Engaging the Culture
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George Sarris

MDiv Gordon-Conwell, speaker on Biblical & family issues, actor/narrator in New York, tells World's Greatest Stories

Posted 3/23/17 at 3:20 PM | George Sarris

It's NOT a Sin!

The Shack movie, much like the book that preceded it ten years ago, has stirred up a hornet’s nest among a small but loud group of evangelical Christians for the sins it’s committed – sins so grievous that they’re calling it “HERESY.”

One sin in particular has been brought up in several of the reviews and treated as if it were a dirty word.

According to some critics, the simple mention of this word should make any Bible believing Christian feel ashamed of even thinking that it could be true. So dangerous and potentially destructive to one’s faith is this “heresy,” one commentator equated it with a complete failure to understand the Gospel of Christ.

What is this sin? It’s the “sin” of universalism.

True universalism is not the misinformed belief that any and all roads lead to heaven. It’s the Christian idea that the all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise God of the Bible will ultimately get each person He created in His image into heaven! The idea that through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ actually succeeded in His mission to seek and save the lost. FULL POST

Posted 3/7/17 at 8:26 AM | George Sarris

Exposing a 1,500-Year-Old Myth About Hell!

“Evangelicals congratulate themselves on their willingness to submit to the final authority of scripture. Yet they also have cherished beliefs that they defend to the hilt . . . Quite rightly, George Sarris insists that even these beliefs should be subjected to the test of scripture. In this work he engages in detailed and challenging scrutiny of the biblical teachings on hell, eternal punishment and condemnation. Even those who do not agree with his conclusions need to pay attention to his arguments.”

- Nigel G. Wright, Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London Council Member of the Evangelical Alliance, UK

Heaven’s Doors . . . Wider Than You Ever Believed!  is a book about unlimited power and unfailing love working together to accomplish the greatest plan ever conceived. It’s a book about God’s plan to ultimately get each and every person through heaven’s doors. FULL POST

Posted 1/17/17 at 11:19 AM | George Sarris

Is Gandhi in Hell?

In a recent interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Tim Keller was asked a question that both Christians and non-Christians wonder about at one time or another.

I’m troubled by the evangelical notion that people go to heaven only if they have a direct relationship with Jesus. Doesn’t that imply that billions of people — Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus — are consigned to hell because they grew up in non-Christian families around the world? That Gandhi is in hell?

As usual, Tim’s response was perceptive and satisfactory . . . as far as it went. However, he never really answered the question. Instead, he ended his comment by suggesting that there is an answer, but that answer is hidden in the mystery of God.

There is still the question of fairness regarding people who have grown up away from any real exposure to Christianity . . . I don’t think it is insurmountable. Just because I can’t see a way doesn’t prove there cannot be any such way. If we have a God big enough to deserve being called God, then we have a God big enough to reconcile both justice and love. FULL POST

Posted 12/22/16 at 12:10 PM | George Sarris

The Real Story of Christmas

The world changed when Jesus was born and time itself is now measured in relation to that event!

Every person and event occurring before Jesus was born, we identify as BC - Before Christ. And, every person and event occurring after his birth, we identify as AD - Anno Domini, which is Latin for, “In the Year of our Lord.” Even the alternative designation of BCE and CE used by some modern authors, archeologists, museums and others not wanting to specifically acknowledge the implications of the dating formula must admit that the “Common Era” began with the birth of Christ.

What we will be celebrating on December 25 was actually the pivotal event of history!

But why did this Person have such a significant impact on the world? As Christians we sometimes overlook who He really was. The message that is at the heart of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!

The angel who appeared to the shepherds on that glorious night to announce the birth of the promised Savior did not say, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for some of the people,” or even “for most of the people.” The angel said, FULL POST

Posted 7/19/16 at 2:22 PM | George Sarris

Thank A Cop

In light of yesterday’s events in Dallas, I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to be a policeman and protect me and my family.

I said those words, with tears actually beginning to well up in my eyes, as my wife, daughter and I walked toward the Minor League baseball stadium in Bridgeport, CT to watch the Bridgeport Bluefish play the Sugar Land, TX “Skeeters” (yes, their official logo is a tough, angry looking mosquito!).

The officer looked at me . . . somewhat surprised . . . and said with a grateful smile,

Thank you. I really appreciate it!

I said something similar to another police officer at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Fairfield on Sunday afternoon after the murders of three policemen in Baton Rouge. He, too, was surprised and encouraged.

