian gospel and the social context in which we live. This curiosity has drawn him into many roles: Preacher, Writer, Blogger (KeithHoward.ca), Broadcaster, BC Conference staff person, Executive Director of the Emerging Spirit project, Team Leader for LeaderShift, Teacher (VST). Keith uses humour, insight and challenge when working with congregations, conferences, classrooms or individuals. He holds degrees from the University of Victoria (BSc with distinction), the Vancouver School of Theology (MDiv, ThM, DDiv (hon)) and the San Francisco Theological Seminary (DMin). Keith is married to Gaye Sharpe and is the father of five and grandfather of seven.

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