Westview Christian Fellowship
It’s All Too Much: Ecclesiastes with Caleb Ratzlaff

It’s All Too Much: Ecclesiastes with Caleb Ratzlaff

February 25, 2022

Recorded Feb. 13, 2022. Here Caleb gives an overview of Ecclesiastes, attempting to wrestle something meaningful from the meaninglessness of life.

All our actions are never enough. We eat, we sleep, we die, we're forgotten and it's God's fault.

Like the teacher of Ecclesiastes, Christ experiences alienation from God. It's possible to reread the ending of Ecclesiastes and a Christ-follower as follows: "What should we do when we're angry at God? When we’re confused and rightfully blame God for creating a world with overwhelming challenges? What should we do when we feel a weariness onto death caused by racism, sexism, war, climate change, and homophobia? The narrator calls us to carry on following Christ’s commandment  - love one another as I have loved you, even after you’ve lost your faith.

Saved by an Abundance of Fish - Luke 5 - with Caleb Ratzlaff

Saved by an Abundance of Fish - Luke 5 - with Caleb Ratzlaff

February 18, 2022

Recorded on Feb. 6, 2022. On a systemic level, Jesus’ first followers are driven by oppression and subsistence living to leave everything and follow him. The first disciples don’t fully understand the practical consequences of Jesus’ life of abundance — life is a gift meant to be shared. Jesus’ teaching and fishing tips offer an alternative to the disciples’ politics of fear and scarcity. Such an alternative is more than enough to convince the disciples to leave their subsistence work and follow a teacher who will lead them places they may not have anticipated.

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 with Caleb Ratzlaff

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 with Caleb Ratzlaff

January 25, 2022

The Parable of Jonah and the Fish, Part 2 - a plagiarized sermon by Caleb Ratzlaff

Recorded on Jan. 23, 2022. 

Caleb, using material from the podcast The Bible for Normal People, introduces the theme of justice in the book of Jonah. Specifically, Caleb asks along with the book, if justice looks more like punishment or mercy and what does repentance have to do it?  By stressing mercy, the book of Jonah provides a counterbalance to other prophetic Old Testament texts that seem to lean towards punishment. That the Bible itself struggles with this tension within justice, between judgement and mercy, calls us to grapple with this same question. How do we judge well while believing that justice bends towards mercy? 

Jonah Dies, Part 1 with Caleb Ratzlaff

Jonah Dies, Part 1 with Caleb Ratzlaff

January 25, 2022

Jonah Dies, Part 1 - a plagiarized sermon by Caleb Ratzlaff

Recorded on Jan. 16, 2022. 

Caleb, using material from the podcast, The Bible for Normal People, introduces the story of Jonah as a parable, specifically a parable about Isreal. Jonah's ordeal in chapter one leads to a new appreciation for God's relationship with the non-Hebrew world. In chapter two, Jonah sinks down to Sheol, the underworld. With a giant fish, God reaches down to the land of the dead and brings Jonah back to life. Through the work of the natural world, Jonah is reborn. 

The First Incarnation - John 1 with Caleb Ratzlaff

The First Incarnation - John 1 with Caleb Ratzlaff

January 6, 2022

Recorded on Jan. 2, 2022:

“In the beginning was creative love and the creative love was with God and the creative love was God.”

Love isn’t only transforming life into more life, but it’s also transforming death into life. Love seeks to transform those places of shame, anxiety, or oppression - such as crippling debt, the pressures of expectations, or the stresses of capitalism and the lie of scarcity. We discover the manger -- the word becoming flesh -- at night in moments of struggle. 

To rest in the bosom of God looks like loving one another, discovering creative love as it takes on flesh among us.

The Third Sunday of Advent - Joy with Kathleen Metz

The Third Sunday of Advent - Joy with Kathleen Metz

December 21, 2021
Recorded on Dec. 12, 2021. Kathleen talks about ‘what is joy’ and ‘what gives her joy’.  She proposes that joy is something deeper than happiness and can be an intentional act we carry out each day.  Life isn’t easy but in its many experiences, we can learn to have joy and spread it effectively even during rough days.

 

Caleb Tries Not to Ruin Christmas - with Caleb Ratzlaff

Caleb Tries Not to Ruin Christmas - with Caleb Ratzlaff

December 9, 2021

Recorded on Dec. 5, 2021 at Westview. In this message, Caleb explores three movements of faith - blind acceptance, doubt, and grace. Both blindness and doubt have their place and can be life-giving when guided by grace. 
 
Caleb recounts how he's experienced these three stages of faith through his relationship to the Christmas story. As a child, he blindly enjoyed the season before doubt showed him that the story is primarily about opposition to oppressive power structures and is almost definitely not historically accurate. Nevertheless, he argues that Luke's emphasis on the manager affirms all our modern Christmas feels, mainly that peace on earth looks like warmth, safety, and care. 

Knowledge and Certainty, Part 2 with Jared Klassen

Knowledge and Certainty, Part 2 with Jared Klassen

November 25, 2021

In part 2 of Knowledge and Certainty, Jared revisits the topic of epistemology, the study of the nature of knowledge, by giving a short history of western society’s ways of answering the question “how do we know what we know?” He discusses traditional, modern, and postmodern thinking, and, with that history in mind, once again addresses his own personal journey with apologetics. We often hold very different beliefs and values, differences that are further complicated by the fact that we don’t all agree on the nature of truth and knowledge.

Recorded on Oct. 31, 2021

What is Sacred about being Harmed? Mark 10:35-45 with Caleb Ratzlaff

What is Sacred about being Harmed? Mark 10:35-45 with Caleb Ratzlaff

November 17, 2021

Recorded on Oct. 17, 2021, Caleb asks "what texts that call us to suffer, serve, or even to be a slave mean for marginalized people that have already experienced so much suffering?" How does this question inform our reading of Jesus' prediction of his death and explanation of the crucifixion? 

 

The 11th Commandment: Do Not Defraud - Mark 10 with Caleb Ratzlaff

The 11th Commandment: Do Not Defraud - Mark 10 with Caleb Ratzlaff

November 5, 2021

Recorded on Oct. 10th Caleb discusses the story of the rich young man and what it takes to get into the neighbourhood of God. 

Do not defraud: do not be afraid to stop the unjust accumulation of wealth even if such work comes with persecution, as Jesus says it will in Mark 10.

Our hope: learn to share and you will receive, Jesus claims, a hundred times as much — homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — now in this present age as well as the age to come.

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