I really appreciate you saying that,” he said. “We don’t often get encouragement like that. FULL POST

Posted 6/29/16 at 2:09 PM | George Sarris

Why Is It Incredible?

When Zondervan included an essay on Christian Universalism in their recent publication of Four View on Hell, Second Edition, many people thought it was "incredible" that a well-respected evangelical publisher would acknowledge that universal salvation is a position Christians should seriously consider.

What was even more "incredible" to them was the observation by the book’s editor, Preston Sprinkle, that Christians can no longer dismiss this view as unorthodox!

But why should anyone consider it incredible to believe that God will actually do what He says He will do?

There are undoubtedly many things in this world that can legitimately be considered “incredible.”

But why should anyone – especially those in the religious community – consider it incredible to believe that God will ultimately save the entire world?

An Incredible God

The God who created all things is all-powerful. The God who created all things is all-wise. It is the very nature of the God who created all things to love. And this Creator has specifically said He desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. FULL POST

Posted 4/7/16 at 4:26 PM | George Sarris

A Game-Changer On Hell?

Until now, most Christians have assumed that evangelicals – people who base their convictions clearly on the teaching of Scripture – cannot possibly be universalists – people who believe that God will one day redeem all mankind

With the release on March 8 of Zondervan’s Four Views on Hell (Second Edition), that understanding suddenly changed!

For the first time, a well respected, evangelical publishing house has clearly acknowledged that universalism is a view Christians should seriously consider.

An Evangelical Universalist

The four views presented in the book are: Eternal Conscious Torment, Terminal Punishment, Purgatory, and an essay by Robin Parry on Christian Universalism.

According to the book’s general editor, Preston Sprinkle – FULL POST

Posted 12/15/15 at 12:11 PM | George Sarris

God Bless Us . . . Every One!

Tiny Tim got it right. And Charles Dickens made it clear with the simple addition of a single space in the text.

The last two words of the child’s famous saying could have been written as one word. But then the meaning might have been misunderstood. The little boy could have been asking “everyone” to pronounce a blessing on him and his family – God bless us, everyone!

But that’s not what he was asking. His request was directed to God, asking Him to bless “every one!”

The real message of Christmas is not that God loves only some people – Tiny Tim . . . the Cratchit family . . . even a changed Scrooge.

The message at the heart of Christianity is that God loves each and every person He created.

He loves you. He loves all those you personally know and love. He even loves all those you don’t know personally . . . and may not love.

The Savior of the World

The angel who appeared to the shepherds on that glorious night to announce the birth of the promised Savior said, FULL POST

Posted 11/11/15 at 3:43 PM | George Sarris

Does the “Greatest Story” Have a Happy Ending?

I like happy endings. Most people do.

That’s why great stories usually end with the guy getting the girl . . . the hero defeating his foe . . . the adventurer succeeding in his quest.

Sure, there are tragic elements along the way. The guy loses the girl . . . for a while. The usurping foe overpowers the hero . . . for a time. The adventurer gets thwarted in his quest . . . until he overcomes all odds and achieves his goal. In the end, good triumphs over evil and all is well.

Will that happen in the greatest story ever told -- the story of the Creation, Fall and Redemption of mankind?

When the last page is read and the book is closed, will the Hero in this story ultimately succeed or fail in His quest to “seek and save what was lost?”

Does this story have a happy ending . . . or is the greatest story actually a tragedy?

It Wasn’t Always a Tragedy

For the first 500 years of the Christian Church, most Christians believed that God would ultimately redeem all of His creation. The story had a happy ending. FULL POST

Posted 7/1/15 at 12:28 PM | George Sarris

Rethinking Hell Conference Challenges Beliefs

“Historic? I’m not sure it’s too strong a word. I can’t think of anything quite like this!”

That’s how Dr. Jerry Walls described the second Rethinking Hell Conference that was held at the prestigious Fuller Theological Seminary June 18-20.

It brought together scholars, pastors and laypeople from the US, Canada and as far away as the UK to discuss an issue that has been the subject of debate and division during most of the history of the Christian Church:

What happens to sinners after we die? 

Three very different views have existed from the early church to the present day – each represented by respected leaders . . . and each claiming the authority of Scripture for its beliefs.

The Traditional view states that the righteous will go to heaven, and the wicked will experience endless, conscious suffering in hell.

With Conditional Immortality, eternal life is conditioned on salvation, and only some will meet that condition. The saved go to heaven. The rest die, perhaps suffering for some time after death, until they finally cease to exist. This view is sometimes called Annihilation. FULL POST

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