Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

Colossians 2:13–15:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Augustine:

But when the devil … was thrust out, having finished all his alluring temptation in the wilderness after the baptism; … he betook himself, through eagerness for the death of man in any way whatsoever, to effecting that death which he could, and was permitted to effect it upon that mortal element [physical body] which the living Mediator [Christ] had received from us. And where he could do anything, there in every respect he was conquered; and wherein he received outwardly the power of slaying the Lord in the flesh, therein his inward power, by which he held ourselves, was slain. 

– Augustine, On the Trinity4.13.17

Wily and villainous, seeing that her older sisters have plainly been identified as heresies, the Arian heresy employs the language speech of Scripture, as did her father the devil. … Persuaded by you, I believed it necessary to to tear apart the breastplate [Job 41:13] of this foul heresy and to point out the foul smell of her folly, so that those who are distant from her might flee her, and those deceived by her might repent, and with the eyes of their heart opened might discern that, just as darkness is not light, falsehood is not truth, the Arian heresy is not good.

– Athanasius, “Orations Against the Arians,” 1.1, as quoted in The Trinitarian Controversyed. and trans. by William G. Rusch (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980), p. 63

To Jerusalem offers some helpful reflections on the infamous “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”:

  1. Karen King has dubbed the fragment a portion of the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” Where this may sound logical (considering the content of the fragment), it is rather presumptuous. There is no evidence that the fragment is a portion of a larger, complete text—or ever that the text from which it came was intended to be read as a Gospel (as was the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Judas.
  1. Even if the fragment is verified as dating to the fourth century A.D., it should not be considered a reliable source of historical information about Jesus. King herself has commented on this saying that she never considered the text to speak of the historical Jesus. It is part of a larger body of texts that come out of the Coptic Gnostic tradition that developed its own doctrine concerning the life and teaching of Jesus. The Gnostic writings have never been considered historical, canonical, or biblical. It is these writings that provided the foundation for the fictional story The Da Vinci Code.

Be sure to read the whole post.

Absolutely right:

In the drive to make churches more guy-friendly, we risk confusing cultural (especially American) customs with biblical discipleship. One noted pastor has said that God gave Christianity a “masculine feel.” Another contrasted “latte-sipping Cabriolet drivers” with “real men.” Jesus and his buddies were “dudes: heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes.” Real Christian men like Jesus and Paul “are aggressive, assertive, and nonverbal.” Seriously? …

So enough with the beards (if it’s making a spiritual statement). Enough with the “federal husband” syndrome that goes beyond the legitimate spiritual leadership of the heads of households found in Scripture. Enough of the bravado that actually misunderstands—sometimes rather deeply—what real sanctification looks like in the lives of men as well as women. And why does every famous pastor today have to write a book about his marriage and family? Beyond Scripture, there is godly wisdom and Christian liberty. Biblical principles focus on what it means to live in Christ by his Word and Spirit, and even in those few passages that speak directly to men and women, there will be legitimate diversity in application.

– Michael Horton, “Muscular Christianity

The end of Cain’s history, and so the end of all history, is Christ on the cross, the murdered Son of God.  That is the last desperate assault on the gate of paradise.  And under the whirling sword, under the cross, the human race dies.  But Christ lives.  The trunk of the cross becomes the wood of life, and now in the midst of the world, on the accursed ground itself, life is raised up anew. …

What a strange paradise is this hill of Golgotha, this cross, this blood, this broken body.  What a strange tree of life, this trunk on which the very God had to suffer and die.  Yet it is the very kingdom of life and of the resurrection, which by grace God grants us again.  It is the gate of imperishable hope now opened, the gate of waiting and of patience.  The tree of life, the cross of Christ, the center of God’s world that is fallen but upheld and preserved – that is what the end of the story about paradise is for us.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1-3Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 3 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), 146.

With Easter fast approaching and the perfectly-timed publication of Bart Ehrman’s latest book, I thought it might be helpful to call attention to a series of videos related to the historicity of the resurrection produced by Credo House.  New Testament scholar Dr. Mike Licona (author of the recently published, The Resurrection of Jesus: A Historiographical Approach) and Credo House President Michael Patton have joined forces to dispel ten of the most common myths regarding the empty tomb.

Four videos have been released (see below) and six more will come throughout the week.  Check them out!

Myth 1: Contradictions in the Gospels

Myth 2: Pagan Parallels in Mystery Religions

Myth 3: The Fraud Theory

Myth 4: Hallucinations

Eat Like A Christian!

Posted: March 31, 2012 in evangelism, gospel, humility, Jesus, love

From To Jerusalem:

Truly, my experience serving food has uncovered a side of Christianity that is appalling and disheartening. Nowhere have I seen Christians be more un-Christian than when sitting down to eat. In their attitudes and actions I have seen many, many Christians completely ruin their witness toward servers, waiters, and cooks. And I have stories; my word do I have stories.

When I worked catering in college I served the faculty, staff, and students. This was a Christian college—it taught and preached and lived the Bible. Except when it came to food.

When we set up breakfasts for meetings, we would often catch secretaries in the act of dumping whole basketfuls of coffee supplies into their purses, who would then hastily explain their actions by saying they didn’t know the supplies weren’t free for the taking.

I’ve seen professors (on more than one occasion) steal trays of donuts, danishes, and muffins out of meeting rooms for use in their own classes—always with the excuse that the food “wasn’t labeled” and was thus up for grabs.

I have been verbally criticized and belittled by pastors, professors, and Christian leaders for late food, early food, cold food, warm food, too little food, too much food, or food they simply don’t like.

And worst of them all? Christian women’s conferences. In those, if food and drink is not available at all times, in all forms, and modifiable for every preference, we servers became villains. I have seen more hate, anger, selfishness, greed, and jealousy at Christian women’s conferences than all other food service events combined. …

What’s my point, you may be asking?

Simply this: How you behave when you eat in public can be one of the most powerful witnesses you have for your King Jesus. Believe me when I say, you will be a witness. Whether you are a good witness is up to you.

So when you walk into a restaurant after church dressed in your Sunday best, please be polite and smile. Please be gracious and forgiving, and never ask to see the manager with a complaint. When it comes time to pay, always be generous—because a server’s estimation of your character will be based entirely on the tip you leave. The biggest impact you can make for Jesus is simply tipping well.