Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Today, God is, as it were, silent but he is not asleep. The tomb is ugly, but it is also sanctus. Today is the in-between time. The first act is finished but the curtain, though torn, is not closed.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Make no mistake: if he rose at all it was as His body; if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fail. Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping transcendence; making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages; let us walk through the door.
One of Paul's main themes is that the Ephesian Christians must walk. This is is the word Paul uses to talk about what their lives should look like [2.1, 2.10, 4.1, 4.17, 5.8, and 5.15]. Most of these exhortations to walk come in the second half of Ephesians. One of the predominant ideas in the first part of Ephesians is that we are "in Christ" [esp see 1.3-14]. I sense that these two themes are meant to be understood in relationship to each other. Meaning, all of Paul's "in Him" language sets up the walking he encourages them to later. The "in Him" is the relational sphere in which the walking must take place.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Brethren, there is an abiding fullness of truth in Christ. After you have heard it for fifty years, you see more of its fullness than you did at first. Other truths weary the ear. I will defy any man to hold together a large congregation, year after year, with any other subject but Christ Jesus. He might do it for a time; he might charm the ear with the discoveries of science, or with the beauties of poetry, and his oratory might be of so high an order that he might attract the multitudes who have itching ears, but they would in time turn away and say, “This is no longer to be endured. We know it all.”All music becomes wearisome but that of heaven; but oh! if the minstrel doth but strike this celestial harp, though he keepeth his fingers always among its golden strings, and be but poor and unskilled upon an instrument so divine, yet the melody of Jesus’ name, and the sweet harmony of all his acts and attributes, will hold his listeners by the ears and thrill their hearts as nought beside can do. The theme of Jesus’ love is inexhaustible, though preachers may have dwelt upon it century after century, a freshness and fullness still remain.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
His 10 questions are:
- The narrative question: What is the overarching story line of the Bible? For McLaren, the familiar story line of creation, fall, redemption, consummation (with heaven and hell as a result) is a grotesque Greco-Roman distortion of the biblical narrative. God the creator, liberator, reconciler is the real story line.
- The authority question: How should the Bible be understood? Not as a constitution, argues McLaren, with laws and rules and arguments about who’s right and wrong. Rather, we go to the Bible as a community library, where internal consistency is not presumed and we learn by conversation.
- The God question: Is God violent? Believers used to think so, but we ought to grow in maturity from fearing a violent tribal God to partnering with a Christlike God.
- The Jesus question: Who is Jesus and why is he important? Jesus is never violent and does not condemn. He did not come to save people from hell. Jesus, says McLaren, is peace-loving and identifies with the weak and oppressed.
- The gospel question: What is the gospel? It is not a message about how to get saved. The gospel is the announcement of a “new kingdom, a new way of life, and a new way of peace that carried good news to all people of every religion” (139).
- The church question: What do we do about the church? Churches—in whatever form and whatever we call them—exist to form people of Christlike love. This is the church’s primary calling, to form people who live in the way of love, the way of peacemaking.
- The sex question: Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it? We need to stop hating gay people and welcome them fully into the life of the church. The “sexually other” may be defective in traditional religion, but they are loved and included in a new kind of Christianity.
- The future question: Can we find a better way of viewing the future? No more “soul-sort” universe where our team goes to heaven and the bad guys go to hell. The future is open, inviting our participation. In the end, God’s mercy will triumph and all shall be well.
- The pluralism question: How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions? “Christianity has a nauseating, infuriating, depressing record when it comes to encountering people of other religions” (208). There is not us/them, insider/outsider. Jesus accepted everyone and so should we.
- The what-do-we-do-now question: How can we translate our quest into action? The human quest for God has known many stages. Those in the more mature stages of the quest should gently invite others to grow into fuller maturity, but without being divisive.
Kevin DeYoung has an excellent, healthy, and clear response. Here.
I'm at CIU and just sat in a Romans class. The prof was trying to explain Greek stuff and I already knew all of it, even the vocab!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
- Scripture [what it is and what it isn't]
- Glory [the grand goal of it all]
- Inclusio [the royal narrative oreo]
- Covenant [the relational remedy]
- Covenant(s) [the story unfolds]
- Jesus [the covenants fulfilled]
- Gospel [the kingdom is here]
- Soteriology [this all means something about Salvation]
- Pneumatology [this all means something about the Spirit]
- Ecclesiology [this all means something about the Church]
- Eschatology [this all means something about the End]
To run and work the law commandsYet gives me neither feet nor handsBut better news the gospel bringsIt bids me fly and gives me wings
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
From "The Art of Reading Scripture" edited by Ellen Davis and Richard B. Hays [pg 3].
Faithful interpretation of Scripture invites and presupposes participation in the community brought into being by God's redemptive action.
Scripture is like a musical score that must be played or sung in order to be understood.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
My God, my Father, blissful NameO may I call Thee mineMay I with sweet assurance claimA portion so divineThis only can my fears controlAnd bid my sorrows flyWhat harm can ever reach my soulBeneath my Father's eyeWhate'er Thy providence deniesI calmly would resignFor Thou art just and good and wiseO bend my will to ThineWhate'er Thy sacred will ordainsO give me strength to bearAnd let me know my Father reignsAnd trust His tender careIf pain and sickness rend this frameAnd life almost departIs not Thy mercy still the sameTo cheer my drooping heartIf cares and sorrows me surroundTheir pow'r why should I fearMy inward peace they cannot woundIf Thou, my God, art near
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
He is before all things and in him all things hold together.How does that work? How do all things, living or non-living, have their ongoing sustenance in/by Jesus? Or here's another one,
All things have been created through him and for him.So, Paul, you're saying that not only did this Jesus cause all that is to come into existence, whether the seemingly infinite galaxies or the subatomic particles, but all things are somehow for Him? Hmmm. Wow.
While the majority of this passage is masterful and elegant in content, style, structure, etc, Paul ends in 1.20 on a minor chord. He says that Jesus
Made peace through the blood of His cross.Now if you're living in the Roman Empire in the first century, the cross is not cute or even religious. The cross was for guilty criminals whose heinous deeds were known to all. Crucifixions were done publicly so as to shame the guilty. People were more than welcome to mock those being crucified to make themselves feel better.
If one was to think of the cross in light of the Roman Empire, they would think of it as the dark, dirty underbelly of justice. Those people were getting what was coming to them. The cross was a symbol of retribution. No one would ever dare think something as dumb or demented as peace being made through the cross. However, this was precisely the case.
This cross is saying something about the depth of the stain of sin [1.14, 21-22]. This cross is saying something about the greatness of the love of the Father [1.12-13]. There is something so radical and counter-cultural about the cross of Jesus that it changed Paul's thinking to its very core. It must effect the same in us.