Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Being, Becoming, and Doing

At the end of his gospel, Matthew records Jesus sending the apostles out to "make disciples." Much of Christian church discussion right now centers on knowing exactly how Jesus made disciples, so we can imitate his methods, and thereby be "more fruitful." That's a focus on technique, or "doing." Others are focused on "being" or "becoming" more like Jesus through

Monday, January 26, 2015

SIlly Things We Think, #1: God Cannot Look on Evil

Have you ever heard someone say "God cannot look on evil" as a way to tell you that you are cut off from him because you have sinned?  Well, if that is true, it sets up a lot of problems and doesn't solve any. Here are a few of them:

--Jesus who was God, came into a world full of sin

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Prayer Is a Big Deal

Jesus prayed constantly. One of his more meaningful and critical times of prayer was at the garden of Gethsemane, shortly before he was arrested, beaten and crucified. The gospel of Luke makes it plain in chapter 22: this was

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Justified by Faith"?

Does your own faith save you?  Maybe we should ask, faith in what? And what kind of faith?

Note how T.F. Torrance explained Jesus’ faithfulness:
Jesus Christ stood in our place, taking our cause upon him, also as Believer, as the Obedient One who was himself justified before God as his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased. He offered to God . . . a perfect faith and response which we are unable to offer, and he appropriated all God’s blessings which we are unable to appropriate. Through union with him we share in his faith, in his obedience, in his trust and appropriation of the Father’s blessing; we share in his justification before God. Therefore when we are justified by faith, this does not mean that it is our faith that justifies us, far from it—It is the faith of Christ alone that justifies us, but we in faith flee from our own acts even of repentance, confession, trust and response, and take refuge in the obedience and faithfulness of Christ—“Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” That is what it means to be justified by faith. (“Justification: Its Radical Nature and Place in Reformed Doctrine and Life,” Scottish Journal of Theology, vol 13, no 3. pp. 225-246.)
As Joseph Tkach explains in this article, our faith is both active and passive. We trust in Christ, and we trust in Jesus' perfect faith on our behalf, not on our own imperfect (and sometimes missing!) faith.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Few Nothings about God

The Triune God -- Father, Son and Spirit -- are not limited in any way. God's attributes include being all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful.  So, here's a list of a few "Nothings" that apply to God:

Nothing that, from our perspective stands in our way, imposes an obstacle