Mercy involves both truth and love. Truth, in that mercy involves no denial of wrongs having been committed. Love, in that mercy involves no dwelling on wrongs, but is instead focussed on moving towards reconciliation.
John Chrystotom once said, “Do not be ashamed to enter again into the Church. Be ashamed when you sin. Do not be ashamed when you repent. Pay attention to what the devil did to you. These are two things: sin and repentance. Sin is a wound; repentance is a medicine. Just as there are for … Continue reading Do not be ashamed to enter the Church
As I grapple with my own depression I am reminded that there is an already / not yet tension in the way the apostles spoke of salvation. They had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of the dead was still to come. They had witnessed the defeat of death, and yet the threat … Continue reading Contemplating salvation in the depths of depression
Three things we have no need of: Omniscience Omnipotence Omnibenevolence As we already have them all in Christ
A man who has never had that experience, be it only very briefly, who has never felt that he is exiled from God and from real life, will never understand what Christianity is about. And the one who is perfectly “at home” in this world and its life, who has never been wounded by the … Continue reading Is something essential being overlooked?
Three things Jesus achieved: He revealed the way of life, He released us from tyranny, And he restored our standing before God.
What did Jesus achieve? Jews at the time of Jesus expected the messiah to achieve a number to things: to defeat the enemies of Israel; to restore the Temple; to gather the exiles of Israel; and to teach the Torah to the nations. The earliest Christians, who were Jewish by and large, saw Jesus as … Continue reading What did Jesus achieve?
Spring has me thinking of the story of the sower. This image illustrates the story from a variety of cultural perspectives. For those unfamiliar with the story, the Gospel of Mark retells it like this: Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got … Continue reading The story of the sower
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) When we consider the blood spilled every day in the wars that rage across the surface of the earth, it is difficult to comprehend how one more death can … Continue reading How can one death make any difference?
"As we bring the gospel home to our family, we dare not do so as a self-righteous older brother. Even if our family members are out squandering their inheritance with prostitutes or wallowing in the mud with pigs, if we’re pointing to our record of good behavior while condemning their wicked ways, it will be … Continue reading The false gospel of self righteousness
I have often wondered why Evangelicals tend to imitate the teaching style of Paul more than Jesus, even though Jesus was clearly a popular and profound teacher. What would it mean to teach more like Jesus? Here are some reflections on Jesus as Teacher by Nicholas C. Burbules: As with Socrates, too, these disputatious dialogues … Continue reading Jesus as Teacher of Moral Transformation
Love your enemies - In reconciliation Lies your salvation