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Showing posts from May, 2018

Six Things It Means to Be a Christian, Part I

Six Things It Means to Be a Christian, Part I
I found something I wrote in 2001, “Six Things It Means to Be a Christian.” It includes some supporting scriptures. I will publish it in two parts: the first, containing the first four things, this week, and the remainder next week.
1. To be a Christian means that I know that there is a restlessness in me that only God can calm, a hunger in me that only God can fill, a thirst in me that only God can satisfy, an ache and an emptiness in me that only God can take away, and a guilt (often felt, but sometimes not felt) that only God can remove. Matthew 11:27-28: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Isaiah 55:1: "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
2. To be a Christian m…

Prayer as Revolt

Prayer as Revolt
This week I read a quote from a favorite theologian, Karl Barth. He said: “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” I would like to unpack what he said, and to refer to some words of Jesus which I think are behind what Dr. Barth wrote. Let me begin with two questions about Professor Barth’s quote. First of all why would he say there is disorder in the world? And secondly, if there is disorder, mustn’t it be God’s will?
Why say there is disorder in the world? God created a perfect and orderly world, but because of human sin and because (as a result) we live in a fallen creation, the world God created is clearly no longer the world we live in. We live in a world where children die, where wars kill, where famine rages, and where some people are still literally enslaved while others live in bondage to fear, hatred, and addiction. In so many other ways the fallenness of the creation and of our lives is evident. Without …

All I Need to Know About God, I See in Jesus

All I Need to Know About God, I See in Jesus
OK, I’ll admit there is a problem here. I could easily have written “All I need to know about God I find in the Bible (the Old and New Testaments.)” I could have written it, because it is also true.
However, at the end of the day, God is more than a truth revealed in the pages of a book. God is a Person, fully revealed (Yes, through the Bible!)in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Bible, as God’s Word, is clear that God is fully revealed in Jesus. In other words, the Book does not tell me that God is revealed in a book. The Book tells me that God is most fully and finally revealed in a Person, in Jesus, as we know Him in this book.
OK then why do I read the Old Testament? (I read from the Psalms almost every day.) Because in the Psalms and the rest of the Old Testament God is revealed, but in a way that leaves me hungering for more. In the Old Testament, God is revealed incompletely, in bits and pieces. He is revealed like flowers strewn along th…