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Showing posts from December, 2007

God's mystery unfolding on earth

The following is from Paul Smith.
1 Cor. 2:9“However, as the scripture says, ‘What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him’.”(TEV)

What is this mystery God is unfolding?God is love.(1 Jn. 4)Love always implies communion and fellowship among persons.The Father loves the Son in communion with the Spirit, and the Son loves the Father in communion with the Spirit! And God – the Father, Son and Spirit -- loves humanity!(Rom. 8:9) (1 Jn. 4:9-10) (NLT)
When did God start loving us?And when was it decided that the Son would enter the physical creation and become flesh?1 Cor. 2:7-13“The wisdom I proclaim is God’s secret wisdom … which he had already chosen for our glory even before the world was made.”It was before time began that the decision for creating humanity and for healing and preserving them was made – made because of God’s love!All predestined – before the ages to our glory!That’s when the Lamb (Jesus) was pr…

Christmas and our adoption

Christmas is a wonderful & powerful reminder of how the entire human family has been adopted by God the Father, in and through Jesus. I'm working on a sermon that addresses this topic. I'm studying two passages: Jeremiah 31:7-14 & Ephesians 1:3-14. In my studies I ran accross this following analysis from Currents in Theololgy and Mission in an article by Aaron Couch. I thought the readers of The Surprising God Blog would find this helpful and inspiring. Merry Christmas.
[Concerning Jeremiah 31:7-14]
The joyful character of this reading is expressed in the series of imperatives at the beginning of the reading: sing, shout, proclaim, praise! Such happiness springs from the promise of God to gather and restore Israel. God will show intimate care and concern by leading the people with consolations, by brooks of water, and in a straight path where they shall not stumble. The reason for such wonderful care is to be found in God's declaration: "I have become a father t…

Perfect Law of Liberty

Greetings!

The Book of James is hard for Christians, even Christian theologians, to
understand, and I have pondered and studied why this situation is so. With
this in mind, I have noted two reasons, which may play in this situation.

One reason, as I see it, is the failure to see that James is contrasting two
laws. One law is the "perfect law that gives freedom" (James 1:25), meaning
Jesus Christ, and the other law is the "royal law" (James 2:8), meaning the
Old Covenant law. The first law (Jesus) saves us and lives in us, while the
second law (the Old Covenant law) kills us.

Another reason for struggling with the Book of James is the failure to see
that James is answering the criticism that faith standing alone and without
a focus on works is useless. In fact, all of James 2:18-19, which is
usually awkwardly translated and disputed by scholars, illustrates this
charge through an accusation against faith and through a disparagement
of belief by some unknown fellow. A possibl…

George Hunsinger's Eulogy to Thomas Torrance

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At Faith & Theology, George Hunsinger (Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary) posted this eulogy to Thomas Torrance, who died December 2:

Thomas Forsyth Torrance (1913-2007), who died peaceably in Edinburgh on December 2nd, was arguably the greatest Reformed theologian since Karl Barth, with whom he studied, and an eminent 20th century ecumenist. Having served for 27 years as Professor of Christian Dogmatics at New College, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1976; and in 1978, he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his contributions to the emerging field of theology and science.

In theology he generally placed himself somewhere between Calvin and Barth, though also moving well beyond them. An accomplished patristics scholar, he devoted himself to Eastern Orthodox–Reformed dialogue, being highly esteemed among the Orthodox for his ecumenical spirit and his grasp of pri…

Meet the Parent

Some of you may remember the comedy “Meet The Parents” which came out in theaters about the turn of the millennium. Robert DeNiro plays ex CIA covert ops agent, Jack Byrnes, who keeps a very watchful eye on Greg Folker, (Ben Stiller), who is courting Jack’s daughter, Pam (Teri Polo.) Add Blythe Danner as Mrs. Byrnes who attempts to mediate, and Owen Wilson, as the old boyfriend, Kevin, and the dysfunctional family portrait is almost complete.

Jack keeps his family and friends close, within the ‘circle of trust’, as he interrogates Greg and documents his lack of honesty, fidelity, and loyalty to the Byrnes family values. Of course, Greg is frustrated because he can’t live up to his would be Father-In-Laws manipulative standards, and as he falls short of expectations the scenes spin toward disaster. Finally Jack lays the verdict at Greg’s feet - “You are outside of the circle of trust!” Which means, “You’ve got no chance with my daughter!”…”You’ll have to work hard to get bac…