Shalom is Broken (Jubilee Part 5)

The four-part story of the Gospel isCREATION FALL REDEMPTION RESTORATIONSadly, in this post, I am still covering the tragedy of the Fall.No longer does everyone work together for the attainment of shalom. Cornelius Plantinga Jr. defines shalom as “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.” According to Plantinga, shalom is the way things are supposed to be. This is the premise of his excellent book, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin.Mike Wittmer, in hi … [Read more...]

The Consequences of the Fall (Jubilee Part 4)

After the creative events recorded in Genesis 1 and 2, Genesis 3 records what theologians call “the Fall.” “The essence of man's first sin was his disobedience to the only divine command he had received: not to eat of the tree of knowledge. The consequences of his actions are both physical—toil, pain. and death—and spiritual—alienation from God.” (Gordon J. Wenham, Word Biblical Commentary Volume 1, Genesis 1-15) The consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin goes beyond them to all of humanity, we inh … [Read more...]

Work that is Unique to You (Jubilee Part 3)

The first herders, musicians, and bronze workers are recorded in Genesis. “Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.” (Genesis 4:20-22) According to Cornelius Plantinga Jr., "All of these unfold the built-in potential of God’s creation. All reflect the ingenuity of God’s human crea … [Read more...]

Work is a Part of the Good Creation (Jubilee Part 2)

Genesis 1 does not explicitly use the term “work,” but in the creation account recorded in Genesis 2, the word becomes much more central.In verse 5, the text says that there were two reasons why shrubs and plants had not yet appeared: God had not yet sent rain, and more significantly to our study, “There was no one to work (ʿavad) the ground.” God’s creational intention for humanity was that we were to work. This, it should be noted, is before the events recorded in Genesis 3, so work is no … [Read more...]

Creation of the Amazing Image of God (Jubilee Part 1)

For the days leading up to and after CCO's Jubilee Conference, I am going to do a series on the Four-Chapter Gospel story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, & Restoration. Jubilee is an annual college student conference that has always been about the Four-Chapter Gospel and the importance of Vocation to participating in the mission of God. Each of the four main sessions focuses on the chapters one-by-one, and the breakout workshops focus on callings and how to glorify God in and through the … [Read more...]

The Callings that Only Come from the Holy Spirit

Skye Jethani, in a great insight in his book, Futureville (and also discussed in this article from The High Calling / Theology of Work Project), delineates three levels of calling.The highest level of calling is when Jesus calls to us "Follow Me," and our continued abiding in communion with Christ, The second level of calling is the common calling for all Christians to obey the commands of Scripture (instructions to love one another, pray for those who persecute you, forgive those who … [Read more...]

Abundance in a World of Choices

I was sent out on a short-term mission trip to the grocery store. “It won’t take long,” she promised. Her head tilted just so and her eyes firing rapid blinks. “Pick up some apples and I’ll make a pie.” How could I resist?The male double-helix shopping code is to “get in and get out without any complication.” So I thought this was going to be an easy assignment. Like the last time I brought home eggs. A couple were broken. You have to check? And they were brown. Who knew? Or when I bravely fo … [Read more...]

Embracing the True, the Good, and the Beautiful

(re)integrating faith and art. The true, the good, and the beautiful: through the ages, these ideals have been at the heart of what it means to be human.We seek truth, we need to do that which is good, and we need to experience beauty. Christians have forever embraced these as various aspects of the glory of God.Jesus, the logos of God, is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) and is the personification of truth (John 14:6), and those who follow Jesus will know this truth and be set free … [Read more...]

Can a Cardiologist’s Life Matter to God?

In this six-minute video, Skye Jethani talks succinctly about how a theology of vocation (or calling) must re-emerge so that every Christian can participate in the mission of God.He talks about three levels of "calling," and how understanding and valuing these callings can and will change the way Christians take part in real ministry.For more on these levels of calling, check out my previous post on how Os Guinness and Skye Jethani explain levels of calling.   … [Read more...]

Churches are Not Reaching the Young Adult Generation: A Solution

So you are concerned about losing a whole generation from the church. We all are. Young adults seem less interested in Christianity than ever before.We wonder why they aren't attending our churches. After all, we have carefully created programs for every life-stage: for children and teens, for young parents, for older adults, and for singles - both older singles and... specifically for them - for single young adults! Why aren't they connecting with that ministry?Perhaps we need to … [Read more...]