Is the God of the New Testament really that different from the God of the Old? This is the claim of many people today. The central idea that was made in the previous post was the fact that, when we read a little more carefully, we see that, in the whole Bible, God is a God of grace. The story of God’s relationship with the Israeli people highlights over and over the central reality of his grace and mercy as the one and only reason for all that they had. This is coupled with the fact that the main command of the Old Testament is not that people obey a long list of moralistic laws and rituals. Rather the heart of God’s message to the people is that he be the central object of their love and affection. Making anything outside of him the object of their worship inevitably sends them tumbling down a destructive life of self centeredness.
We live in a world where personal happiness and well being are at the center of life. The church has unfortunately caught on to this idea as well. Very often, we are given the impression that life with Christ is supposed to answer all our questions and untangle all our knots. We are told that if there are problems and challenges in our lives its a sign that we are not spiritual enough, not working hard enough, not doing good enough.
But when Jesus called his disciples to follow him he did not invite them into a journey of smooth sailing and wide and easy travels through life. He called them to take up their cross, to deny themselves, and to follow him being ready to face anything. That is because the kingdom that he calls us to be a part of is not of this world. The hope that Christ gives spans far beyond our mere physical, psychological or material well being. Continue reading
I understand that much of the discussion encircling the Planned Parenthood video released this week is vain, emotion-filled and futile. I am doing everything I can to avoid that today. I want to call attention to one specific aspect of the question at hand.
My point here is not to start more raging arguments. We all know that this political game we play in our society has nothing to do with actually convincing our opponnents that they are wrong, and everything to do with merely yelling louder than they do so that their voice is drowned out and ours alone is heard. I hear the yelling and the arguing every day.
I am filling out an application to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. One of the questions on the application was, “Please explain your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ”. I found it deeply refreshing to rinse my mind once again in that which is the heart of all that I believe and think. Continue reading
John MacArthur opened the 2015 Shepherds Conference yesterday with the powerful reminder that one of the most foundational and determinative aspects of the christian worldview is how one relates to the Bible. What a christian believes to be true about the Bible will go on to have a massive impact on their entire faith because everything we believe comes from the text of this one book.
We live in a time where there seems to be so much variety in how people approach the Bible. One can find dozens of different churches and denominations which all claim to follow Jesus and believe the Bible. Yet, when it comes down to defining what they believe the Bible to be and how it actually fits into their christian life, they all may have a new and different response.