How big is your Christ?
Enjoy this iPad background I created and be constantly reminded that Jesus Christ is the all-inclusive solution to all of your problems.
Eschatology can direct priorities. Postmillennialism directs its attention to what we are doing now to ‘immanentize the eschaton”, i.e. bring in the kingdom. Verses like Matthew 6:9-10; 24:14, and 2 Peter 3:12 do indicate that we participate in God’s move to bring in the kingdom to earth. The mechanisms of the advent of God’s kingdom in postmillennialism, however, are mundane, anthropocentric, and naturalistic.
Instead of evangelism there is social involvement.
Instead of preaching there is participating.
Instead of doctrine there is development.
Instead of conversion there is conversation.
Instead of building up the church there is building up the world.
Here is Hans Küng on not selling out the Christian reality in all our getting involved:
It may seem like a caricature, but there is considerable truth in the picture of uncommonly open-minded Churches which go in for action instead of prayer, get actively involved everywhere in society, subscribe to all manifestos, identify themselves with all possible enterprises and- whenever possible- take part in revolutions, at least by supporting them in words from a distance; meanwhile, nearer home, the churches are becoming emptier, the sermon is acquiring a new function and the Eucharist is more and more forgotten, with the result that community worship- deliturgized and detheologized- degenerates into a sociopolitical discussion and action group…
-On Being a Christian, pp. 32-33
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
With all the recent events, there’s been a steady stream of tweets and posts about prayer (#prayforboston, #prayforwest). The Huffington Post had an article on Psalm 46- “Be still and know that I am God.” Stillness at this point seems like an unlikely response. Even if we affect an outward stillness, how can we still our inward being? Besides, the whole nation is in turmoil right now. To adopt a meditative repose and quietly trust in “God’s sovereignty” seems a little feigned, detached, and impersonal. God’s sovereignty shouldn’t be an excuse for inactivity or lukewarmness. In my mind, prayer, in all its intimacy, candor, and uncouthness, does more than stillness because it gets your being in motion toward God. Read the rest of this entry
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 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
David J Bosch (obviously) identifies this passage as THE paradigmatic text that embodies the Protestant Reformation. 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
Categorizing one thousand years of anything is a daunting task. Especially something as complex as the missional paradigm of the church in Europe during the Middle Ages. However, David J Bosch fearlessly sums up what he calls the “Medieval Roman Catholic Missionary Paradigm” with a single verse.
And the master said to the slave, Go out into the roads and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
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.
The recent election and more particularly the reactions to it in on my Facebook news feed, caused me to reflect on a book title I read in college- Politics by Other Means. The book was assigned for a government class called Comparative Models of Democracy. To the chagrin of my former professor, I retain only incomplete and elusive memories of this book. What really stuck with me was the intriguing and suggestive title.
I’ve been intending to write a follow up post to a talk I heard almost two weeks ago now. The event was the Glorious Ruin book tour with Tullian Tchividjian, hosted by Austin Stone. This post is on the talk, not the book (which I haven’t read).
The Bible is a unique book for at least two reasons.
First, the Bible is God’s intelligible communication to man. The words of the Bible react with all three parts of our soul and elicit a response from the whole person. Reading the Bible causes us know His purpose, love His purpose, and choose His purpose.
All the truths are in the Bible; there is not one truth that is not in the Bible. Although they are all in the Bible, through man’s foolishness, unfaithfulness, negligence, and disobedience many of the truths were lost and hidden from man. The truths were there, but man did not see them or touch them. Not until the fullness of time did God release certain truths during particular periods of time and cause them to be revealed once more. These freshly revealed truths are not God’s new inventions. Rather, they are man’s new discoveries.