Showing posts from February, 2023

The Christian Perspective (by T.F. Torrance)

This post explores "The Christian Perspective," -- chapter 2 of T.F. Torrance's book " The Christian Doctrine of God. One Being Three Persons ." This post was written by Torrance scholar Travis M. Stevick  for a session of the T.F. Torrance Reading Group . In chapter 1 ("Introduction") of  The Christian Doctrine of God ,  Torrance makes several epistemological observations that will be important as we look at chapter 2, which begins with the key perspective that authentic knowledge of God must always be, at bottom, the result of revelation , rather than logic or mere empirical observation within our creaturely world. Torrance explains that this revelation comes primarily through Jesus, understood within the context of ancient Israel (a key point that he unpacks in  The Mediation of Christ ).  While this insight has distinctly theological and distinctly Christian roots, once grasped it can be applied outside that field into other areas of study. This i

The Miracle of Seeing Jesus (preaching resource for 3/19/23, Lent 4)

This post exegetes John 9:1-41, providing context for the  RCL's Gospel reading for 3/19/23 (Lent 4). It draws on various sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary" by Warren Wiersbe. "Christ Healing the Blind Man" by Murphy (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction Jesus frequently performed miracles to meet human needs. But through those miracles he also conveyed truth concerning his identity as the Son of God and Messiah. One of the biblical signs of the Messiah was healing the blind (Matt. 11:5), and here in John chapter 9 Jesus fulfills this sign.  But he also used the miracle to say something about the human condition, for in John ‘to see’ physically is a metaphor for understanding spiritually. And so John 9 is about spiritual blindness as well as physical blindness and about how Jesus, the Messiah heals both. The man we meet in John 9 was both physically and spiritually blind from birth.  But Jesus changed both conditions: The healing of

Receiving and Sharing Jesus (preaching resource for 3/12/23, Lent 3)

This post exegetes John 4:1-42, providing context for the  RCL's Gospel reading for 3/12/23 (Lent 3). It draws on various sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary"  by Warren Wiersbe, "The New Bible Commentary", "The Parable of Joy" by Michael Card, and "The Gospel of John" by F.F. Bruce. "Christ and the Samaritan Woman" by Colombel (public domain via Wikimidia Commons) In chapter 4 of his Gospel, John continues his account of what Jesus did to reveal himself as Son of God and Messiah. Toward that end, John describes four encounters Jesus had with nonbelievers whereby they came to faith, and with new believers whereby they grew deeper in their faith in Jesus. We learn from these encounters that Jesus invites all kinds of people to trust in him, thus challenging us to join with Jesus, the Lord of the harvest, in reaching out in the most unlikely places, to the most unlikely people, to share God’s unlikely saving love. In th

Faith in Jesus (preaching resource for 3/5/23, Lent 2)

This post exegetes John chapter 3, providing context for the RCL's Gospel reading for 3/5/23 (Lent 2). It draws on various sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary" (Warren Wiersbe) and "The Parable of Joy" (Michael Card). "Jesus and Nicodemus" by Tanner (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) In John 3, Jesus’ disciples continue their journey of discovery—learning more about Jesus at a deeper level—now including how one may enter into a personal, saving relationship with the One who is teacher , bridegroom and witness .   1. Jesus the teacher (2:23 - 3:21) We begin in chapter 2: 2:23  Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. In 2:23 John first mentions Jesus’ “miraculous signs.” Throughout his Gospel. John pre