I grew up in a church called "Trinity." As I learned about what Christians believed, I eventually learned about the doctrine of the Trinity: there is one God who exists as Father, Son and Spirit. Over the years, perhaps especially in my later teens when I first began to learn about and meet people who … Continue reading The ABCs of Faith – Arianism!
Last night was our third week in our series The ABCs of Faith: How Good Theology Leads to Spiritual Maturity Through Actions, Belief and Connections. After discussing a basic understanding of God (God is the infinite, being itself, set apart from all beings in a category his own who creates the universe as separate from … Continue reading The ABCs of Faith -Marcion and Gnostics!
Growing up, I was taught that Jesus had died for my sins so I could go to heaven when I died. As for what to do once you believed and were assured your spot on the other side of the pearly gates? Well, that was a bit more hazy beyond reading the Bible and praying … Continue reading #13 – The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann (My 100 Favorite Books)
This is the second day in a row an NT Wright book makes the list. Yesterday I listed one of his more recent works, his magnum opus on Paul. Today is probably the work that truly impacted my reading of the Gospels more than any other. I read this book right after finishing seminary in … Continue reading #32 – Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright (My 100 Favorite Books)
Read Psalm 21` This is a Psalm from King David, celebrating the strength of God and all God has done for him. When I read this in light of Jesus, I admit I have trouble with it. I mean, every successful king, or political leader, throughout history has credited some god or God for his … Continue reading Of Gods and Kings (Psalm 21, Weekly Word)
The beauty of the crucifixion of Jesus is that it can be analyzed, meditated on and thought about from many angles and levels. Rene Girard is someone who has promoted one way of seeing the crucifixion that has is a bit different then what those of us who grew up in conservative Christianity in America … Continue reading #62 – I See Satan Fall Like Lightning by Rene Girard (My Favorite 100 Books)
What is God truly like? This is a question I have wrestled with. My whole life I have heard people say, and have said myself, that God is a God of love and of justice. Your sin deserves God’s eternal and unending punishment, or wrath. You can avoid this punishment by trusting in Jesus for … Continue reading #71 – Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd (My 100 Favorite Books)
For the last few years, we have read through The Jesus Storybook Bible during Advent. With 22 stories from the Old Testament, it is the perfect lead in to the birth of Jesus. Further, it ties each individual story into the grand story of what God is doing in the world, culminating in the coming … Continue reading #97 – The Jesus Storybook Bible (My 100 Favorite Books)
I've quipped that everyone is a Biblical literalist until it comes to Jesus' words on nonviolence. Then every nuance and caveat is mined to make sure we are assured Jesus doesn't actually mean what he said. So when it comes to traditional ideas of sexuality or hell, or much else, we're told the Bible just … Continue reading Why We Resist Nonviolence (Crucifixion of the Warrior God, ch. 6)
I love history. I've always enjoyed learning history. One truth of history, something you'd learn in any introduction to religion class, can be boiled down as follows: *Jesus of Nazareth died a violent death on the cross at the hands of his enemies and never led armies into battle. *Muhammad of Mecca led armies into … Continue reading Crucifixion of the Warrior God (ch. 5)