We are going to begin by defining our terms, and we are going to start by defining the least controversial of the two: logos. Continue reading
I am a frequent lurker over at Rainn Wilson‘s brainchild Soul Pancake. I find the discussions thought provoking. And I like that all religions are allowed to present their views and that, with a few exceptions, all of those views, even the views of the atheists, are respected and the discussions remain fairly civil…at least as far as internet discussions go.
Not a website for the squeemish regarding theological matters, Monday’s big issue is deffinitely a big one. In a most provocative tweet, Mr. Wilson linked to the discussion, which was a simple one: list 3 things you’re really pissed off with God about. Like I said: it’s not for the squeemish, and unless you have a strong stomach for controversy (the title of the post alone, which I didn’t quote here, will get your blood boiling), I highly recommend you not click that link. Continue reading
We come now to another one of those passages that should give us more pause than it does. It is also one of those passages that we are, all too often, guilty of twisting the plain meaning of so as to make the text better fit our theological position. We do that to our own peril. The text was not meant to conform to our beliefs but, rather, our beliefs were meant to conform to the text, even if we don’t like what the text is saying. You will see what I mean as we study the last few verses in this section. Continue reading
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4 ESV)
When one reads the news, it is rarely good. From little things such as the fact that majority of the American people disapprove of and don’t trust their government to big things such as ongoing wars and natural and man-made disasters, things seem to be falling apart. I am sure that you have seen it in your own lives as well. Job loss, debt collector harassment, marital strife, family tension…the list goes on and on. Continue reading
I don’t normally write book reviews for this blog, but this book more than deserves one. I will begin with a brief synopsis followed by my personal reaction.
According to the back cover of the book, “one in four young adults claim no formal religious affiliation, and church leaders have long known that this generation is largely missing on Sunday morning.” But, “[Michael] Spencer discovered the truth that church officials often miss, which is that many who leave the church do so in an attempt to find Jesus.” With this thought at the forefront, Michael Spencer, the former Internet Monk, holds no punches and dives right in. Continue reading
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. (Luke 24:5b-9 TNIV)
All throughout my church life, I heard people talking about “the Gospel.” We had to “share the Gospel” with all of our lost friends and our motivation was to be, more or less, so that they wouldn’t wind up burning in hell for all of eternity. The God presented in this Gospel is loving, but not so loving as to be afraid to use torture as motivation for trust and obedience. And, despite being raised in a faith tradition that emphasized “once saved, always saved,” there was an unspoken understanding that, if we Christians weren’t obedient to certain rules and regulations, the same fate awaited us as well. Continue reading
In the past, in writing an entry on a topic like the Gospel, I would have spent a lot of time ranting about all the horrible things the church does in America that are a detriment and an insult to the Gospel. As I have matured in my faith, though, I know that, while those kinds of messages are needed at times, there has been way too much of that recently and it is time that we put back together all of the things that certain groups have deconstructed.
One of those things is the Gospel.
Over the next few posts I would like to take some time and discuss the Gospel. We are not going to talk about what it isn’t, but rather, what it is. We are going to look at how far-reaching it is and the best ways to proclaim it. Once we have done that, we are going to look at the books in our Bible known as the Gospels and discuss them in greater depth by book and come to terms with some of the differences between them.
The last section will be, by far, the longest and the hardest as many Christians have been raised in traditions where they are not allowed to ask some of the hard questions of the Gospels, or the rest of the Bible for that matter, such as why, in one book, Jesus is crucified during the day and, in another, His death occurs at night.
Once we have discussed the Gospel message and the Gospel books of the Bible we are then going to deal with the issue of Biblical authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency. The reason I am choosing to save that discussion for last and not do it first is because, I think, what we believe about the Gospel should impact what we believe about the Bible. Or, to say it a little differently, our understanding of the Bible should flow from what we believe about Jesus and the Gospel and not the other way around. This probably sounds strange at this point, but what I mean by that will become more evident, if you don’t already have a good idea of what I am going to say, as the series progresses.
So, as we go into this study of the Gospel, let us all pray for God’s wisdom and guidance. May His Spirit move us and shape our thoughts as we seek to understand the message He has called us to proclaim. Continue reading