Beyond Emmaus

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” — Luke 24:32

Jesus – Not Always Perfect

Define perfect.

Holy, sinless, flawless, without blemish, having no faults, free from defects, always obedient. Right?

Was Jesus perfect? Any one of us who are serious Christians become almost indignant at such a question. Of course Jesus was perfect! A big problem arises, however, when we read verses such as Hebrews 2:10, which says.

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation [Jesus] perfect through suffering.”

Jesus was made perfect. For some of you, your brain just exploded. If you’re still alive and with me, let’s look at a few more verses from Hebrews to show this isn’t just a single anomoly that the Bible translators must have missed:

And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (Hebrews 5:9)

For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7:28)

Clearly, the main culprit here is Jesus. Or, rather, our conception of him is to blame. Here’s how it works: Jesus lived a sinless life; Jesus is perfect; therefore perfection means sinless. However, we enter into a very dangerous place theologically and logically when we start to say that Jesus became sinless. Logically, Jesus becoming sinless is impossible since once you sin the first time, you’re no longer sinless. No amount of non-sinfullness can make you sinless. Theologically, Jesus becoming sinless is heresy since “in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Col 1:19), and God is by definition without sin.

If God is So Powerful & Good, Why Do Bad Things Happen?

What Does Separation of Church and State Really Mean?

Did you know the word “nice” used to mean foolish or stupid? Ironically, people started using it as a way to describe someone as “pleasant” or “decent,” unaware of its original meaning, and over time, “nice” completely lost its original meaning.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is the same way. It meant something to America’s founding fathers, but over time, it took on a new meaning. Today, the phrase means that if something is related to the state, then discussion of religion is forbidden.

Continue reading at The Village Blog

Bacon is the New Tulip

The ubiquitous bacon. Now used to explain solid theology.

bacon-its-the-new-tulip

Know Your Role: As Messenger

know your role badgeThis is the fifth in a series of posts exploring the roles ascribed to Christians by looking at the example of Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25-29.

See also:

Christians have always been a people with a message to share. In all the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) we are given an account of Jesus’ last words before ascending back to heaven from where he came. These words have traditionally been called the Great Commission, the most well-known version perhaps coming from Matthew:

Matthew 28:19–20
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Very clearly, Jesus final command is to “make disciples of all nations”. The question then becomes, how are we to go about making people disciples of Jesus? Two commands are explicitly stated in the Great Commission: baptize and teach.

Worship is a War Song

When Christians sing together, we don’t just do so because it’s what the church has always done (although it is, 1 Cor. 14:26) or because God commands us to (although he does, Ps. 96:1). We also sing because we are the army of God, and that’s what victorious armies do.

Read the full article at The Resurgence.

Know Your Role: As Soldier

know your role badgeThis is the fourth in a series of posts exploring the roles ascribed to Christians by looking at the example of Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25-29.

See also:

As a Christian, how comfortable are you with the role of soldier, of knowing you are called to battle? I don’t think there’s any genuine believer who truly feels at home with the idea, and those who actually enjoy fighting might do well to reconsider their over-zealousness!

Confusion as to how we are to battle and who exactly we are fighting likely yields more contention both among and against Christians than simple gospel proclamation and gospel living does. My hope in this post is that we can have a better understanding of our role as soldiers and how we can fill that role while being a blessing to those around us instead of anathema.

Is the Bible Reliable

Has the New Testament been changed, corrupted, or mistranslated to the point that we don’t know what it originally said?

Video courtesy of LDS Video Encyclopedia.

Know Your Role: As Worker

know your role badgeThis is the third in a series of posts exploring the roles ascribed to Christians by looking at the example of Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25-29.

See also:

Saved By Works

Here is a bold statement: A Christian is one who is saved by works. Now, before getting all sola fide, sola gratia and Ephesians 2:8-9 on me, let me explain. A Christian is not one who is saved by his own works. Rather, he is saved by the works of Jesus Christ. This is the inherent difference between man-made religion and gospel religion. These two opposing views are usually referred to simply as religion and gospel.

We are saved by the works of Christ, which is summarized in the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 9:24-28
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

See also Romans 4:25 and Galatians 1:4, though there are ample more examples. This is the central message of the Gospel as presented in Bible, that Christ died to save sinners. We are saved by the works of Christ.

Saved For Works

The question that follows this statement is, “Why?” Why did Jesus die for sinners; what was his purpose?

Faint Not – Jenny & Tyler

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing for the first time the husband and wife duo of Jenny & Tyler through a tweet about their new album Open Your Doors being on sale in iTunes for $3.99. The fact that two people who love each other can do what they both love doing together is such a fantastic thing to see. That the thing they love is writing and playing good music makes it even better!

Perusing their website, I came across this gem of a song, Faint Not, from an older album by the same name. The chorus is based upon Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” The rest of the song reflects on the futility of human efforts to combat the world’s problems, especially poverty. But hope is not lost as the bridge points to God’s gospel of love and forgiveness through his Son Jesus, the Light of the world is offered as the one true solution.

So have a listen, download some free songs, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to them on YouTube, and support their work buy buying an album or four.

Lyrics

Music and Lyrics: Copyright 2010 Tyler Somers (BMI), Jennifer Somers (BMI), One Eyed Cat Music (BMI)

the problem’s not a gun, not a color, not a hundred dollar bill
we think the struggle can be won with simple thoughts like ‘come together be good willed’
the gap between the rich and poor is spreading out all the more or so they say
we ignore the claims

o my soul, faint not, no
faint not | o my soul, keep up, up
in love

it’s not that we don’t know or we’re not shown the proof of poverty
it’s not that we don’t have the tools to go to break this yoke of slavery
we quit because it’s not an easy fix and then forget that they are even there
we forget to care

o my soul, faint not, no
faint not | o my soul, keep up, up
in love

where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, let me pardon
where there is darkness, let the Light come, come

o my soul, faint not, no
faint not | o my soul, keep up, up
in love

o my soul, faint not, no
faint not | o my soul, keep up, up
in love

faint not
faint not