Recent Posts by Sean Finnegan

Elisha, a Type of Jesus as “Father”

The Old Testament is full of typology concerning Christ Jesus of Nazareth. The sacrificial system of the law serves as type for the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity. Passover shows that through the sacrifice of a lamb, death passed over those of obedience. Similarly, the sacrifice of Jesus (the Lamb of God)…
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Our Jealous God

At least seven times throughout the Bible, God says that He is a jealous God.1 Sadly, it’s easy to misunderstand and stumble over the idea of God’s jealousy as Oprah Winfrey did when she heard about it in church. She said: “I happened to be sitting in church in my late twenties, and I was…
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Coming Back

As you begin a new year, it’s a good time to take stock of your relationship with God.  Often this means taking a hard look at your life, thought patterns, and habits to honestly evaluate them in light of Scripture.  When you honestly do that, you may discover that you’ve fallen short of God’s standards. …
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The Power of Unity in a Polarized Time

A woman driving on a bridge spots a man standing on the edge, getting ready to jump.  Pulling over, she jumps out of the car and shouts, “Stop!” The man turns and says, “Why should I?” The lady asks, “Are you religious?” “Yes,” the man replies. “Me too.  Are you Christian?” she asks. “Yes.” Walking…
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Abraham’s Audacious Faith

Freeze the scene.  The knife gleams in the blinding sun.  Lifted high above his head, his hand firmly grips the handle, knuckles bulging.  His eyes, open, are intensely focused on the object of his aim.  Isaac bound, looks up in fear, knowing his father has made up his mind.  A little further out, a ram…
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A Biblical Response to Racism

Over the last couple of months, our society has focused a great deal on racism, especially with respect to African Americans.  Although our present issue is complex and polarizing, what the Bible teaches on this subject is straightforward and clear.  Let us begin with creation itself. Genesis 1:12, 20, 25. The earth brought forth vegetation,…
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The Text of the New Testament by Sean Finnegan

Last time, we looked at the Hebrew manuscripts from which we derive our Old Testament translations.  This time, we will turn our attention to the Greek manuscripts that ultimately result in our New Testament translations.  Getting an understanding of manuscripts, both their discovery and comparison, will help explain why certain translations of the Bible are…
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Hebrew Bible Manuscripts

With over one hundred English Bible translations to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide on which Bible to read and study.  My aim in this series of articles is to pop the hood and take a look inside the world of Bible translating so you can understand how it all…
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Be Holy For I Am Holy

Leviticus is one of the strangest and most intriguing books of the Bible.  More than a few well-intended folks trying to follow a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan have perished trying to cross the vast terrain of Leviticus with its seemingly endless details about the long lobe of the liver in a sacrifice or the rules about beasts…
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Facing Anxiety

Anxiety is on the rise in America. Anxiety disorders afflict an astounding 40 million adults in the United States today according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Keeping in mind that these include only those with official diagnoses. The actual number of those vexed by chronic anxiety is likely much higher. Beyond these…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body, 5: Personhood Theory

The Bible’s nuanced and practical view of the body has lost much ground in our culture today.  In its place, a new understanding has grown up that draws a strong distinction between the body and the mind.  Much of this thinking grew out of the work of René Descartes (1596-1650), a French philosopher and mathematician…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body, 4: Boundaries

Since we have both God’s original design as well as fallenness in our bones, we cannot simply seek to fulfil our bodily appetites whenever we feel an urge.  Owing to “the flesh,” our desires are not always in tune with God’s original good design.  We can see this easily, using the illustration of eating a…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 3: Beauty

We can find at least two major opposing views of the human body in our culture today: apathy and vanity.  On the one hand, social scientists, queer theorists, and many in the media tell us that our physical bodies aren’t important.  Someone’s biology may be male, but if his mind disagrees, he may identify as…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 2: Holistic Redemption

