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Showing posts from March, 2017

Resisting Trump with Revelation (18)

The Seven Trumpets 3 (8:2-11:19)
The Seal Cycle brought readers to the point of judgment. Those opposed to God sought death or protection from his wrath. This cycle was an exposé of what was really going on in history beneath the surface. The dreadful Four Horsemen are loose and riding, martyrs are crying for justice, and the specter of judgment haunts everyone and every project opposed to God.
The Trumpet Cycle displays various kinds and intensities of judgment at work in the world. In particular we learn that there are spiritual powers at work as well as human evil deeds. God is sovereign over all this judgment though not directly responsible. Other agents, human and beyond-human, are granted freedom to wage their rebellions against God without compromising God’s sovereignty. Indeed, it is precisely because God is utterly sovereign that his creatures have freedom at all.
Between the sixth and seventh Seals is an interlude concerning the church and what is true of it as it moves thro…

Prayer isn’t our work, it’s God’s

Apr 12, 2017 issueTo put it more bluntly: Isn’t it ridiculous (and maybe even idolatrous) to think that through our supplications we can persuade God into doing something God might otherwise not do? You might be surprised to hear that I take it as self-evident that the answer to that question is yes.

The God of Job isn’t a god we can manipulate—by spiritually sanctioned means—to do what we want. Too often when people tell me they’ll pray for me, the implication left unsaid is that God is otherwise not already with me or at work in me and that if I’m not healed then somehow their prayers didn’t work. Such an understanding of prayer is incompatible with the God of the book of Job, a God who is at every moment the reason there is something instead of nothing.

read more at https://www.christiancentury.org/article/prayer-isn%E2%80%99t-our-work-it%E2%80%99s-god%E2%80%99s 

Resisting Trump with Revelation (17)

the seven trumpets 2 (8:2-11:19)
Serving Christ un a World Under judgment The following are some thoughts reflecting on the reality that we live and serve Christ in a world under divine judgment.
Our task as the church is not to “change the world,” “make the world a better place to live,” or be the “moral guardians” of our time and place.
-The first is Christ’s job, and he’s done it. -The second is a pagan preoccupation. -The last is a perversion of the gospel.
Christ has changed the world. Period. That’s what the cross and resurrection are all about. Sin has been forgiven. The powers are defeated. New creation has dawned. The old world is passing away. The church lives from and into this new world amid the old world that is passi…

Lent: Call to an Altared/Altered Life Romans 12:1-2 (5)

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
God will change us “from the inside out” as we seek him and his will for us above all else (Mt.6:33). But God will not change us without us! It the relational Paul has been pushing us toward all Lent in this text. In this relational thing between…

Stringfellow on the Tactics the “Powers” Use to Control Us

From An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land The Powers main goal is to sustain themselves (survival). And yet, that brute fact is rarely discussed candidly and in the open. Still, the state functions as the preeminent principality and power. The Denial of Truth/lying Doublespeak and Overtalk/euphemism or jargon Secrecy and Boast of Expertise/hiding the truth Surveillance and Harassment/intimidating those who seek truth Exaggeration and Deception/absorbing the truth Cursing and Conjuring/banishing, smearing, locking up dissidents Usurpation and Absorption/co-opting the truth Diversion and Demoralization/diverting, distracting
These (assaults on truth) Stringfellow calls Babel. It overwhelms and dumbfounds the faculties of comprehension: conscience and sanity:
Babel means the inversion of language, verbal inflation, libel, rumor, euphemism and coded phrases, rhetorical wantonness, redundancy, hyperbole, such profusion in speech and sound that comprehension is impaire…

Lent: Call to an Altared/Altered Life

Romans 12:1-2 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)
Fourth Sunday in Lent Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Last week we looked at the way conformity to our culture hinders our pursuit of faithfully serving God. This week we look at the obstacles in us that hinder that pursuit. The rigor of the changes in us that faithful discernmen…

The Benedict Option and the Way of Exchange

by Alan Jacobs 3 . 20 . 17

Surely there has never been a richer and more deeply faithful model of Christian faith and practice than that offered by the leaders of the Church in Roman Cappadocia in the fourth and fifth centuries. Think of Basil the Great, exhorting the rich of Caesarea to “empty their barns” to feed the poor, building hospitals for the sick, upholding Trinitarian orthodoxy against the Arians, teaching young Christians the right uses of pagan literature. And Basil was only one among many great ones, even in his own neighborhood: His sister Macrina, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, his friend Gregory of Nazianzus, were all titans of faith and charity, and built a thoroughgoing Christian culture the likes of which the Church has rarely if ever seen.
In 1974, when the great bishop-theologian Lesslie Newbigin retired from his decades of labor in the Church of South India, he and his wife decided to make their way back to their native England by whatever kind of transportatio…

Submerging Church Meets the Benedict Option

Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option is all the rage these days. And rightly so. Rod articulates an important perspective as the North American Church continues to try to find its bearings as the reality of the death of Christendom sinks very more deeply into our ecclesial psyche. I have a proposal to throw in the ring too. I call it the "Submerging Church." The following very brief statement will give you an idea of the direction in which I'm thinking.
Submerging Church LEE WYATT
Though we live (or have lived) in the age of the Emerging/Emergent Church, I have a different proposal for a new vision of church. I call it the Submerging Church! Am I serious, you ask? Read on and see what you think.
The Submerging Church, as I see it, is radically subversive, relentlessly incarnational, and ruthlessly hospitable. It dives deeply into everyday life, sharing it with others, while at the same time questioning and critiquing the conditions of that life we share. Since this community…

ResistingTrump with Revelation (16)

the seven trumpets 1 (8:2-11:19)
Before the seven angels can wind their trumpets that is prefaced by an angel who has gathered the prayers of the martyrs in a golden censer filling it with fire from the altar and casting it on earth. Thunder, earthquakes, lightning, and rumblings afflicted the earth (8:3-5). This sets the context of the forthcoming judgments, or plagues, in an Exodus framework. This is the seventh seal.
This cycle, then, is organically related to the preceding one, intensified in that it cuts deeper (the 1/3 reach to the Seal’s ¼ reach). I think this language intends to take us deeper in insight rather than forward in time. As we have seen, these three cycles cover the same period of time from Christ’s death and resurrection and return in glory. There is nowhere to go forward to in time.
This point of Christ’s sermon is driven by the martyrs’ question “How long till we are avenged and God’s purposes fulfilled?” We say earlier that this cry is not for revenge but for just…