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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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Latest James Ellis' Key Voice Blog Articles

The Rev. James Ellis III

A Return to Holiness (A Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

He taught at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, led two churches over 30 years, and authored 40-some-odd books.[1] Calvin Miller, in 2012, died following complications from open heart surgery. In one of my favorite books of his, Letters to a Young Pastor, he wrote: "...it is good to exercise a lot of discretion before you end up with an indiscretion."[2] It doesn't require a longitudinal study or demanding analysis to conclude that, largely, Americans have distanced themselves from this kind of thinking. Whoever we may think the sinister architect is of the shift, please rest assured, "Nothing is new under the sun."[3] But, still, it doesn't seem right that we would gloss over or downplay how out of sorts our society is. And even more than that, my heart aches for those who, though they know the Lord Jesus are lost in the same sauce of recklessness, tethered to the same muddy waters. So, for just a moment, as a community of believers, this morning we're going to talk about sex. Essentially, like it or not, we are the Christians Paul addresses of Thessalonica; albeit with more technology, Dutch heritage, and harsh winter weather, so I've been told, that soon cometh.

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The Rev. James Ellis III

iStruggle

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Even before moving from the pressurized studios of multimedia journalism production in my former career on yonder to work of the cloth, I felt obligated to help others, to esteem, equip, and protect those who may feel less than or ignored. Bullies made my blood boil, so I have exchanged more than words with more than a few of them through the years. Sometimes that's just how it goes down on life's playground. Narcissists and self-absorbed socialites have gotten it, too. As far back as my memory travels, I've been thought of as that smart, really nice, quiet guy who, though never looking to start any problems, was perfectly willing to stand on the side of good. This was much to the chagrin of my parents. In a bind, "Go get James," my peers would sometimes say. Squashing beefs, or trying to. Breaking up fights. Laying down the hammer of peace and reconciliation. Being mindful of those on the margins because I know how it feels. That's been me.

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Other Recent James Ellis' Key Voice Blog Articles

The Rev. James Ellis III Article

October 13, 2016

The Struggle is Real

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Life is hard. We all know that to be true, yet we sometimes struggle to be honest with young adults about the kind of unavoidable challenges they will face. For Columbia Theological Seminary's "Columbia Connections" blog, this is an opportunity to explore those dynamics a bit further. Life is hard, yes. And God is very good. It is quite right to affirm that both are true at the same time.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

April 04, 2016

Mature Theology (A Sermon on Jude 1:1-7)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

For whatever reasons, Jude is one of those biblical texts you will be hard-pressed to find being preached that often in many churches. Its message is difficult to receive and digest, although the message is rather plain and direct. No one wants to hear doom and gloom and especially within the privileged, spoiled brand of faith that has become popularized in America, no one wants to hear any notion of God’s stand for sexual morality. But there it is in the Bible waiting for us to confront our sin.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

February 29, 2016

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Our society can be rather nihilistic and pessimistic. Whether this is a sign of the times or a reflection of basic human nature, I don’t exactly know, but it can be difficult for hope to grow in such a sweepingly hostile environment. Just like anyone else, Christians can easily fall victim to a naysayer mentality where we quietly go along to get along. But as always, with God there is another way that leads to truth and life.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

July 06, 2015

Tough Love (A Sermon on 1 John 4:7-12)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

The legendary soul singer, Tina Turner once asked the world, "What's love got to do with it?" For Christians, God's love and our response to God's love, in loving others, makes the world go-round. But how we understand love is critical, and that appears at times to be taking an interpretive turn for the worst.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

February 23, 2015

Even Though They Die

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Columbia Theological Seminary's Steve Hayner succumbed to pancreatic cancer on January 31, 2015. He wore many hats throughout an illustrious career, but more than anything else aided others in traversing the good and bad times of faith in Christ. He leaves loved ones, yes, but also a rich legacy of faith, hope, and love.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

September 22, 2014

Digging Beneath the Surface (A Sermon on John 4:7-18)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

For many reasons, at times Christians today are characterized as "holier than thou" types quick to point to others' moral shortcomings, who rarely take their own tattered lifestyles to task. Jesus, however, compels everyone to dig beneath the surface of their own lives and the world's status quo to become "whole" individuals. In this text, Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman provides a good opportunity to explore that theme.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

June 12, 2014

Eternity’s Courtroom

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

As Jesus told Peter long ago (John 21:15-17), we who today lead others into spiritual transformation are expected to care for God's sheep. Many of us take that charge seriously, but struggle to understand one foundational truth of this sacred work. If we don't first care adequately for ourselves, we have little chance of caring for anyone else.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

April 16, 2014

Staying Awake with Jesus (A Sermon on Matthew 26:36-46)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Palm Sunday reminds us of the conundrum of the human experience and the beauty of Jesus' sacrifice, the decision to love us to death. Even in the midst of betrayal, tribulation, and anxiety, Jesus chose to move forward with the fulfillment of Scripture that testifies of himself. Friends are important on this side of heaven, but Jesus is the most important friend any of us will ever have.