Showing posts from July, 2015

Hallelujah in hell?

It seems that among Christians and non-Christians there is much confusion about hell. What is it? When is it? Where is it? Why is there a hell at all? And what does the reality of hell say about God and his grace? These challenging questions are addressed in the powerful video embedded below that bears the provocative title, Hallelujah in Hell.  It's from the folks at Downside Up . What are your thoughts? Let us know using the "comments" feature below. Next time we'll return to our series looking at Ray Anderson's book on practical theology.

What is Jesus doing? (female ordination)

This post continues a series looking at  The Shape of Practical Theology  by Trinitarian theologian Ray S. Anderson. For other posts in the series, click on a number:  1 ,  2 ,  3 , 4 , 6 ,  7 ,  8 ,  9 ,  10 .  11 ,  12 ,  13 ,  14 ,  15 . Last time  in this series we looked at how Anderson addresses ministry as not what we do for Jesus, but what we do with him---our participation in his ongoing ministry to the Father, through the Spirit, for the sake of the world. In order for us to participate meaningfully with him, we must discern what he is actually doing---a challenge that frequently will require that we set aside some of our presuppositions about what our risen, ascended Lord will or will not do. Christ in the house of Mary and Martha by Henryk Siemiradzki Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons What about female ordination? One of the issues that has challenged the church is to discern the mind and activity of Jesus concerning the role of women in pastoral leadershi

Is God's wrath contrary to his love?

In this post we'll take a break from reviewing  The Practical Shape of Theology to address a related concept: God's wrath and his love. Sadly, some folks pit one against the other as though they were equal and competing aspects of God's character. For them, God's wrath (judgment, justice, punishment) begins where his love ends. But is that so? Are God's wrath and love at odds? Is the Trinity of two minds? (angry Father, loving Jesus). These questions are helpfully addressed in the video embedded below. Entitled The Flaming Toilet of Death, it illustrates two foundational truths addressed by John in his first epistle: "God is love" and "perfect love casts out fear" (1John 4:8, 16, 18 ESV). Enjoy!   For more videos like this, click here to go to Downside Up (God is better than you think) . For a related Surprising God post, click here .

Ministry: sharing in what Jesus is doing

This post continues a series looking at The Shape of Practical Theology by Trinitarian theologian Ray S. Anderson. For other posts in the series, click on a number: 1 , 2 , 3 , 5 ,  6 ,  7 ,  8 ,  9 ,  10 .  11 ,   12 ,  13 ,  14 ,  15 . Jesus and the Samaritan Woman   by Giacomo Franceschini Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons Previously in this series we've noted Anderson's emphasis on the unity of theology and mission. When fully Christian, both are grounded in the person (being) and work (doing) of Jesus, the incarnate, resurrected, ascended Son of God. There is no separation between Jesus' being (from which flows Christian theology) and his doing (from which flows Christian mission). In Jesus, by the Spirit, Christian mission (ministry) is actual participation in what Jesus is doing in the world to fulfill the Father's mission. It is thus vital that the church keep at the forefront of its thinking the truth that it is Jesus (the living Word) and not someo