Last time we looked at how the creation and fall affect how we think about our bodies.  We are at once the result of God’s magnificent design, bearing His image and simultaneously fallen, radically seeking our own selfish interests.  Thankfully, God does not leave us alone in this condition.  He has provided a solution to…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 1: Creation and Fall

Between the apathy and reductionism of those who think our biological bodies don't matter and the vanity and superficiality of the celebrity culture that places ultimate value on appearance, the Bible offers a surprisingly elevated view of the body that engenders respect but not worship.  In a world of sexual harassment, abortion, and sex reassignment…
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Be Like Ezra

Ezra lived at a hinge time in history.  The Babylonians had demolished Judah and captured the people, bringing them to Babylon.  After seventy years, the Persian Empire overtook the Babylonians and permitted the Israelites to return home.  The reason for this traumatic series of events was the people’s idolatry.  God had prophesied through Jeremiah and…
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Restoring Authentic Christianity 2

Last time, we looked at some key values that help us arrive at biblical truth.  In what follows, we’ll consider three ways of figuring out what to believe.  Simply put, our goal is to grasp New Testament Christianity and live it out today.  We pursue this goal through Bible study (exegesis), doctrinal synthesis, and evaluating…
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Restoring Authentic Christianity 1

Introduction The information age has opened up incredible opportunities to understand Christianity better.  With unprecedented and unrestricted access to facts and opinions from disparate religious perspectives, sincere Bible students have been increasingly questioning the typical doctrinal packages offered by many Christian groups today.  No longer can the church (Roman Catholic or Protestant) control what people…
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Let Us Make Man…

The word "person" has multiple meanings.  In normal conversation, it means simply a human being.  However, in theological terminology (thanks to the council of Nicaea in AD 325), "person" means any being with a mind or consciousness.  According to this definition, God is a person because He (note the personal pronoun) thinks, acts, and feels. …
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Dealing with Our Culture 7: Patriotism

As we continue in our series on dealing with the culture, the time has come to consider patriotism, national identity, and allegiance.  Patriotism is the feeling of love for one’s native country, which encompasses a spectrum from a mere love and gratitude to one’s home country to swearing allegiance to support one’s country regardless of…
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Dealing with Our Culture 5: Scientism

In this series of articles, I’ve examined several cultural currents that are constantly nudging us to think a certain way.  Today, I’d like to address the relationship of science and faith by looking at scientism.  Scientism is the idea that the kind of information gained from the scientific method is superior to all other means…
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Dealing with Our Culture 4: Progress

Over the course of time, humanity has made incredible progress.  Slavery was once a widespread and accepted institution, but it is almost universally outlawed today.  Workers’ rights, including child labor and equal opportunity employment, have made great strides in the last century.  The realm of medicine has made remarkable progress over the last couple of…
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Dealing with Our Culture 3: Tolerance

Tolerance, as our culture defines it, is the idea that people should have the freedom to be themselves.  You shouldn’t try to change people or hold them to your standards.  You certainly shouldn’t push your religion on others.  Faith is a private matter, so proselytizing is immoral.  You shouldn’t label, define, or stereotype people.  Since…
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Dealing with our Culture 2: Hyper-Individualism

In my last post, “Seeing the Filter,” I considered how the culture is constantly nudging our sense of what’s normal by scripting and re-scripting what we think will make us safe and happy.  The world puts filters over our eyes to color how we perceive everything without us even noticing it.  Such deception is insidious…
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Sunday Service in the Park

Join us at Cook Park this Sunday (May 28) at 10:30am. We'll be at the main pavilion, called Cook Park Pavilion. We'll have lawn chairs and picnic tables set up, but you are also welcome to bring your chairs and blankets as well. This will be a family style fellowship, with child-care provided for ages…
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Dealing with Our Culture 1: Seeing the Filter

This past summer, I learned how to surf at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. While I was in the ocean, I constantly battled the waves pushing me towards the beach and the undertow pulling me back towards the sea. However, it was not until I came out of the water a quarter of a mile down…
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Work Day

Come to Living Hope this Saturday between 8am and noon to help out with our annual spring cleaning work day. Jobs include landscaping/mulching outside, cleaning inside, and electrical/construction work in the auditorium. Please bring whatever tools you think might be helpful. We have some limited supplies. Show up at 8 and you'll get free donuts,…
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Saturday Communion Service

On the night our Lord Jesus was handed over, he memorialized his death through communion.  Join us this Saturday at 7pm at Living Hope for a sweet time of music, teaching, and participating in the Lord's table.  Vince Finnegan will officiate as we call to mind, not only what our Savior went through for us,…
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Thinking about inviting someone this Sunday?

