Category Archives: Bible
As a Christian it’s easy to fall prey to discouragement. The world we live in is likened to a flood (1 Pet. 4:4) and a dark night (Rom. 13:12). We’re navigating our way against a strong current, with a lamp in the darkness. The social outlook is pretty much pessimistic. The horizon is empty. The moral milieu is on a slippery slope. The post-millennial view of Christ’s return pretty much got dashed by the outbreak of World War II and the counterculture of the 1960s. At this point, a “Golden Age” leading up to Christ’s return seems either very unlikely or a long way off.
However, the Lord’s second coming is promised to us (Acts 1:11) and we are told to await it, expect it, and hasten it as our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). The Old and New Testaments both end with a promise of the Lord’s coming.
Malachi 3:1– “I am about to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me; and suddenly the Lord, whom you seek, will come…”
Revelation 22:20– “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly.”
Suddenly? Quickly? The Lord seems to have a different definition of these words. It was 400 years after Malachi that the Lord came the first time, and it’s been 2,000 years since John and the Lord has still delayed coming the second time.
How do we maintain hope? Watchman Nee once said, “He who sees, endures.” Seeing how God works, knowing His ways and not just His acts (Psa. 103:7), can buttress our hope.
I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done. –Hudson Taylor
Impossibility is never a good benchmark when you’re dealing with God. What seems impossible today, is only two steps away from being done. This should fill us with hope. Also, we should realize where our front is. Where are we placing our resources? As Christians, we are here to do the impossible. We’re not merely saving a few souls and tidying up society until we escape to heaven. We are not battling to reform society “from below”. We are here to turn the age and bring in God’s kingdom to earth. For this, the pivotal battle is the building up of the church, and the practical way to fight is to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:8).
Our prophesying, and seeing others prophesy, brings great encouragement and consolation because it builds up the church and hastens the coming of our blessed hope.
This word crashes onto the shore of human ingenuity like a wall of water. We humans solve everything. We have an intractable ambition to master our environment, overcome what stands in our way, and remake the world in our own image. The Enlightenment taught us to believe in progress, that all problems are solvable. Potential, progress, and pragmatism are the Western, secular trinity. This is faith in humanity. Read the rest of this entry
“And when they heard of a resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; and others said, We will hear you yet again concerning this.” –Acts 17:32
The resurrection of Jesus poses a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to the natural mind. When Paul was announcing Jesus and the resurrection as the gospel in the philosophical milieu of ancient Athens, the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers dismissed him as a babbler. In Corinth, the Greek mind had infiltrated the church and produced devastating skepticism toward resurrection. Therefore, Paul devoted the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 to the matter, showing that resurrection is the life-pulse of God’s economy.
For now we see in a mirror obscurely, but at that time face to face; now I know in part, but at that time I will fully know even as also I was fully known. –1 Corinthians 13:12
We’ve all read that Adam is a type of Christ, but some of us may still be wondering how. The differences between the Old and New Testaments should’t be emphasized to the point of conflict. They are the product of the same divine mind and interface at an organic level. This is more than evident in the connection between Adam and Christ. Read the rest of this entry
The Bible often juxtaposes dichotomous characters to convey a message. Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, David and Saul, the Pharisees and tax collectors, etc. Read the rest of this entry
Despite a few bogus prophetic tremors the eschatological landscape remains intact. 2012 brought no upheavals or continental shifts. The only thing that may be drifting is public confidence in prophecies in general. The “boy who cried wolf” effect kicks in pretty fast after a few false alarms.
But it’s precisely at times like this that I’m reminded of 2 Peter 3:12. Read the rest of this entry
Beyond the radical and unprecedented physical change involved in a growth spurt, there is the basic new awareness and crisis of identity. High school represents more than the threshold of bodily change and a new bedtime. A new understanding, mood, character, and outlook sweep over the soul. This inner change is necessary if one is to avoid becoming a modern Baby Huey- internal aptitude at odds with external developments.
I’ve just started reading Transforming Mission- Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission by David J Bosch and Paradigm Change in Theology by Hans Küng. The two books are somewhat reciprocal, although not directly. Paradigm Change is really a symposium to dig into the meaning and implications of paradigms applied to theology. It’s dense, esoteric, and technical. I plan to just hit the highlights in it. Transforming Mission starts out with Küng’s paradigm analysis of church history and then applies it specifically to the Christian understanding of mission. It is by far a more pleasant reading experience (because it is well written not because it’s simplistic) and is sweeping in its analysis.
Hans Küng on the fact that the kingdom of God cannot be made into a program of political and social action:
It has been observed that Che Guevara, the Cuban guerrilla, bore a remarkable facial resemblance to the conventional picture of Jesus. But, apart from this, is it so surprising that Jesus has exercised an influence on many revolutionaries right up to Camilo Torres, the Colombian priest-revolutionary? And there can be no doubt that the Jesus of the Gospels is not the sweet, gentle Jesus of an earlier or later Romanticism nor a solid ecclesiastical Christ. Read the rest of this entry
Christians often talk about God’s love. For themselves, for humanity, for the whole world. However, God’s love can be misapprehended and misapplied. Rob Bell’s latest book, Love Wins demonstrates this. We know that God is love, but in just what way does He love?
On the Move
Jesus conducted His earthly ministry in two ways. The bulk of His time was spent traveling around Galilee and Judea with a band of disciples, interacting with anyone He happened to meet. His daily schedule, as described in Mark chapter 1, involved proclaiming the gospel, teaching the truth, casting out demons, and healing the sick.
This portion of Jesus’ ministry was spontaneous, continual, pastoral, interactive, and egalitarian.