Chris Lazo wrote a post the other day about presuppositional apologetics and how Christians need to engage people with different worldviews on common ground. This common ground could be unknowingly borrowed from the biblical worldview, ie views on marriage, society, the origin of the universe, the meaning of human life, morality, etc. Rather than a “barking monologue” or ten second sound bites, many people are helped more if you enter into their situation and engage their story.
Faith is not mental assent to irrefutable facts.
The classic, oft-quoted, and definitive verse on faith in the New Testament is Hebrews 11:1. And I love the Recovery Version’s translation here (following Darby’s precedent):
“Now faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Frank Viola recently interviewed New Testament scholar Scot McKnight on his book The King Jesus Gospel. I have written recently on 9 aspects of the gospel that go beyond justification or heaven and this interview in a way follows a similar line of thought.
The gospel isn’t a “plan” as much as it is a Person.
Yes, the gospel is a plan. But this plan transcends the common understanding of many Christians. Your personal salvation is not the grand goal of that plan, especially if salvation is merely understood as going to heaven. The plan from God’s point of view is something like this: “How can I impart this Person into millions of chosen yet fallen human beings so that I can be glorified?”
The plan and the Person coincide.
In my last post I tried to show how the gospel ultimately benefits God and is therefore really the good news for Him. The gospel is not just something for man; it is something for God. The New Testament presentation of the gospel goes far beyond what many Christians may have in mind when they hear the word.
The gospel is not just your “come to Jesus moment”, turning over a new leaf, a mission trip, a campaign, a musical genre, or even a theological doctrine. And it’s certainly not health, wealth, and happiness.
Below are 9 aspects of the gospel that go beyond the typical discussions of justification or getting to heaven.
How many gospels are there?
This depends on a number of things. Primarily, what is the gospel? Who is it for? What does the message of good news include?
Of course traditionally we refer to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the four gospels. But Paul seems to consider his message in the book of Romans as the gospel too, although in another sense.
At 10,587,270 views at 11 pm on only the fifth day since it was posted, the “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” YouTube video can officially be dubbed viral.
It’s amazing to me that 685 words with the right video editing and some perfectly timed musical swells can attract such a flash flood of attention. The entire video lasts but a brief 4 minutes and 4 seconds.
Recently I’ve been considering the mission of the church from the lens of Noah’s life and work.
Jesus Himself reveals how relevant the story of Noah is today.
For just as the days of Noah were, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Noah’s living and work parallels and prefigures the critical aspects of the church’s mission in view of Christ’s return.
It has been a month since Steve Jobs’ death. The talking heads have had their lime light, the biography has been released, and the tributes have been turned down to a simmer.
Before this passes out of the realm of current events and sinks into the internet’s vast catalog of oblivion, I want to make one more observation on Steve Jobs’ life.
The absence of an on-off switch on Apple devices is more than a design feature. It’s a life philosophy. It has been said that Steve Jobs didn’t put on-off switches on his products because he didn’t like the thought that at the end of a successful, influential life a person is just gone- put eternally in the off position.
“Ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about (God) more. And I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe it’s because I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying.
“Then he paused for a second and he said ‘yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone,” Isaacson said of Jobs. “He paused again, and he said: And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”
Technology is like bamboo- it’s an invasive species.
Since his passing, Steve Jobs has been called a saint, a secular prophet, and a technological evangelist.
On paper, he was just a successful CEO who designed computers and phones. No doubt one that changed not only technology but also the world. He faithfully delivered “magical” products that rarely disappointed. He turned a utilitarian object into something like a friend. One study showed that many people’s attachment to their iPhone reaches romantic levels. They experience separation anxiety if they walk out of the house without it.
Naturally people projected their love of the iPhone onto the creator of the iPhone.
God’s desire that all men be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) requires that Christians sympathize with God in this desire. God does not act unilaterally to carry out His purpose. Rather, He relies on man’s agreement, consent, and obedience. If Christians respond sooner, then God’s purpose will be accomplished sooner. For this reason, the Bible tells us that we can actually speed up the day of Christ’s return (2 Peter 3:12).
All Christians will agree that the Bible reveals God. What has interested me lately is what kind of God?
With a surface reading of the Bible, it seems that God has a drastic mood swing between the Old Testament and the New Testament, bordering on a fundamental change in personality. But the revelation of God in the Bible is consistent, although it’s progressive. The trouble to many people is uncovering what that central thread is which ties it all together.