The first three theories I surveyed (ransom, Christus Victor, satisfaction) are the most ancient systematic attempts to explain the point of Jesus' death. As I said, the satisfaction theory arose in Europe in the 1100's, and the other two predate that. Of the three, the one that seems to me to hold the most pastoral … Continue reading Atonement, pt 3; A Pastoral Pause
Atonement, pt 2
Why did Jesus die? What did his death achieve? When we attempt to answer those questions, we are discussing "atonement". These questions have spawned a great deal of discussion over the past 2,000 years. Different Bible writers, including Jesus himself (I call Jesus a “Bible writer” because he is the source of the material attributed … Continue reading Atonement, pt 2
Atonement pt 1: Why Did Jesus Die?
I'm going to "geek out" on theology for the next few days. Consider this a cheap and amateurish introduction to systematic theology. I've been meaning for some time to publish the following material, which I originally presented at Stijena Spasenja ("Rock of Salvation"), an Evangelical Pentecostal congregation here in Zagreb. Why did Jesus die? What … Continue reading Atonement pt 1: Why Did Jesus Die?
Good Friday / Dark Saturday Thoughts
Last night (Friday night), BIZG and our Center for Biblical Research joined with Biblija365 to present a public reading of scripture for Good Friday. It was a beautiful event, with classical guitar & vocals accompanying the reading. At the event, I was struck by how we weren't very good at Good Friday in American churches; … Continue reading Good Friday / Dark Saturday Thoughts
Sermon Prep for Maundy Thursday
We're having a "Maundy Thursday" service (Veliki četvrtak, or "Great Thursday", we call it in Croatia) at Kristova Crkva Kušlanova, and I am giving the sermon. Actually, I am planning to give two extended meditations, one before communion and one after. Both will be about 5-7 minutes in English, with a translator. Our worship director … Continue reading Sermon Prep for Maundy Thursday
“God’s Word for Croatia”
This is the message I brought to the 14th Annual Conference of the Churches of Christ in Croatia this past Friday. I was asked to speak on the topic of "God's Word for Croatia," addressing our dependence on the Bible and the benefits that come from being centered in scripture. Click here to listen. The … Continue reading “God’s Word for Croatia”
The Past, Phantom Shame, & the Right to Condemn
Did you know that most amputees experience phantom limb sensation? Pain, itching or tingling in a part of their bodies that is no longer attached? Why, as a Christian, do I still feel guilt & shame over things done by or to me that I know God has forgiven & cleansed me of? These are … Continue reading The Past, Phantom Shame, & the Right to Condemn