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Showing posts from July, 2009

Jesus and God's judgment

When it comes to the topic of the final judgment, many have formed opinions based on what I feel is an inaccurate reading of Revelation, leading them to conclude (in error) that when God comes to earth at the end of time he comes as an angry, hostile and vengeful God.

But through a careful reading of Revelation, we are introduced to the Lord, the God of covenant grace, who in the person of the God-man Jesus, returns to earth as the one he truly is - the Savior of all mankind.
This Jesus who returns is the same one we met in the Gospels who walked the roads of Galilee as a "friend of sinners"; who died on Calvary's cross to save sinners; and who cared for his doubting disciples after his resurrection, promising to be with them "always, unto the very end of the age" (Mat. 28:20) as they reach out with Jesus' love to all the world.
It is this Jesus, God's Lamb, who in Revelation comes to earth not to destroy, but to save, and his personal presence on ea…

Preaching grace

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In "Christian Preaching: A Trinitarian Theology of Proclamation," Michael Pasquarello writes,
"Perhaps the most offensive and scandalous aspect of speaking the Word of God in our time may be the notion of grace, which announces that from beginning to end our human lives are not of our own making, management, or control. In learning to confess that we are sinful creatures of a gracious God, we discover that our lives are constituted as gifts rather than possessions, whose purpose is to know and love our Creator.
"In Christian worship, then, we acknowledge our grateful dependence according to the particular wisdom displayed in the self-giving of Christ, through which the Spirit evokes responsiveness and receptivity to the God who speaks both creation and salvation. Thus, in a time that calls for a strong, robust message of faith, hope, and love, there is no 'deeply felt need' more urgent than proclaiming the 'foolishness' of the cross - the power and w…

More on theology and music

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In a post last March, I mentioned the insights of theologian and musician Jeremie Begbie, who explores the interplay of theology and music.
In a new video, Begbie discusses the interplay of theology and the arts - music in particular. Begbie understands that the creativity expressed in composing and playing music, is a way in which we share in the free yet ordered (perichoretic) communion of the Father-Son-Spirit.
God shares this communion with us in and through the Son of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, who in his own person is the union of our humanity with God's divinity. This permanent union opens to us, through the indwelling Spirit, the opportunity for our participation in what Jesus, the God-man, is doing in the Spirit within our world.
Music is one of his masterful, creative tools. It is our joy to join with him, and in so doing to learn more about the harmonies of his union with all the cosmos. Play on!

Theology speaks to all of life

Mention the word theology and some people yawn while others run for the door. For many, theology is "ivory tower" stuff with little relevance to "real life."

How sad, for true theology (God knowledge) speaks directly to the ultimate "real life," which is the triune communion of the Father-Son-Spirit that they are sharing with all humanity in and through their union with all people (indeed the whole cosmos) in the person of the God-man, Jesus Christ.
Trinitarian, incarnational theology addresses this abiding union of grace, which is the "truth of all truths." It is the "logic" - the "reality" by which we rightly address all other issues/truths including the nature of humanity (anthropology), the nature of the church (ecclesiology) and the nature of Christian mission (missiology):

1. Anthropology. We understand that humankind is united to the triune God through the incarnation of the Son of God in the person of the man Jesus. U…