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Showing posts from 2012

Five common misconceptions about Jesus

"Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness."Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Great Swan by Lex Hixon This can be the work of the Spirit, helping us to see the presence of God everywhere, and empowering us to heal what appears to be broken, or simply to be silent, as if before a great mystery.
From our son to us to you: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”As quoted in The Life and Work of Martha Graham (1991) by Agnes de Mille, p. 264, ISBN 0-394-55643-7. Martha Graham, Am…
From Trevor Wax's blog, giving tribute to my teacher, George Eldon Ladd (I was his TA for two years at Fuller, '66-'68). Sitting each week under the teaching of George Eldon Ladd was life-changing. He was a mentor to many and the epitome of a passionate teacher."Here are two ways Ladd defined “the gospel,” one personal and the other in light of God’s kingdom:'I can only bear witness at this point to what Heilsgeschichte means to me. My sense of God’s love and acceptance is grounded not only in the resurrected Christ but also in the Jesus of history. He taught something about God that was utterly novel to his Jewish auditors: that God is not only gracious and forgiving to the repentant sinner but is also a seeking God who, in Jesus’ person and mission, has come to seek and to save the lost.God has shown me that he loves me in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me (Rom. 5:8). This is not faith in history; it is not faith in the kerygma; it is not faith i…

Some of the More Important Lessons I've Learned

It is good to stretch yourself and to take on challenges that put you beyond your comfort zone, that cause you to have to learn new content or skills, though when you take on such challenges, things won't always work out the way you had thought they would.When you screw up your work or your life or both, and you will, you can be forgiven, and you will still be loved, though you may find it hardest to forgive and love yourself.When you love someone and make a commitment to them in marriage or friendship, it is important to be as honest as you can. "As you can" because not all honesty or truth-telling is loving. But beware that it is easy to deceive oneself and justify one's decision to be less than completely truthful.You can base your whole life on being thankful. Gratitude for what is, is a good life philosophy. ***** The Bible does not contain an internally consistent and coherent portrayal of God, and, therefore, Christians have to choose among the possible contr…

A Theology of the Apocalypse

What follows is the basis for a lecture I have given on:A THEOLOGY OF THE APOCALYPSEDualism. The Book of Revelation views the world as evil and alien from the church. It has a worldview that is highly dualistic. Dualistic or antithetical language dominates the book. This dualistic worldview is in large measure the product of the situation of persecution which the writer and his readers were facing. Persecuted, suffering people often view their world in such terms which contrast the ways things are with the way things ought to be and with the way they will be, when the end comes and God intervenes to change things and to judge the world with righteousness.Implied Readers. The Book of Revelation speaks best to Christians who are too comfortable in and with the world; to them it is a warning against conformity to pagan culture. The Apocalypse also speaks to Christians who are suffering oppression and persecution from the world around them. Christ is already victorious and one day God wil…

The Message of Revelation in Seven Points - Michael Gorman

The Message of Revelation (in 7 points, naturally) by Michael Gorman:M1. God the creator reigns! Jesus the redeemer, the slaughtered Lamb, is Lord! The reign of God is not merely future or past but present. God in Christ both demands all and offers all.2. Evil is real. Empire is now—not merely future or past but present. Empire, by nature, makes seductive blasphemous and immoral claims and engages in corollary practices that bring disorder to both vertical (people-God) and horizontal (people-people) human relations, promising life but delivering death—both physical and spiritual.3. The Christian church is easily seduced by Empire’s idolatry and immorality because these claims and practices are often invested with religious meaning and authority.4. In the midst of Empire, the church is called to resistance as the inevitable corollary of faithfulness to God, a call that requires prophetic spiritual discernment and may result in various kinds of suffering.5. The spiritual …

Interpreting the Book of Revelation

Approaches to Interpreting the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation)1. The Preterist View (L., praeteritus, past) 1.1. The book applies literally to the actual situation of the author's time and to no other time. 1.2. What is related is the conflict between the Roman emperor Domitian and the Church. 1.3. The predictions are not meant to be taken literally as predictions; they are part of the literary form of apocalyptic. 1.4. The book shows the hope of God's people during a time of persecution. 1.5. One should interpret this apocalypse as one interprets all apocalypses, with the same hermeneutical principles.2. The Church History View 2.1. The book is a prophecy of the course of church history. 2.2. Different characters and events are identified with known past people and events. 2.3. No agreement exists among the proponents of this view as to the identity of these people and events. E.g., who is the anti-Christ? Nero? Papacy? Hitler? Kissinger? Gorbachev? Obam…