Bruce Hillman is Lead Pastor at Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church (www.hillsidelbc.org) in Succasunna New Jersey. He Holds a BA in History and Political Science from Quinnipiac University, (Hamden, CT), an MDiv. from the Lutheran Brethren Seminary (Fergus Falls, MN) and an STM in Patristics from Drew University (Madison, NJ); his research involves Augustinian studies and Early Christianity. He is former pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Henning MN. He is co-founder of Fifth Act Church Planting, having served on their board (www.fifthactchurchplanting.com) Bruce enjoys cooking, reading, all things British, exploring the world of wine, and conversations with good friends.
One of the common things I see my congregants struggle with is the concept of forgiveness. Contrary to what I had assumed would be the case, I find congregants don’t struggle so much with giving forgiveness as they do living with forgiveness.
For centuries the great problem with the existence of God was the problem of evil. If God is good and loves us, why is there evil? There are two kinds of evil, moral evil, like violence and abuse and natural evil, like earthquakes and child cancer. Much of Christian apologetics has been obsessed by this question.
One of the things I enjoy the most about having four Gospels is that we get four diverse accounts of Jesus. That is not only helpful, it is realistic. For example, take four people to watch a film and they’ll have differing impressions.
When we say we need something that means it’s indispensable. Without such a thing, our quality of life is drastically altered and likely endangered. I need food, air and water to sustain me physically, I need community, love and a healthy self-image to sustain me psychologically.
I once heard an old, retired Lutheran professor give in interview on a podcast. He was asked by the interviewer why people should bother going to church...
In the world of martial arts, which I am the first to admit I am no expert in, there is a concept, particularly in Jujutsu and Judo, called seiryoku zen’yo or, “maximum efficiency, minimum effort.”
BY BRUCE HILLMAN
It is often the case that when dealing Divine, we find ourselves befuddled. For as relatable and surprisingly vulnerable God is as the man Jesus, he seems, at times, to retain a certain aloofness, a type of distance.
Years ago I picked up a used copy of Thomas Á Kempis’ Imitation of Christ at a second-hand bookstore. Kempis was a Medieval monk-priest who falls in the medieval contemplation spectrum...
“Who can be saved!?” the disciples asked in astonishment. For Jesus had just told them that camels passing through needle’s eyes was more probable than rich people entering heaven.
One of the interesting things about Paul’s writings that is not noticed enough is that Paul doesn’t really have an “application” section.