Showing posts from December, 2020

Christian ethics (part 1): Christ-centered

This post begins a series exploring the book Fully Human in Christ: The Incarnation as the End of Christian Ethics  by Todd Speidell. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2 , 3 , 4 ,  5 .      Some assert that Thomas F. Torrance failed in his writings to offer a well-developed Christian ethic (particularly a social ethic). Todd Speidell disagrees, giving us in Fully Human in Christ a helpful, carefully researched compendium of TFT's writings on the topic of Christian-theological ethics. The subtitle of Speidell's book ( The Incarnation as the End of Christian Ethics ) refers not to the termination of ethics in Christ, but to the fulfillment or goal ( telos ) thereof. It also is Speidell's way of noting that Christ's vicarious humanity brings to an end all vain attempts to do good or to be good apart from who Christ is and what Christ has done on our behalf and in our place. TFT teaches that Christian ethics is not about self-directed efforts to model our lives

What does it mean that "Christ is all and in all"?

In Colossians 3:11 (NASB), Paul declares that "Christ is all, and in all." The immediate context relates to the "new self" -- who we are in Christ, no matter our ethnicity or socio-economic standing. However, the larger context is the whole letter of Colossians (with parallels in Ephesians) where we find at least six ways in which Christ truly is all and in all. Mosaic of Christ Jesus (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) 1) CHRIST IS THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, THE FULLNESS OF DEITY IN BODILY FORM In Colossians 1:15 (NASB) Paul tells us that God's Son (Christ) "is the image of the invisible God." He goes on to say in Col. 1:19 (NASB) that “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in [Christ, God's Son].” He then adds this in Col. 2:9 (NASB): “For in [Christ] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Our only way of knowing God, who “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:16, NA

Liturgical Theology

Having entered the season of Advent, a new year in the Christian worship (liturgical) calendar has begun. For some Christians, the liturgical calendar is of only mild interest, for others it's of no interest at all. But when viewed theologically, the calendar takes on great meaning. That meaning is explored by Simon Chan in  Liturgical Theology, the Church as Worshiping Community . This post takes a look at the book, excerpting some key points. Chan's purpose in writing Liturgical Theology  is to make a reasoned plea to Christians (Evangelicals, in particular) to recapture in their worship (both weekly and annually) a focus on the central truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His concern is that many churches tend in their worship to focus instead on peripheral issues. In doing so, they experience what Chan calls "theological vacuity" (p 11). And so Chan's desire is for worship renewal through recovering a clear focus on truth , not in the sense of abstract ideas