What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?

What religion would Jesus belong to? This was the question posed by Nicholas Kristof in an op-ed piece published in the New York Times on September 3, 2016. Kristof argues that if Jesus were alive today, he would not endorse the type of Christianity reflected in many conservative evangelical churches—a Christianity that emphasizes the importance of theological convictions and doctrinal clarity. Instead, Kristof suggests that the Jesus we meet in the Gospels was less concerned with a “system of beliefs” and more concerned with compassion and service to the needy. Kristof appeals to Brian McLaren’s new book, The Great Spiritual Migration where McLaren argues that modern-day Christianity has migrated away from the religion founded by Jesus: Continue reading “What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?”

Do we need temples today? (Final post in this series)

This is my final blog post in this series examining the question, “Do we need temples today?” If you have been following this series, then you know that we have traced the temple theme through the pages of scripture from the Garden of Eden to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Here is a brief summary of the ground we have covered so far. Continue reading “Do we need temples today? (Final post in this series)”

“Why Not to Check Your Phone in the Morning” from John Piper

These are thoughtful words from Pastor John Piper (Below). The subject of Piper’s talk reminded me of a paragraph I read recently in David Wells’ book, God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients our World. He writes about the danger of the endless distractions of technology. If we are not careful, these distractions will hinder our pursuit of God. (Isn’t it ironic that I share these thoughts with you through a blog post requiring the technology of the internet!) Here is what Wells says: Continue reading ““Why Not to Check Your Phone in the Morning” from John Piper”

Will there be marriage in heaven?

Will there be marriage in heaven? Yes, but only one. When the Sadducees confronted Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, they tried to disprove the reality of resurrection by creating an absurd situation involving a woman with seven different husbands (Mark 12:18–27). If a woman has been married seven times during the course of her life, then whose husband will she be in the resurrection (Mark 12:23)? Jesus answered with this statement: Continue reading “Will there be marriage in heaven?”

Do we need temples today? The answer (Part 4)

In my previous post in this series on temples, I considered the function and symbolism of Israel’s tabernacle and temple. We now continue our trek through redemptive history in order to arrive at a biblical-theological answer to the question, ‘Do we need temples today?’ If you have been following this series, you know that I have not yet given an answer to the question. Maybe you have been thinking, “Just answer the question already!” I hear you and thank you for your patience. So do we need temples today? Answer: No, if you are talking about a temple made of bricks and mortar. Yes, if you are talking about a temple made up of people. Let me explain. Continue reading “Do we need temples today? The answer (Part 4)”

Men of whom the world was not worthy: Thomas Cranmer

I recently began reading J.C. Ryle’s book, Five English Reformers. The book focuses on the lives and martyrdoms of John Hooper, Rowland Taylor, Hugh Latimer, John Bradford, and Nicholas Ridley. In chapter 1, however, Ryle briefly discusses the events surrounding the executions of a handful of other English reformers. One of these men was Thomas Cranmer. Continue reading “Men of whom the world was not worthy: Thomas Cranmer”

Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 3)

In part two of this series, I examined the creation narrative to describe the relationship between the Eden Temple and Adam and Eve’s role in relationship to it. We saw that God commissioned Adam and Eve to subdue and rule the world by exercising their God-given offices of priesthood and kingship. Adam’s assignment to “work” and “guard” the garden identified him as a priest in God’s sacred temple and his identity as an image bearer ascribed to him the status of a royal son of God (Gen 2:15; 1:26–28; cf. Gen 5:1–3). As Adam Eve fulfilled the creation commission to be fruitful and multiply, they would have propagated the divine image to the far corners of the earth so that God’s rule and reign (i.e., kingdom) would encompass the entire planet. Implied in this commission was the fact that the borders of Eden would need to expand as the human race multiplied. The sacred space of the garden-sanctuary would push outward into the outer spaces of the earth until the entire earth became the dwelling place of God. Continue reading “Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 3)”

How do we know the unknowable?

Of all the prayers of Paul recorded in Scripture, Ephesians 3:14–19 is my favorite.

Ephesians 3:14–19 (ESV) — 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Continue reading “How do we know the unknowable?”