What Does It Mean?

These few days are undoubtedly the most important in the Christian calendar; they are centerpieces of the faith. But there is no one-way to view the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. That said, I think it’s important to think about. I contend that how you view Jesus’ death and resurrection reflects on your view of God and how you related to the Divine. In his book, Across the Spectrum: Understanding issues in Evangelical Theology, Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy devote an entire chapter on “The Atonement Debate.” There they outline the three main perspectives: The Christus Victor View (Christ destroyed Satan and his works) The Penal Substitution View (Christ dies in our place) The Moral Government View (Christ displayed God’s wrath against sin) Here, in a nutshell, is an overview of these perspectives. Then I will make a case for something more simplistic that may work even better for you. According to Boyd and Eddy, the Christus Victor view was the most popular until the Middle Ages. It was based on the idea that, “Jesus’ death and resurrection defeated Satan and thus set humankind free from his oppressive rule” (Boyd & Eddy, p. 114). Later John Calvin and Martin Luther developed the Penal Substitution view, that Jesus took on the punishment that humankind deserved. One must understand, however, that Calvin was an attorney, so he saw everything in legal terms. For him, there was a debt to be paid, and Jesus paid it. The problem I have with this view is that it turns our relationship with God into a transaction. A transaction is that I put down money at the store and I get to take the milk home. However, everything about scripture tells me that God is interested in transformation,...

032: Spiritual Influences Jul29

032: Spiritual Influences...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/32-Spiritual_Influences_.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:18 — 41.5MB)Dr. Deb and Jeannette Slater discuss their faith journeys and the many spiritual leaders who have influenced them. Life and faith are meant to be a journey that is always expanding and growing. If your faith has not changed, or if you have not felt free to ask deeply felt questions, take courage. There are places you can go and voices you can hear that will help you escape the smallness of faith. Get unstuck and inspired in this most personal, yet universal conversation. Here are the spiritual leaders we mentioned that have most deeply influenced us: Richard Rohr – Here you can read about Father Rohr, the Center for Action and Contemplation, and sign up for daily email devotionals. https://cac.org Rob Bell http://robbell.com The Robcast is Bell’s fantastic podcast; it’s available on iTunes. Shane Hipps http://shanehipps.com Ask Science Mike http://mikemchargue.com/ask-science-mike/ The Liturgists http://www.theliturgists.com Mirabi Starr http://mirabaistarr.com Winkie Pratney http://www.winkiepratney.net Gregory Boyd Blog: http://reknew.org Podcasts: http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermons Shane Claiborne http://www.redletterchristians.org/shane/ Ilia Delio http://www.ilia-delio.squarespace.com Phyllis Tickle http://www.phyllistickle.com Book: The Great Emergence http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-emergence-the-phyllis-tickle/1111409784?ean=9780801013133 Youth With A Mission (YWAM)...

Top 10-#7 God Is Not A Monster...

God has been misrepresented to many of us. As children we may have received a picture of God that is vengeful, boring, uncompromising, angry, arbitrary and narcissistic. As adults we were told clichés like, “God is trying to teach you something,” “When God closes a door, He opens a window,” and “You can trust God because he knows what’s going to happen anyway.” The problem is, these simplistic explanations for why stuff happens paint a picture that is limited at best and inaccurate at worst. God is often likened to either Frankenstein or Santa Clause. Frankenstein is out to get you. Santa Clause gives you everything you want. God is neither. What is your concept of God? Is it due for a makeover? Have you lost hope that God is knowable, touchable, relatable, and a best friend? Do you think he sits above with a really big stick ready to whack you every time you screw up? I often hear that people like Christ; they just don’t like Christians. I get it that the old testament of the bible is violent; it hits me every time I read it (as I have again the past few months). But as a communication scholar, I know there are pieces of the puzzle and context that have been lost on us thousands of years later. There is some great stuff there, but we don’t have the full picture. Despite my limitations to understand, I also see an image of God that is kind, patient, longsuffering, humble, persuadable, and more like a lover than a monster. Those passages are also there. Jesus is often looked up to as a model person. Even religions and philosophies that don’t consider him divine like him and think his teachings are beneficial...

Top 10-#6 The World is Complex...

Icebergs are beautiful. They can also be deadly (think Titanic). The thing about icebergs is that you only see a very small portion of the whole thing. Things happen and we try to understand. It’s human nature to try to fit life into our mental schemata; it’s how our brains are wired. We categorize things based on our personality and previous experiences. When things don’t fit, we assign explanations. We often assign false reasons because the world is too complex for us to grasp. There is no way we can understand everything. We say things like, “what a coincidence,” “the devil made me do it,” “it’s their fault,” and “God is punishing me.” I once heard an analogy that not only do we not see the tip of the iceberg, but we don’t even see the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Of course that is a metaphor for the complexity of life. There is a theory that to understand why any two cars pass on a road at any one time, you would have to understand the entire history of the universe. Why were they there? Why at that exact time? Why were they going where they were going? What kind of car were they driving? Who designed it? What kind of engineering limitations did it have? What was the condition of the road and why? Where did the weather come from? Why were those people even living in that place? Etc., etc., etc. You get the point. In my post, “Think Flexible,” I made an argument for viewing the world as flexible or open, as opposed to fixed. There is a world full of possibilities and complexities. For example, many people of faith pray. Then they assume the only influence on...