This Sunday at 10:30 am we are celebrating our Lord's resurrection from the dead. I hope you're planning on joining us at Living Hope to rejoice together. Our praise team has been working on some special music, our video team has just upgraded our entire system, and John Cortright is going to share about when…
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Make a Meal for Susan

Susan Barrett, a member of Living Hope Community Church, broke her hip recently from a fall and is now at home recovering. Along with prayers, we would love to help her recoup with providing meals for her and her daughter for 3 weeks. God has been good and she has made great improvements since surgery!…
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Hebrew Class Open House

 Want to learn Hebrew? Are you interested in reading the bible without a translation? Lee Brice from Congregation Gates of Heaven, a synagogue in Schenectady, will teach a Hebrew class for beginners on Sundays (1-2pm), starting Jan 22nd and running through June. She has graciously agreed to come to Living Hope to teach us. The…
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Christian Sexual Ethics Class

Join us for our brand new class on Christian Sexual Ethics starting tomorrow (Jan 17th) at 7pm! Have you ever wondered what the bible teaches about sexuality?  In this 8 week biblical education class, Vince and Sean Finnegan will survey a broad range of issues related to Christian Sexual Ethics.  The aim of this Tuesday…
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The Unshakeable Kingdom

Reason #1 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: The Unshakeable Kingdom theme. During the weekend we'll focus our attention on how God plans to heal our world and establish his just reign from sea to shining sea. Amidst the turbulence and confusion of our topsy-turvy world, we need an anchor to hold us steady. Meditation on…
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Amazing Teachings at Kingdom Fest

Reason #2 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: amazing bible teachings.  During the weekend you'll get to hear from a variety of teachers who will passionately and accurately share from the Scriptures matchless truths about the coming kingdom of God.  You'll leave the weekend excited and ready to take in the world. Have you signed up…
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Habits of a Disciple: 6 Giving

When we lived in Georgia, Ruth and I visited Creflo Dollar’s church, the World Changer Dome, for a Sunday service.  We went to fulfill an assignment for our preaching class to attend a service different from our own tradition and write a report about it.  We parked far away from the large building.  So many…
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Inspiring Music at Kingdom Fest

Reason #3 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: inspiring praise music.  Throughout the weekend we'll have a variety of musicians sharing their talents to help you connect with God.  On Saturday night we'll have a night of worship that is sure to get you praising our heavenly Father!  We'll have upstate New Yorkers, downstate New Yorkers,…
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Renew Friendships at Kingdom Fest

Reason #4 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: renew friendships. At Kingdom Fest, you'll get to see folks that live far away. There's something special about when the saints gather together to worship God. This is an opportunity to fellowship with like-minded believers, to encourage one another, to pray together, and to have the time to…
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Last Chance for Early Bird Rate

Sign up by 11:59pm tonight to get the early bird rate for Kingdom Fest (a $20 discount)!  If you are planning on coming anyhow, why not sign up today?  We can't wait to see you! Have you signed up to come to Kingdom Fest yet? Why not register right now at https://lhim.org/register/?id=203 This year, Kingdom…
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Kids at Kingdom Fest

Reason #5 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: great kids' camp. At Kingdom Fest your kids will not only learn from the bible, but they will also enjoy crafts, sports, and make friends. Also during the free time we have a slip and slide available (requires parent supervision). This is the place your kids should be…
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Testimonies at Kingdom Fest

