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Showing posts from January, 2016

Why Living for God is Not Easy

Nothing about being the Bible’s God’s person or God’s people is easy. And that’s just the way it is. It stems from the reality that God has a plan for this world. Every human being has defied that plan and sought to live life as they desire. In each and every case, then, there is no human being who comes into the world who wants to live God’s way. If God had given up and refused to have any more to do with us and abandoned us to our own fate then whatever religions or spiritualities we cooked up for ourselves (for it seems we humans have to worship something as Bob Dylan made clear in his song “Gotta Serve Somebody”) would be pleasing and understandable and doable by us.
But God has never so given up. Instead he launched a subversive counter-revolutionary movement to reclaim and restore his people and his creation to his creational design and plan. God always intended to create a world in which he and his creatures (human and non-human) could live together in love and harmony. However,…

Bully, Bombast, and Bullshit

One of the disappointing features of this presidential election season is its fear-mongering, megalomania, and anti-intellectualism on the Republican side. This all comes to a head in Donald Trump, of course, but the other Republican candidates evidence it in varying degrees as well.
Fear is the great driver of this bullying, bombast, and bullshit. A failing economic and political system calls forth anxiety, insecurity, and vulnerability from within; the rise and threat of ISIS from without. We have come to experience the world post 9/11 the everyone else lives in and it is profoundly disorienting. The time is ripe for demagogues.
Thus Donald Trump. And Ted Cruz. And so on down the line of candidates. Trump is the best at it. That’s why he leads the group at this point. He fully exploits the fear rampant among us presenting himself as a “Leader” who, while a bit crass and rough around the edges, who isn’t afraid to speak “Truth” and threaten to beat them with a “big stick” if they don’t…

Why Donald Trump Threatens to Trump the Gospel

There is something more important than our views of the controversial candidate.Mark Galli/ January 27, 2016 A large segment of evangelicals look at Donald Trump and his followers and want to run in the opposite direction. The problem is that a lot of Trump’s followers are their brothers and sisters in Christ. Politico reported yesterday on an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll that 37 percent of white evangelical Republicans support his candidacy. Yesterday, Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, endorsed Trump, and Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress spoke highly of him; this following Franklin Graham’s endorsement of Trump’s immigration views in December. Such evangelical support makes that first group of evangelicals really nervous. That’s understandable given many things Trump says and supports. Like banning all Muslims from coming to America. Like shooting the families of terrorists. Like suggesting that if he himself shot someone, his fans would still rise up and ra…

3. Covenant with Israel

Covenant, Temple, and Kingdom
Chief among the “tools” God uses in the Old Testament to form a people through whom he may reveal himself to the world are Covenant, Temple, and Kingdom. Here’s the chart I presented in the first chapter tracing the fortunes of our three benchmarks of the biblical story.
Covenant Kingdom Temple Abraham - ad hoc altar Moses Israel becomes a nation Tabernacle David United Kingdom under King David, Davidic successor promised, low point in exile Temple built by Solomon, destroyed by Babylonians New Covenant New kind of kingdom promised Temple rebuilt but not claimed by the glory of God

3. Covenant with Israel

Covenant, Temple, and Kingdom
Chief among the “tools” God uses in the Old Testament to form a people through whom he may reveal himself to the world are Covenant, Temple, and Kingdom. Here’s the chart I presented in the first chapter tracing the fortunes of our three benchmarks of the biblical story.
Covenant Kingdom Temple Abraham - ad hoc altar Moses Israel becomes a nation Tabernacle David United Kingdom under King David, Davidic successor promised, low point in exile Temple built by Solomon, destroyed by Babylonians New Covenant New kind of kingdom promised Temple rebuilt but not claimed by the glory of God