My friend Tony Brussat has authored a new book examining the faith through the lens of the philosophical construct of “qualia”.
It’s a fascinating and challenging way to think about how God creates and sustains the creation.
If you’re interested in how different thinkers think about the faith, this will be of interest to you.
“Faith is not blind. Our faith has been learned by experience since the dawn of time. Experience has taught us that God has always provided for our needs. Our lives, and the lives of our ancestors, all the way back to the very beginning of life, have been filled with God’s qualia. He has always revealed new secrets, new landmarks and pathways through the landscape, to guide us out of danger. Those who notice survive; those who don’t notice, perish. Our faith, like any trait, is carried on in the survivors and on down through the generations.”
To top it all off it was edited by our own EricL and it’s free till Friday.
1.Now that the ghastly reality of what an abortion is really like has been thrust in the cultures face, we have an opportunity to speak to the issue from a Christian perspective to people much more willing to listen.
What we say and how we say it will make the difference in how successful we are in persuading people.
The thing that has to be foremost in our intercourse is a message of grace for the millions of women who have already submitted to the procedure and the millions of men who have affirmed a partner doing so.
Only the Gospel can cover the guilt and shame that so many are feeling right now. We must call sin what it is…but we must offer the Savior in greater measure.
2.I might be crazy…but it is my perception that while we have lived through a time of great spiritual deception, God is now opening blinded eyes to those deceptions. We must have the Gospel ready at hand for those who are seeing clearly for the first time. If we do not respond in love and humility, we will be done for at least another generation and the fault will be all our own.
3.My church knows me too well…last night they gave me a sign that read “the more people I meet, the more I like my cat”…
4.In Amos 7 the Lord speaks judgment over His covenant people twice…and twice the prophet intercedes with God on their behalf and the Lord “relents” of the judgment spoken. The true “prophets” of God have a broken heart for those on the verge of judgment, not a spirit of malice. In truth, that may be the mark of a true prophet…and thus the opposite is true as well.
5.I have said this over and over again since we started in 2003. The story of Achan in Joshua 7 should inform us on why we lose battles with the world and the culture. Hidden sin in the camp removes the Lords hand of victory…
6.In that story the covenant people of God took Achan out and stoned him for bringing defeat down on the people. Today we take the ones who reveal hidden sin out to the rock pile and let the sinners stone them…
7.Here’s a fun exercise… whenever you read the name “God” in the Older Testament, substitute the name “Jesus”. Trinitarian theology is the theology of orthodox Christianity.
8.In any discussion of divine sovereignty and the will of man it must be remembered that God works through means…and the main means through which He accomplishes His work is through the prayers of His people. Those prayers result in actions…both by God and his people…
9.I wonder how many churches that support Gospel for Asia have addressed the current issues around GFA with the congregations that actually provide the support. People deserve to know that information. It’s not your money, pastor…
As a short introductory reminder, the writer is not describing Jesus just for the sake of description, but is making his plea and his case to keep this Christian congregation(s) of Jews from leaving the fold and returning to what they think is not only less persecution, but also “isn’t Temple Judaism just as good as following Jesus?”
3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Has any angel ever been called God’s son? Sometimes called sons of God.
The same heavenly benediction is pronounced on Jesus at his baptism – Mark 1:9-11 – ““In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
And again at the Transfiguration – Mark 9:7-8 ““And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ”This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.”
Second quote is from 2 Sam 7:14 – “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men,”
Nathan assures that through David, He will build a Temple (through Solomon) – but not just any Temple, but one where the Throne will endure forever.
Luke 1:32 – The angel Gabriel says about Mary’s son – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,”
Matt 12:6 – “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.”
John 2:19-21 – “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.”
So, to end this section, let’s review and wrap up and look forward to the remainder of chapter 1.
The end game – Jesus is better (superior is the key word – 13 times).
Why go back to something less?
The Temple is less
Animal sacrifice is less
The priesthood is less
Caesar worship is less
God has spoken – the people know this.
Jesus Christ is his Son
Jesus is superior to all created things
Jesus has completed the work of redemption for all mankind.
You did make to appear the enduring fabric of the world by the works of Your hand;
You, Lord, did create the earth on which we dwell,
You, who are faithful in all generations,
just in judgments,
wonderful in strength and majesty,
with wisdom creating and with understanding fixing the things which were made,
Who is good among them that are being saved and faithful among them whose trust is in You;
O merciful and Compassionate One, forgive us our iniquities and offenses and transgressions and trespasses.
Reckon not every sin of Your servants and handmaids, but You will purify us with the purification of Your truth; and direct our steps that we may walk in holiness of heart and do what is good and well-pleasing in Your sight and in the sight of our rulers.
Yes, Lord, make Your face to shine upon us for good in peace, that we may be shielded by Your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by Your uplifted arm and deliver us from those who hate us wrongfully.