Reason #6 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: each year after lunch on Saturday, we have an opportunity for people to share short faith stories. In years past, this has been a really uplifting time to hear from people's hearts and rejoice together with what God has done in their lives. Do you have a story…
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Recreation at Kingdom Fest

Reason #7 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: recreation. Each year we head over to the River Road Park during the afternoon break on Saturday to play sports together. They have a play ground for the kids, a walking trail, a volleyball net, a basketball court, and a big field where we play ultimate frisbee. Come…
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Serve at Kingdom Fest

Reason #8 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: service. Because Kingdom Fest is such a big event (sometimes with over 200 in attendance), service opportunities abound. Whether you help with setup, the food team, the kids programs, music, AV, or one of the many other areas, service at Kingdom Fest is both fun and fulfilling. Have…
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Great Food at Kingdom Fest

Reason #9 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: great food. Unlike so many camps and conferences, Kingdom Fest does the food right. This year our 100% volunteer food service team will deliver tasty delicacies from homemade hand-pulled pork to scrumptious deserts like ice-cream sundaes. Trust me, you'll want to skip your diet for a weekend as…
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Meet New People at Kingdom Fest

Reason #10 why Kingdom Fest is awesome: You'll get a chance to meet new friends who share the same faith. I wonder how many have met life-long friends in previous Royal Family Reunions and Gathering Together Advances? Have you signed up yet? Why not register right now at https://lhim.org/register/?id=203 This year Kingdom Fest (formerly known…
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Habits of a Disciple: 5 Evangelism

It was a warm sunny day when Sal, Jaired, and I went to Washington Park in Albany looking for someone to talk to about the gospel.  It was Sal’s turn.  He had watched me talk to some folks, but now he was going to give it a try.  He spotted a middle-aged African American man…
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Habits of a Disciple: 4 Fellowship

As I stood on the sidewalk, relieved that the heat of the summer day had finally passed, the sounds and sights of the street washed over my senses like a deluge of water over a levee.  Everywhere, people were spilling out onto the sidewalk and the road from the nearby shops, the smell of alcohol…
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Habits of a Disciple: 3 Serving

I used to wait tables at Long Horn Steakhouse when I was going to the Atlanta Bible College. It was a great job for a lot of reasons. In particular, it taught me about service. You see my title was “server.” We had twelve steps of service, and the managers expected us to hit each…
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Habits of a Disciple: 1 Scripture Reading

Today, the entire Bible is available in 531 languages. Over forty writers contributed to it over 1,500 years. It is the most accessible book in the world with countless websites, apps, and paper copies available absolutely free. All of this seems even more impressive once we realize that the Bible is not a small book.…
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Habits of a Disciple: Introduction

Imagine an alien from outer space observing a man walking his dog. The dog leaves the house first followed by a rope attached to a man carrying a plastic bag. The dog leads the man down the road until it has found a suitable time and place to excrete its bio waste. The larger following…
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Unconditional Love vs. Always Nice

Recently, a pastor posted an article about how he would treat his kids if they turned out to be gay. His four promises to them were: he won’t keep his kids’ sexuality a secret, he’ll pray for them (but not for God to change them), he’ll love them, and he accepts that if they turn…
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Saints or Sinners

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”? The phrase has two main purposes: either we use it to express humility or to excuse our behavior. But, did you know that Scripture nowhere calls Christ’s followers sinners? Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about sinners in order…
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Follow

Although the latest statistics indicate that 2.2 of earth’s 6.9 billion inhabitants self-identify as Christian, it is hard to say how many actually follow Jesus. I remember a while back asking a friend’s mother if she was a Christian. She replied, “Of course, I am; I’m American, aren’t I?” I guess in her mind being…
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Christus Victor

Why did Jesus die? Although a skeptic might argue Jesus was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when he angered the wrong people, those of us who believe in Jesus’ resurrection cannot let ourselves off the hook so easily. If the resurrection proves that Jesus was God’s anointed one—the Messiah—then, of course,…
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