Indelible Grace Church

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Indelible Grace Church Blog

Easter 2013

The parents and children at our Easter service:



Skeptics Night


This past Saturday was our second Seminar for Skeptics.  The goal was to address an objection that keeps people from considering the plausibility of Christianity.   This time, we looked at the question: Isn’t it narrow-minded for Christianity to claim to be the one true religion?  Here, in brief, was the presentation given by Pastor Michael:

(1) Religious pluralism (the idea that relativizes all religions as equally valid) logically contradicts itself because it positions itself as The Truth over all other truths.

(2) Religious pluralism is itself intolerant because it doesn’t respect the integrity of world religions as they are.

(3) Christianity is the most inclusive exclusive-truth because its exclusive-truth is a man dying for his enemies.  This exclusive truth creates compassionate, loving people.

Several other questions were also asked, which keep coming up at each Seminar for Skeptics.   Here are the top three:

(1) Isn’t it unfair for God to send people to hell for all eternity just because they don’t believe in Jesus?

Our culture typically thinks of heaven and hell in material/experiential terms: heaven is like a great day at the spa, hell is a fiery torturous pit.  But Christianity describes heaven and hell in relational terms: heaven is to be in the presence of Jesus, hell is to be away from Jesus.  Therefore, understood in this light, those who reject Jesus are already experiencing hell in this life, and this trajectory will continue for eternity after death.  Therefore, no one will be in hell against their ultimate desire.

(2) How can a good and loving God allow for evil and suffering?

God has a good and loving reason for the suffering he allows.   We just don’t know what that reason is.  But we know what the reason can’t be.  It can’t be that God doesn’t love us.  Because on the cross, God took evil and suffering into his very heart.  Therefore, we can trust him.  And one day, at the Resurrection, all evil and sadness will be swallowed up into glory.

(3) Isn’t it bigoted for Christianity to say that homosexuality is a sin?

Christianity has always taught that sexuality is to be practiced only in the confines of marriage.  This excludes pre-marital sex, prostitution, infidelity, divorce, polygamy and pornography.  And homosexuality – because the purpose of sex is not ultimately for our personal happiness (though that is a wonderful by-product), but to image God, and therefore, there must be complementarity in marriage: male and female.  And therefore, Christianity is not particularly focused on homosexuality as the uber-sin, as our culture makes it out to be, but Christianity is at odds with all modern notions of sex.  Christianity asserts that sexuality, like all aspects of the human condition, is subject to broken desires.   But there is forgiveness in the gospel.   And therefore, Christianity embraces our gay brothers and sisters to experience grace and reconciliation in Christ.

You can also hear the audio recording of the evening here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 09:24

A (Modest) Case for Cessationism


The debate between Cessationism (the argument that the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit have ceased: prophecy, tongues, miraculous healings) and Continuationism (the argument that all the gifts of the Spirit continue today) is a minor debate among Christians.   It should not be a source of division, but more of a friendly in-house debate among brothers.  So with that in mind, here are two positive arguments and one negative argument for Cessationism:

(1) In Ephesians 2:20, Paul describes the church as "built on the foundation of the apostles."  The structural metaphor of a foundation means that the ministry of the apostles was a once-and-for-all period in redemptive-history.  To this apostolic ministry, there are "signs and wonders" associated (Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 12:12).  Therefore, by logical necessity, these signs and wonders have ceased with the ending of the Apostolic Age.   These signs and wonders are prophecy, tongues and miraculous healings.

(2) Revelation is God's Word.  Revelation in the New Testament era is restricted to the Apostolic Age. Thus, the New Testament is a closed book because the Apostolic Age has ceased.   Prophecy is also revelation (Eph. 2:20, 3:5).  So too tongues (1 Cor. 14:21-22).  All revelatory gifts have ceased.

