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
“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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.”
In a sense we’re all Timothys. We learn from those who are ahead of us- our spiritual fathers and pioneers in the journey we’re on. We are inheritors, and we have a debt of gratitude to pay off. I am especially indebted to the people from Christians on Campus at the University of Texas for the experiences that have shaped my faith and guided me in my pursuit of Christ and the church.
Christians on Campus is a startlingly vibrant and eclectic group of Jesus lovers who truly believe “what starts here changes the world.” They present diverse and dynamic opportunities for students to grow spiritually through eye-opening Bible study, daily fellowship, engaging outreach, and living in community. This certainly was my first impression of them as a freshman.
The gospel of Luke presents, in detail, the incomparable and indescribable human living of the God-man Jesus Christ. Since such a life had never existed or been observed before, it is difficult to categorize.
Holy? Godly? Righteous? Kind? Loving? Humble? Ethical? Noble? All fall short and leave something wanting.
Aromatic is a good word to describe our perception of it. We detect something and yet can’t quite discern what we are experiencing.
This quote from A. T. Robertson in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, “Gospel of Luke” sums up well some general thoughts I am keeping in mind as I read. It particularly touches on, what can be called, the principle of incarnation by highlighting aspects of Luke’s person.
According to this principle, what the Lord wants to reveal and impart, He does through a human channel. However, the human vessel needs to match the content of the ministry that flows through him. In this way there is no separation between what one is and what one does. Otherwise, we may build up some by what we do, but tear down more by what we are. The most important thing in the work is the person.
So, here is Luke…
At the most basic level, what the gospel offers is a solution to the fundamental problem of human existence- vanity.
As many intellectual objections man may have to the Bible or as much disdain he may harbor for the shortcomings of Christianity throughout history, the basic promises in the gospel should be a beacon of hope to those unmoored in the sea of absurdity.
If Jesus is the reason for the season, what about Him is the reason?
Many Christians might casually answer, especially at this time of year, “Peace on earth.” This is mentioned by the angels in Luke 2:14, “…On earth peace among men of His good pleasure.” But the record of the New Testament provides a richer and fuller explanation of the reasons why Jesus came to earth. Peace on earth AND a lot more. Christ’s coming is best understood in relation to God’s good pleasure, an often overlooked phrase which is emphatically mentioned in Luke 2, the traditional Christmas story chapter which Linus reads in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
The incarnation of Christ is closely related to the purpose of God in creating man.
Below are 14 explicit statements Jesus made during His life concerning why He came and 2 reasons provided by the epistles. The list is not exhaustive but instructive. I really only included the verses that have the phrase “I have come to” or some variation of that. Enjoy!