Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
To speak of sin by itself, to speak of it apart from the realities of creation and grace, is to forget the resolve of God. God wants shalom and will pay any price to get it back. Human sin is stubborn, but not as stubborn as the grace of God and not half so persistent, not half so ready to suffer to win its way...To speak of sin without grace is to minimize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the spirit, and the hope of shalom.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves (Gen. 3:8).
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
He had no name, no family, no history, no future. His people lived far away, across the sea. The one who professed love for him took away his job and gave it to his brother--and then she killed every one of his friends.At forty-three he was trapped on an Island with the woman who killed his mother and the infantile mama's boy who doted on her. He shared nothing with his brother, not priorities or desires or diversions--not even hair colour. His thoughts lacked any point of reference other than his home, across the sea.His situation was infinitely worse than this, however. We have heard his story before. We know him from the holy text of every ancient religion. Mary Shelley wrote about him, and Edward Everett Hale fifty years after her. We have heard his story before, but every aspect of him is new. He is the Man in Black, Cerberus, the Smoke Monster, but he is so much more. He's not so different from you and me. In fact, we understand him best by looking at ourselves.Read more.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
...in order to appreciate the work which Jesus accomplished, we must understand who we are as well as who he was. His work was done for us. It was the work of a person for persons, a mission undertaken for needy persons by the only person competent to meet their need. His competence lies in his deity; our need lies in our sin. We have tested his competence; we must now expose our need. Only then, after we have clearly grasped what we are, shall we be in a position to perceive the wonder of what he has done for us and offers to us.
Friday, September 03, 2010
A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.
The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.
If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.
Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.
It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish.