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Showing posts with the label Christ

Male and Female: Eve vs. Artemis

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth .......
I think after nine parts to this series a little recap is in order. I’ll try to make it quick. If you’re one of those “SKIP RECAP” people on Netflix, feel free to scroll down a bit. But if you haven't read parts 1, 2, and 3 yet - do that now before continuing. Those posts will be referenced quite a bit.
In the beginning God created male and female in his image as equals. They were partners in bearing his image to the rest of creation. The relationship between man and woman was to reflect the divine, loving community within God’s own being. In Genesis 2, it was not good for the man to be alone, so woman was created as the man’s “helper,” a word which was nearly exclusively used for God himself. In other words, man w…

Messiah Is Coming, part 5

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If you haven't yet, read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. But then sin and rebellion entered the garden, derailing God’s creation and breaking relationships. Humans would no longer share in the free and full relationship of love with God and each other. Evil had entered their hearts, dragging them away from God and driving a wedge between each other.

But God – don’t we love that phrase? – but God would not let his children suffer forever under the weight of their sin and brokenness and death. God would send a rescuer, someone of Eve’s own offspring, who would crush the head of the serpent once and for all. This One would deal a crushing blow to death itself, although he would endure the full force of the serpent’s venom in the process.

God worked through his people to prepare the world for the coming chosen One. Through Abraham, God promised a world-wide blessing. Thro…

Messiah Is Coming, part 4

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If you haven't yet, read part 1, part 2, and part 3.
The history of Israel was a rough ride. You can read all the good, the bad, and the very ugly in the books of 1 & 2 Kings. God made a great promise to King David, but because of the foolishness of David’s own grandson, Rehoboam, the kingdom divided into two distinct nations – the 10 Northern Tribes formed the nation of Israel (also known as Ephraim), and the 2 Southern Tribes of Judah and Benjamin formed the nation of Judah.

The monarchies of these respective kingdoms were riddled with wickedness and sin. There was no one to keep the kings in line. They were answerable to no one, seemingly above the Law. So God raised up a school of Prophets who would be his mouthpiece to the kings. Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Amos – all these men and more were God’s means of speaking truth to the powers that be. But none would be more well-known or have a greater lasting impact than the priest-turned-prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah woul…

Messiah Is Coming, pt. 3

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Read Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here
God made a covenant with Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his offspring. God made a promise through Moses that he would send the people a Prophet like Moses to speak on behalf of God. God made a covenant with David that his heirs would be enthroned forever in the sight of God.

The reigns of King David and his son Solomon were a kind of golden era for the United Kingdom of Israel. During their rule, Israel grew in strength, in numbers, and in territory. They established a military, a government, and a religion. The capital was moved to Jerusalem, and the Temple was built on the very mountain on which Abraham was commanded to offer Isaac so many years before.

It was during this time that the Psalms became an integral part of Israel’s worship and national identity. The Psalms reminded them of their past and brought hope for their future.

The Second Psalm was written for and recited at the coronation ceremony of Israel’s new kings. Let’s l…

Messiah Is Coming, pt. 1

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We know that story. We know its power, its beauty, its wonder. God simply spoke into being all the we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. At God’s word, galaxies were formed and our planet burst to life with vegetation and wildlife. The crowning jewel of God creation in this opening song of Scripture is man and woman who were created in God’s own image and likeness.

And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
God planted a garden in Eden in which the man and woman could live out their calling to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” God placed man in the garden to tend it and protect it. God gave the man a woman as a helper equal to and suitable for him.
And all was right and good and pure and innocent. For a while at least.
Because somehow, God’s good creation was yet susceptible to the influence of evil. The deceiver slithered into the scene, hissing lies and injecting doubts like venom in the bl…

Are You There, God?

[My wife and I had a conversation about this the other day. She had some really good thoughts that got me thinking more about the subject. She's pretty amazing like that.]

Faith.

It seems simple enough. I can look around at the world and the universe and know in my gut that someone had to be behind it all. I can read the Bible and believe it's claims that the Creator of the universe wants to have a relationship with me. My heart tells me that I am loved and that I am a part of something much greater than myself.

But what happens when the love I have for my Creator doesn't feel requited.

What are we to do when everything around us is darkness and chaos, yet God is silent?

"If God would just speak to me like He used to speak to people, it would all be better. I would be able to fully trust and believe Him. Since I would know exactly what He wants me to do, I could better follow and serve Him. Just talk to me, God!"

I think most of God's people think something li…

Reflections on "Jesus Manifesto," pt. 3

CHAPTER 2


"You have been invited to share life with your Maker and Creator.

"And to top it all off, you have been made utterly, totally, fully complete in Him--here and now.

"Why, then, would you chase anything else? How can you be consumed with anything other than your Lord, Jesus Christ? And how can you graduate beyond Him?

"He is enough, even more than enough.

"Jesus Christ is like a vast ocean. He is too immense to fully explore, and too rich to fathom. You are like a bottle.

"The wonder of the gospel is that the bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle."

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Imagine, the power and magnitude of the entire ocean contained inside a little glass bottle adrift in that very ocean. This chapter of Jesus Manifesto explores the letter to the Colossians. Paul explains to the church that the great mystery of the gospel is that we are in Christ and Christ is in us! His life is our life. It is too small a thing to offer a part of ourselv…

Reflections on "Jesus Manifesto," pt. 2

Chapter 1: The Occupation of All Things


Read over this passage slowly.

15He is the image of the invisible God,
    the firstborn over ALL creation; 16 because by Him EVERYTHING was created,     in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible,     whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— ALL THINGS have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before ALL THINGS, and by Him ALL THINGS hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church;     He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,     so that He might come to have first place in EVERYTHING. 19 For God was pleased [to have] ALL His fullness dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile EVERYTHING to Himself     by making peace through the blood of His cross —     whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:15-20, HCSB (emphasis added)
Notice a theme? These are some BOLD claims Paul is making. Everything we see, taste, touch, hear, and smell, AND everything we can't see, taste, touch, hear, a…

Reflections on "Jesus Manifesto"

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I recently finished reading an excellent book coauthored by Len Sweet (The Gospel According to Starbucks, Soul Tsunami) and Frank Viola (Pagan Christianity, Reimagining the Church). There have been throughout the centuries many pendulum swings of Christological thought. It seems that many theologians and scholars are content to take up arms in the debate between the "Jesus of History" and the "Christ of Faith." Leaning too much to any one extreme, however, misses the richness and beauty of the God-Man that we worship. Sweet and Viola have done an outstanding job of refocusing the reader's mind and heart onto the true awesomeness of Jesus the Christ. At the same time, they tackle the tough questions about living as the body of Christ on the earth. I thought I'd start back writing again with some reflections on various parts of the book.

Introduction:
I think this paragraph helps to set the stage for the rest of the book:
"So what is Christianity? It is Chr…