(3) Continuationism proposes that all the gifts of the Spirit continue today, including all the signs and wonders described in Acts.  But inevitably, certain concessions must be made.  The NT writings have ceased; the apostles have ceased; infallible prophets have ceased; tongues as the gift of foreign languages have ceased; people rising from the dead have ceased; the intensity and amazingness of signs and wonders have ceased.   Therefore, Continuationists must concede a kind of partial-Cessationism.  In other words, there are no truly principled Continuationists – only varying degrees of Cessationists.  Which means the Cessationist argument is essentially correct.

(You can read a full paper-length version of this argument here. We also covered this topic in Sunday school, which you can listen to the three-part series here.)

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 20:18

CG Multiplication

We're entering an exciting stage of our community life at IGC.  Next week we will start four new community groups that will meet around the East Bay.

Since our inception, small groups have been a integral part of our identity as a church.  We started with a single small group that multiplied into two groups a few months after it began.  We're doubling again now.  As our church has grown, both our small groups have swelled in size.


It has been exciting to watch the groups grow but we know that there is a time for them to expand beyond their limited times and locales.  We are multiplying the groups for a few reasons:

More leaders empowered.  IGC has many people who are gifted who have shown faithfulness in various areas and have exhibited an eagerness to serve God through leadership for the community groups.  The leaders and co-leaders will take on planning, administrative, and teaching roles as they head up the groups.  By entrusting the community groups to the leaders, we are empowering them to push the church in ways the pastoral staff can't on its own.

More opportunities to serve.  One of the best ways to grow is to serve.  With fewer people in the groups (each will now have 8-12 members), there are more opportunities to serve by praying, leading studies, leading singing, ministering to other members of the groups, etc.

More intimacy.  Larger groups can be intimidating and may be difficult for someone to share in such a setting.  With smaller groups it is easier to create an environment where members can be honest and vulnerable with each other.  We want the community groups to be more than social gatherings.  We want them to be places where hurts, fears, doubts, confessions and anxieties can be shared.  It is our hope that our groups will become places where deep, safe, intimate relationships can formed.

More options.  With meeting places in San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley and San Ramon, the community groups are now more accessible.  The larger number of groups also means a higher likelihood that someone considering joining a group can find one that he or she feels comfortable with.


This is a huge step for IGC as we continue to make the gospel known around the Bay Area.  Please pray with us as we ask God to give life to these groups.  If you would like to be a part of a community group, contact Pastor Wade so he can connect you with a group leader.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 13:02

Cooking Fellowship


On Saturday morning (January 19), the ladies of IGC got together at Judy’s home for our women’s fellowship – and this is what I left thinking:

(1) What an amazing and fun time of “communal” cooking AND

(2) What a special time of truly connecting and sharing our hearts with one another

It was a beautiful picture of genuine, loving, gospel-centered community: breaking bread together AND intimate conversations sharing our praises and our prayer needs.   Definitely two of my favorite things.

For the first hour or so, over fifteen of us got together to meet & greet, some of us meeting new visitors, others reconnecting with long-time friends.  We then transitioned into three smaller groups where we read a devotional and shared about how God has been working in our lives as well as the areas we are looking forward to growing in as this new year unfolds.  We prayed, cried, laughed, shared honestly and deeply, know – all the things women love to do.  What a blessing it was to commune and connect with these ladies, new friends and old.

For the rest of the afternoon, the women prepared wontons and spam musubi, and cooked together, under the culinary leadership of Chef Lauren.  Okay, she’s not really a professional chef, but let’s just say we call her 'all kinds of amazing' in the kitchen.  Lauren taught some of the ladies how to make wonton soup while others of us learned to make spam musubi (YUM!  My personal favorite.)  Kari also surprised us by baking delicious brie on a baguette, to our stomach's delight!  In the end, the food turned out so amazing and I overheard someone say it was the best wonton soup she's had in her life!  Needless to say, we ate most of it, while saving one or two leftovers to bring to the brothers.  :)  What a wonderful time of fellowship and community.  I can't wait for the next one!

Written by Christine Chiu.

(We hope you can join us for our next fellowship event, The Color Run in San Francisco, on March 2. Talk with Marianne Siu if you are interested.)

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 14:47

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