Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

A Trinitarian statement of faith

Image
Pastor David W. Torrance, the younger brother of theologians Thomas F. and James B. Torrance teaches and preaches in accordance with the incarnational Trinitarian he learned from Karl Barth and that he shares with his brothers and their many students. For a You're Included interview with David, click here.

Following is the statement of faith that waspostedon David's website (now closed). Note how it emphasizes the finished work of Christ, and then speaks to our response as "heart-felt gratitude" by which we accept our salvation in Christ.
As Christians we live by the faith of the Son of God. We are redeemed not by our faith but by Christ’s faith. We are called simply to look up and thank him. Our heart-felt gratitude is our acceptance of his salvation. No matter who we are, we are surrounded and embraced by God’s love. We live under the waterfall of his continuing forgiveness for all our sins, past, present and future. For God has redeemed us in Christ.  In his love…

Preparation for Advent Services - Christ holds our flesh in His!

As we prepare for the Advent season, I’d like to share the poem, Christ Child, my favorite poem written by dear friends John and Nancy McKenna. First published in The Burning Green (1996, Wipf and Stock), it is more recently found on p. 318 of The Great AMEN of the Great I-AM: God in covenant with His people in His creation, by John McKenna (2008, Wipf & Stock Publishers), where John uses their poem to punctuate the conclusion of chapter eight, “The Church and the World.” We are bid to ponder the wondrous and surprising message that Christ holds our flesh in His! Thanks John and Nancy!

Also below is a list of 14 ideas for a progression of four Advent services, sent to us from Ted Johnston, writer / moderator of The Surprising God. Thank you Ted!
___________________________________



Christ Child by John and Nancy McKenna

Like the seas change
Land and the longing
Dark wraps like arms
The earth in sound,
A small child pushes in his hand
His dreams into a blue sky.
And round the beginningless…

How can a loving God be a God of wrath?

Image
In Romans 1:18, Paul declares that, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness."

How can a loving God be a God of wrath?

The answer is that God's wrath, like all his attributes, is an expression of his being, which is love (1 John 4:8). Because God is love, he loves us. And God finds the evil that hurts his children to be intolerable, and he, in his wrath, judges that evil. However, what Paul tells us in Romans is that God has already accomplished this judgment against sin and evil through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension of his Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, God poured out his wrath on all sin. And through Christ, God's wrath is ended - the enmity humanity created between itself and God through sin, is ended.

God has reconciled himself to all humanity, through Jesus. Yet, in love, God continues to extend to all people the freedom to choose to acce…

This Thanksgiving, give thanks as a Christian

[Following is an excerpt from an article by Matt Royal. You can read Matt’s entire article Giving Thanks as a Christian, in the Nov. 8, 2010 issue of The Adopted Life. The same issue includes an excellent article on Advent by Jonathan Stepp, titled The Womb of the Incarnation.]

The act of thanksgiving centers us, stabilizes us, and reinforces the truth of our place of dependence in this universe. When we as Christians give thanks to our God, we are not just giving thanks to the source of all blessings. We are giving thanks to a God who knows us and who shares his life with us in a personal way. We give thanks to the one true God who is (and always has been) all about person-to-person relationships.

We give thanks to a God who is not a simple individual, but a community. He is the Trinity—one God who is Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. In our God the sharing of life and love has always been who he is, and out of that he shares his life with us. Out of his energy and intellect and …

Lord’s Prayer - Part 4: The Spirit-filled forgiven community is a forgiving community

In The Forgotten Father, by Thomas A. Smail, the author suggests that with the particular placement of petition for pardon (“Forgive us our sins”) Jesus teaches his disciples that we are to make such petition only after we have already
praised the Father, exposed ourselves to the call and grace of his kingdom, set ourselves within the generosity of his provision for us” that we can and must see the wrongness of our present response to him and have recourse to his cleansing and forgiveness (p. 166).[Valuable advice for pastors, worship planners and worship leaders, in designing and carrying out worship services.] To bypass the clear priorities of these earlier parts of the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:1-4), and to immediately rush to request pardon can lead to a “guilt-ridden religion that is obsessed with its sins and unworthiness.”

Smail also reminds the people of God of the social consequences of the gospel of forgiveness – that it is not merely an “individualistic inner transaction with G…

Lord’s Prayer, Part 3 - Praying for the kingdom that keeps on coming, and heavenly bread for the great Tomorrow

Continuing with our study of the Lord’s Prayer from The Forgotten Father, by Thomas Smail – After having taught his disciples to praise the Father in prayer (Luke 11), Jesus then invites them to pray “Your kingdom come.”

We can pray to put ourselves at his disposal so that by his sovereign grace he may continue to “work his kingdom in us, among us and through us.” Smail reminds us, “With the coming of the kingdom we are dealing with the last things, but with the last things that have already overtaken us in the coming of Jesus…”
1. The kingdom has already come with the coming of Jesus—the last days have begun
2. It keeps on coming and make’s it’s presence known as the risen King lives and works among us by the Spirit
3. But like the anticipated return of the King, the final coming of the kingdom is still in the future.As noted in the post of 10.24.10, there is a Jewish prayer similar to the one Jesus taught. However, with the Father having already sent Jesus in the world, we no…

Sympathetic Resonance: Jeremy Begbie

Image
A legal (forensic) view of the atonement leads to such unfortunate statements as, "when God looks at me, he sees only Jesus." The sentiment here is that God overlooks my sin by seeing, instead, the sinlessness of Jesus.

We are, of course, full of gratitude that Jesus has borne away our sin through his substitutionary sacrifice. But the truth of the gospel is far greater than a mere legal transaction! God does not overlook us in order to see Jesus. Rather, through the continuing Incarnation of the Son of God, God includes us - he sees us, in union with his Son, as his dearly loved, forgiven, accepted and adopted children. He looks upon us with eyes of Fatherly love and joy.

The atonement, as it actually is in the person of Jesus, does not negate our personal humanity. It is not "more of Christ, and less of us." Rather, in our union with God, in Jesus, it is MORE of us, re-born in Christ to be all we have been created to be.

Non-Christians (and, sadly, some Christia…