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Showing posts from March, 2016

God's children by adoption

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This post continues a review of key points in Ron Highfield's book, God, Freedom & Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture. For other posts in the series, click a number: 123456, 7, 8, 10111213.

Last time in this series, we saw that our true humanity and human identity are found in the perfected humanity of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God. This time we'll examine that identity from the perspective of the Bible's teaching that by the grace of adoption, all humans are God's dearly-loved, forgiven and accepted children. In Christ, all are included in the family of God. What that means in the experience of individuals will be noted as we proceed.

The fatherhood of God revealed by Jesus We begin by noting that the Gospels (Matthew in particular) emphasize the fatherhood of God. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), God is called "Father" 15 times. As Highfield notes, Jesus clearly related to God as his Fathe…

Cosmic Easter

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This post reproduces (with minor modifications) a recent Weekly Update article by GCI president Joseph Tkach, offering an incarnational Trinitarian perspective on Easter (and the related topics of time and eternity).

John McKenna (theologian/professor at Grace Communion Seminary) has famously stated that the resurrection and ascension of Jesus changed all time. In this post we'll unpack that mind-boggling statement, looking at Easter from a cosmic perspective.

What is time?
The question What is time? has perplexed theologians, philosophers and scientists for millennia as they wondered what kind of “thing” time actually is. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726) thought of it as an independent thing flowing forward without relationship to any eternal thing. According to his view, time has no beginning or end, and in that way is absolute, like God (who is thought of as existing eternally along with space and time, and perhaps even contained within space and time).

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1…

Holy Week

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We are about to enter Holy Week, the heart of the annual Christian worship calendar. As we do, let's consider what is laid out for us to understand, and in understanding to experience:
Jesus' entering Jerusalem as the servant-King come to suffer and die for his subjects (Palm Sunday).Jesus' gathering his followers for the Last Supper; sharing the glorious truths about who he is and what he is about to do for them and all humanity (Maundy Thursday).Jesus' dying on Calvary's cross - the great and complete sin offering that secures forgiveness for all (Good Friday).Jesus' going to the grave where in death he experiences the depth of our corruption - the consequence of sin (Holy Saturday).Jesus' rising from death; born again to new, glorified human life; securing in himself this new birth for all (Easter Sunday). For past Surprising God posts addressing Holy Week, go to:
http://thesurprisinggodblog.wcg.org/2010/04/jesus-is-alive-and-we-are-alive-in-him.htmlhttp:…

A sermon for Lent: Jesus, Creator and Redeemer

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Below is a video of a sermon for Lent from Joel Hunter (pictured at right) of Northland Church in the Orlando area. Dr. Hunter addresses the importance of seeing God everywhere and in everyday things. He does so while examining the complementary truths of science and faith in a way that speaks against the wrong-headed spiritual vs material dualism that, sadly, is so prevalent in our culture among believers and non-believers alike. The union of all things (in heaven and on earth---spiritual and material) with God, in Christ, is a fundamental precept of incarnational, Trinitarian theology.

#incarnationaltrinitariantheology


“Jesus, Creator and Redeemer" (Sermon) - Dr. Joel Hunter from Northland Church on Vimeo.

Our true humanity in Jesus

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This post continues a review of key points in Ron Highfield's book, God, Freedom & Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture. For other posts in the series, click a number: 123456, 7, 910111213.

We ended the last post in this series noting that, due to the fallen condition of our human nature, we do not trust God fully and are thus unable to know ourselves fully. As Highfield emphasizes, our true humanity and thus our true human identify is found in the humanity of the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, who, according to Highfield, "embodies in this world the eternal life of the Trinity" (p. 151). As we will see this time, Jesus' humanity was perfected over the course of his earthly life through all that he experienced including times of intense trial and temptation endured on our behalf.

Jesus' humanity: perfected through trials and temptations... As taught by the apostles in the New Testament and affirmed b…

Relating to ourselves by relating to God

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This post continues a review of key points in Ron Highfield's book, God, Freedom & Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture. For other posts in the series, click a number: 12345, 6, 8910111213.

We observed in the last post in this series that God's omnipotence, rather than impeding human freedom and dignity, enables them. Highfield then makes a similar point about God's omniscience and omnipresence, which like all the divine attributes, are not to be feared but seen for what they truly are---expressions of God's inner being as a triune communion of love. This Trinitarian understanding of God's nature (being), revealed fully and definitively to us in Jesus, is quite unlike the fearsome portrayal of God in Michelangelo's painting of Creation in the Sistine Chapel (shown at right).

God's omniscience Highfield notes that it is in love and for love that the triune God is all-knowing (omniscient):
God's …