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Showing posts from October, 2016

What the hell?

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Hell, a particularly "hot" topic in the blogosphere (pun intended), is one I've blogged about several times here on The Surprising God. Below are links to those posts. I hope you find them informative (clearing up some of the typical misunderstandings) and a source of encouragement, reminding you that no matter what the topic, we approach it equipped with the assurance that God has been revealed to us comprehensively and decisively in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. As noted in my last post, God really is like Jesus, and that understanding should discipline our thinking concerning all topics, hell included.
What about hell?How big is hell?Can people get out of hell?Hallelujah in hell?If all are included, why final jugment and hell?Will all be saved?The final judgment in light of inclusionEternal securityQuestion on John 3:36Does your eschatology suffer from "ascension deficit disorder"?

God really is like Jesus

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Here is an excerpt from the forthcoming book "God Is Like Jesus," by Jacob M. Wright. This excerpt was originally posted (without the picture) on Jacob's Facebook. To learn how you can help Jacob publish his new book, click here

The most defining difference between the Old and New Testament is that Jesus refines our understanding of the character of God. God is not the one who comes to steal, kill, or destroy, that’s the enemy; God comes to bring life (John 10:10). God does not accuse and condemn, that’s the enemy; God comes to heal and save (John 3:17). God does not demand the stoning of sinners, that’s the enemy; God enables them to live free of sin (John 8:11). God does not command the wholesale slaughter of enemies including their wives, children, and pets; he commands to love and forgive them, for in so doing we are like our Father. And if we don’t, Jesus says, we are no better than the pagans (Luke 6:27-36). God dies for his enemies and doesn’t count their sin ag…

Christ, our worship leader

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This post begins a series that will review the book Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace by James B. Torrance. For additional posts in the series, click a number: 2, 345, 67.

[Revised: 10/15/2016]


Though not a prolific writer like his brother Thomas F Torrance, James B Torrance (often referred to as JB), through a life-long career in university-level teaching, had a profound influence on, perhaps, thousands of students (who in turn influenced many others). In this way, JB made a significant and lasting contribution to the resurgence in our day of the ancient Nicene faith with its confession of an incarnational and Trinitarian theology. Key precepts of JB's teaching are set forth in his book, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace. Here is a summary of its contents from IVP, the book's publisher:
James Torrance points us to the indispensable who of worship, the triune God of grace. Worship is the gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate S…