Posts in Culture

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 4: Joy

By Thaddeus Williams Jun. 24, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As we learn emotions from Jesus, not only does our blood start to boil (see Part 2) and our stomachs turn (see Part 3), he also shows our hearts how to beat with real joy. There is a stereotype floating around which says that Jesus and the faith he represents are about cold-hearted duty, doing the right thing at the expense of our happiness. There are enough grim-faced moralistic systems out that brandish the name of “Christianity” to keep the stereotype alive. But they have more in common with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant than with the kingdom of Jesus. The day after he stormed the Temple, Jesus returns to the same Temple courts to announce that his kingdom is like a big party, and everyone is invited; not a boarding school, not a boot camp, not a prison chain gang, but a party.

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Crossing the Heath with William Paley (1743-1805)

By Doug Geivett Jun. 22, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Christian Education, Culture

On May 25, 1805 the Christian church lost one of its ablest and most-remembered defenders. William Paley—Anglican minister, professor, and author—is permanently associated with the analogy of a watchmaker and the God of personal theism. He wrote that “the contrivances of nature . . . are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less accommodated to their end or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity” (Natural Theology, 1802). Paley mined the riches of biology for samples of such contrivance. In his day, the state of scientific knowledge in the field of biology permitted comparatively easy inference to the appearance of teleology in the natural world. Critics today forget this. The “demise” of Paley’s design argument for the existence of God is credited especially to a development that was to happen some 60 years later—the emergence of the new theory of evolution, beginning with the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) ...

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The Emotions of Jesus, Part 3: Compassion

By Thaddeus Williams Jun. 15, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

If we peer underneath Jesus’ table-flipping rage at the Temple (explored in Part 2), we find a still deeper emotion to reflect. Matthew’s account tells us that immediately after protesting the poor-oppressing, God-mocking Temple system, “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them" (Matthew 21:14). What a beautiful moment. In it we see that Jesus was outraged not in spite of His care for people but precisely because of it. The very people marginalized and trampled under the religious power structure are brought into the spotlight and elevated by Jesus. (He has a way of doing that.) He didn’t take anything from them or treat them like chumps in a captive market. He gave them vision and sound bodies. He treated them like the intrinsically valuable human beings they each were—and all for free.

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The Emotions of Jesus, Part 2: Outrage

By Thaddeus Williams Jun. 3, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

To see and experience something of Jesus’ emotions, let us join eighty to a hundred thousand religious pilgrims on their trek to the sacred city to worship at the Jewish Temple. It is Passover week. In order to participate in the traditional Temple offerings, people need doves or pigeons. Since worshippers need these birds, they were sold at the Temple at a premium price. You could get a more economical bird outside the Temple courts or lug one from home through the hot desert. However, every bird used in Temple rituals had to pass the rigid purity standards of the Temple’s in-house animal inspectors. Only inflated Temple-sold birds had the guaranteed certification of the scrupulous inspectors. In this way, the house of prayer had become a classic case of what economists call a “captive market.

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Los Hombres y Padres Cristianos Necesitan Más Ánimo

By Octavio Esqueda Jun. 1, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family

Siempre me ha sorprendido el contraste entre las celebraciones del día de las madres y las del día del padre. Generalmente el día de las madres es una gran festividad y un motivo de alegría generalizado en el cual la mayoría reconoce la labor tan ardua y abnegada de las madres. Celebrar a la mamá es una obligación social que se asume con entusiasmo porque todos tienen motivos de sobra para hacerlo. Reconocer a los padres, sin embargo, no tiene el mismo peso social  y la efusividad disminuye considerablemente. Ambos padres son importantes, pero pareciera que el énfasis y el reconocimiento son diferentes.

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The Emotions of Jesus, Part 1: The Age of Feeling

By Thaddeus Williams May. 28, 2015 9:00 a.m. Culture, Spiritual Formation

If Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and a mix of our ancestors from virtually any age of human history were crammed into a time machine and hurled into the twenty-first century, there is something normal to us that they would find totally bewildering. I am not referring to air and space travel, or the worldwide renown achieved by a cartoon mouse, or even technologies that put all human knowledge at our fingertips that we use to watch endless cat bloopers, bizarre as all of that would seem. I am referring instead to the sacred, unquestioned authority granted to feelings in our day. Western culture has been through a so-called ‘Age of Faith’ and an ‘Age of Reason.’ We live in what Princeton’s Robert George calls “the Age of Feeling.”[1]  Canadian Philosopher, Charles Taylor, prefers the moniker, “The Age of Authenticity,” to describe how staying true to your feelings, whatever they may be, has become the highest virtue of our day (unlike historic virtues in which certain feelings could and should be chastened).

 

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God's Super-Apostles: An Interview with Doug Geivett

Apr. 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Theology

Doug Geivett is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. He's recently published two books that focus on the New Apostolic Reformation. One is a shorter book titled God's Super-Apostles, and a longer one called A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. Both can be purchased directly from the publisher or at amazon.com. Today's interview explores the nature and influence of this movement.

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