Thursday, April 28, 2005
Misunderstanding the New Pope
What are we to make of all the news coverage of the new Pope, Benedict XVI. If you read the news coverage, Atilla the Hun has taken over the Vatican.
As I have followed the news coverage of Cardinal Ratzinger’s elevation to the papacy I have been deeply discouraged by their treatment of one of the most brilliant theologians in the Catholic Church. They have treated this man as if he were Atilla, Stalin, Hitler and Mao all rolled together in one - or worse, the Catholic George W. Bush. Why such coverage of a man who is almost universally revered as not only a great thinker, but a self-effacing gentle soul who loves people, cats, and lemonade?
Theological Musings on Important Topics • (5) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Becoming a Christian - An Event or a Process
Is the moment of becoming a Christian an event (do you have a born-again moment?) or a process (the slow turning towards Jesus Christ)?
A dear friend of mine recently asked me what I thought about people who could not point to a definitive moment where they accepted Jesus. Are these people Christians? While I believe strongly in baptism (as a statement of our faith) the quetion is one that I think misses the point. We in America are caught up in “big moments,” and certainly there are big moments among many of the biblical characters (Paul is after all the one who calls us to imitate him even as he imitates Christ). The question I ask you, if you are married, is do you remember when you fell in love with your spouse? While you can point to your marriage day, can you point to the very moment when you fell in love? It is our love for Christ that is essential to our salvation, and while baptism (the marriage ceremony for many Evangelical Christians) is important, it is not salvation. Besides, many Evangelicals still practice infant baptism (including myself), so even that event may not be tied to our own personal realization of our love for Christ.
Theological Musings on Important Topics • (38) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Major Themes in the Minor Prophets
On the following pages you will find the handouts to another class that I taught, this one in the Fall of 2004, during our Wednesday night education session.
For the longest time after becoming a Christian I avoided the Old Testaement like it itself was one of Moses Ten Plagues. Sure, I went to a few passages - the Psalms, Genesis 1-3, Job - but only to comfort myself.
All that changed beginning in 1994. At that point I became increasingly aware of the injustice in the world around us. For me the big event was the genocide in Rwanda (two must see programs, the movie HOTEL RWANDA and the PBS Frontline Special on the Genoide that was aired in 1999 - see the website, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/evil/). I became aware that my understanding of who God was and what God was doing in the world had not categories to deal with these issues. It was the beginning of a long process that eventually took me to seminary, then to the Hebrew language and finally to the Book of Amos (which I was fortunate enough to get to translate from the Hebrew as part of my course work - a truly worshipful task).
Old Testament Studies - From Christopher's Teaching • (7) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The Preface to the Bible - Genesis 1-11
On the following page you will find my handouts to the class I taught on the first 11 chapters of Genesis.
The first eleven chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-11) provide the universal history that provides the context for all human history. The major concept of human history and of the biblical revelation are laid out in these first eleven chapters:creation, redemption, sin, covenant, and of course hope. I should let you know that all of the arguements about evolution vs. creation are, in my opinion, arguements that miss the point of the text of Genesis. So, read on and please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Week 1 - Creation
Week 2 - Sin
Week 3 - Covenant
Old Testament Studies - From Christopher's Teaching • (5) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Monday, April 18, 2005
Becoming Truly Human - Springs 2005 GTW Handouts
On the following pages you will find handouts from my class I am teaching at First Presbyterian Church (Colorado Springs) at the Wednesday night teaching program.
The following documents are my handouts from the appropriate weeks of the topics I have
covered in the class: Becoming Truly Human: Transformation into Christlikeness. This is a smaller presentation of the material that forms the backbone of my PhD thesis,
Becoming Truly Human: Sanctification and the Relational God in the work of Wolfhart Pannenberg. Please contact me if you have any questions
New Testament Studies - From Christopher's Teachings • (19) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink