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...]

The myth that Christ is a myth

The arguments are going around that Jesus Christ was little more than a mash-up of ancient mythical figures.  It is true that, as C. S. Lewis has said, that myths–such as those about death and resurrection–often do find their fulfillment in Christianity, in which, in Lewis’s words, “myth became fact.”

But that isn’t what these folks are arguing; rather, they show that they understand paganism no better than they understand Christianity.  Their assertions are just flat-out wrong when it comes to the most basic facts about the myths. [Read more...]

What the Bible is all about

On Sunday we read the entire Passion narrative from Matthew 26-27.  Read what our pastor said about it in a sermon that contains the “God  who didn’t act like a God” bit that I blogged about yesterday.  From Rev. James Douthwaite, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Palm / Passion Sunday Sermon:

You just heard the story that all the Bible is about. This is not just part of the story, this is what it’s all about. Take this story out and the Bible is just another holy book – teaching us what to do and how to be good. But with this story, the Bible becomes a wholly different book, and everything in it gains new meaning. Everything in the Bible must be understood through the lens of this story, or not be understood at all. [Read more...]

An evangelist to theologians

This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of a theologian I had never heard of but whose Christ-centered approach to theology sounds very promising:  Thomas F. Torrance of the Church of Scotland, described in First Things as “an orthodox, ecumenical, and pastoral theologian”:

He considered his primary calling to be a minister of the Gospel and an evangelist to theologians. Modern western theology, he believed, has been trapped in an obsolete, dualist mindset that detaches Jesus Christ from God, worship and mission from Christ, and biblical and theological study from fellowship and communion with the living God. [Read more...]

God is present vs. God is present for you

I hope you had a happy Quasimodogeniti, the Second Sunday of Easter with perhaps the coolest name in the Church Year (which comes from the Latin for the first words of the Introit of the day from 1 Peter 2:2:  “Like newborn infants. . . .).  We had another powerful sermon from our pastor, Rev. James Douthwaite, preaching on John 20:19-31:

And the disciples did. Was God with them in that room behind locked doors because God is present everywhere anyway? Sure. But that wasn’t much comfort. Jesus knew they needed not just a “well we know He’s here, somewhere” God, but a “He’s here for me” Saviour. Jesus knew, and so He came. In the flesh. To raise them from their sin and fear to a new life in Him.

And Jesus knows that’s what you need as well. “I know God is with me because He’s present everywhere” just doesn’t cut it when you’re locked in fear and sin and darkness and impending death and God seems a million miles away. Like the young child crying out for mom in the middle of the night, who knows mom’s there, in the house, maybe even right in the next room, but that’s not good enough. That’s a million miles away in child miles. He needs mom there. She needs mom’s touch. [Read more...]

Good Friday