The Communion of the Saints

The body consists of innumerable cells.  Each of these has its own distinct life–its own systems of nutrition, reproduction, and protection–and yet these cells group together to form highly specialized organs that, in turn, make up a single body.  The whole scheme, with its incredibly complex relationship of the parts to the whole and the whole to the parts, is astonishing to contemplate.  And the makeup of the body is the Bible’s explanation for the Church and for the relationship each Christian has with the others. This is the “Communion of the Saints” that we celebrated yesterday on All Saints Day. [Read more...]

The “all’s” of the Great Commission

More from Knut Tveitereid in Oslo:  I love it when Bible expositors mine riches out of a text by attending to the details of the language.  Knut discussed the importance of the four “all’s” in the Great Commission:

 And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, [another "all" word in Danish] to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:18-20)

[Read more...]

Jesus of Galilee, Jesus of Jerusalem, Jesus post-resurrection

The other speaker at the Inner Mission youth ministry conference in Oslo, in addition to me, was Knut Tveitereid, who teaches at the NLA University College, a Christian and Lutheran university in Norway.  He spoke about the different approaches to discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus.  He said that we can distinguish three distinct, but related ministries of Jesus:  Jesus of Galilee, Jesus of Jerusalem, and the post-resurrection Jesus. [Read more...]

Vengeance, competition, and Christianity

Some time ago, I stumbled upon a discussion of Christian anthropologist Rene Girard and Pay Pal founder Peter Thiel.  It had to do with vengeance, competition, new technology start ups, and why both Girard and Thiel came to embrace Christianity. [Read more...]

Walking away & walking it back

Another good sermon yesterday from Pastor Douthwaite on the third week the Gospel lesson has been on John 6, that rich text in which Jesus proclaims Himself to be the Bread of Life.  When he went so far as to say that he was not just being metaphorical, that His flesh is “true food” and His blood “true drink,” many of his followers walked away.  The same thing happens today when erstwhile followers encounter “hard sayings” that they won’t accept.  We sometimes walk away from Christ.  But Christ doesn’t walk away from us. [Read more...]

The Bread of Life

Pastor Douthwaite’s sermon last Sunday was based on the reading from John 6, in which Jesus continues his discourse about how He is the Bread of Life.  I was struck by the way the sermon showed how Jesus is undoing the Fall and restoring us to the Garden:  an act of eating makes us lose Paradise, and an act of eating makes us regain Paradise; we lost the Tree of Life, now in the Cross we have the Tree of Life. (The text also plays with other Old Testament images:  the manna in the wilderness; the Mountain of God.)  Read the whole sermon, linked after the jump, but I’ll give you samples. [Read more...]


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