to give us eternal life instead of eternal condemnation. American revivalist Johnathan Edwards summed this idea well in his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” If we see the cross as an angry God and Jesus as satisfying His tyrannical wrath, however, we’ve confused God with the devil and thus miss the beautiful truths that took place on Calvary.
The events at Gethsemane left the disciples with dashed hopes. They had believed Jesus was untouchable. I imagine that had Jesus fought and remained undefeated, the disciples would have stayed, defending Him to the death, as Peter had boldly declared he would. These events make me wonder if I too would be scandalized or offended by Jesus based on my assumptions about God.
God provides many details to help us understand the concept of love. While a sheet of music may contain many notes, only one song is sung from them. Unselfish love is that song.
At a young age, I was fascinated with the theology shaped by the Exodus Sanctuary and its priestly mysteries found within the Book of Leviticus. Far from a cryptic and irrelevant message, not only does its rich imagery center around God’s passionate desire to dwell among us but its rituals respond to the sin and evil that stain God’s good world. The ancient story hints at the healing and redemption of the entire cosmos, and that intrigued me.
The Bible speaks of a future judgment day for the ages of humanity but some seem to crave retribution like a newborn craves his mother’s milk. How we view God’s coming matters, not only for the future but for today.
How do we determine truth in a pluralistic society in which everyone is encouraged to create their own reality? In a world steeped in relativism, there are many mixed signals. What is true? More importantly, how can truth ameliorate the devastating impacts of people crafting their own versions of reality?
What if the church were not weaponized to pick up stones, we were not quick to condemn, and the Bible were not used to justify judging others but to transform people’s lives? Without condemnation, people would sense the presence of Jesus.
God loves everybody and seeks the highest good for all, yet He also warns of serious consequences for failing to live up to our responsibilities. I can understand consequences, but why must there be an eternal lake of “fire and sulfur” at history’s end?
Without a doubt, John 3:16 is the most quoted and well-known verse in the Bible. It’s been repeated by Christians, posted on billboards, printed on banners over highways, displayed at sporting events, and recited at evangelistic crusades. Yet, despite its fame, this verse deserves a second look.
It’s amazing how much our lives have changed during the current crisis. The novel coronavirus is dramatically altering the structure of our everyday lives through orders of social distancing, quarantines, isolation, and lockdowns. It’s no longer business as usual, and in a sense, we are all enduring a kind of apocalypse.