Give concord and peace to us and all who dwell upon the earth, even as You gave to our fathers, when they called upon You in faith and truth, submissive as we are to Your almighty and all-excellent Name.
The pastor details his attempts to get clear answers to the questions raised about GFA and the conclusions that must be drawn from the answers he received.
I quote from that letter;
“Success in ministry can lead to a perception of entitlement that is quite opposite to biblical precepts and patterns. Elements of western culture, imbibed with a sense of privilege that is exercised at the expense of others, should merit strong disfavour among Christians. Instead, stories of abuse at the hands of spiritual leaders are far more common than they should be. Some church leaders treat those they are called to serve in a manner opposite to the counter-culture values that Jesus taught and demonstrated. Jesus never leveraged His position and authority in order to cajole others. He never practiced deception through the use of misleading statements. He treated others with respect, conferring dignity on those most dishonoured and downtrodden by the sinful treatment of others. Jesus opened the door to a kingdom unlike anything human sovereigns can provide. He calls the church to humble and honest service, not in a spirit of ineptness, but with Holy Spirit anointing that enables us to continue the things that Jesus began to do and teach. His kingdom is ours to embrace.
The Bible warns against spiritual complacency when it comes to judging sin in the church. When spiritual leaders do wrong, others should not be silent. The Bible also warns against judging from a platform of arrogance instead of humility, or of bias as opposed to impartiality. When judging, Jesus taught us to give the greatest weight to introspection, to examine the beam in one’s own eye before examining the sliver in another’s. It is only then that true redemptive outcomes flourish.
It is with both a sense of reluctance, but also of moral responsibility, that I write this letter to the larger body of Christ. Reluctance – from the unpleasantness of speaking about the need for correction in a Christian ministry, and responsibility – since silence in instances such as I will describe herein is complicity.”
Calvary Chapel’s have been huge supporters of Gospel For Asia.
Two of it’s board members are Calvary Chapel pastors.
This week I’m cross posting this article by Sarah from her blog, The Small Rain.
She asked if I’d by interested in doing so….and you can read why I was.
Fearfully and Wonderfully….and not forgotten.
I have been listening to the debate raging on my FaceBook feed, on Twitter and in the news. The debate about the Planned Parenthood video. It seems issues of deep importance, with political ramifications, keep demanding my attention. As I said the other day, I am not a fan of entering political or theological debates on FaceBook or Twitter. I simply do better hearing the voice and having the chance to draw out my thoughts in dialog.
Still. I was left feeling chilled and deeply saddened by the video. Many of us were impacted as deeply by the callousness of the conversation as we were by the topic. I’m not sure I could have eaten in the discussion.
There are certain truths that define us. For myself, the reality of God as Creator places such a deep value on each person. I confess I do not always carry that value in the forefront of my thoughts…and that is to my shame. As a mother of four, though, the amazing wonder of infancy and of simply the reality of how we are made is staggering.
We truly are fearfully and wonderfully created.
It should take our breath away when we realize we are carrying a life within us. Staggering. There should be a healthy fear, a Godly fear, of the gift we have in carrying life within ourselves. Carrying that Image Bearer. It is not something to be taken casually….it is staggering.
For some that reality is overwhelming to the point they feel the need to end that life.
I cannot go there. We have to do better in helping those who are overwhelmed by a pregnancy….but we so deeply need to be formed by the reality of the God of Creation marking each soul as an image bearer of Himself.
Still…my voice seems so small, and sometimes I feel I don’t have a ‘right’ to talk because I have no experience with abortion. I do, however, have a dear friend who is intimately formed by the abortion practice.
Gianna Jessen has spoken for most of her life about her experience.
“Born during saline abortion” is stamped on her birth certificate.
Intended not to live, she survived. And she values life in a way that shouts not only of that auspicious entrance, but also of the deep mark of a Creator who knew her, cared for her and has loved her since she was formed. Listen:
Who better to be engaged in this dialog than one who survived abortion?
I asked her permission to cull some of her thoughts from her FaceBook page to share with you here:
“Enough with the cocktail party Jesus we create with our enlightenment. the one that makes the neighbors happy.
He’s not even real. we created him in the image of tmz.
All these things we face, will bring us face to face with what, and who we do or do not want. do we really want the Jesus that can raise us from the dead? the only One that can heal our land?
I am sitting here singing. in the darkness. All I want to do is sing to my passionate, beautiful God.”
“I know it’s not uber cool to mention Jesus anymore. But we have the blood of over fifty million unborn children on our hands as a nation. How can we bear the weight of that burden without Him?
How can I be embarrassed to proclaim the God Who spared me from that?
If you are in a position to share Gianna’s story, what better time? She has a perspective few of us have. A perspective that is vital in this dialog.
It is not simply that abortion is bad. It is this…you are created by a loving God. The little one within you is created, not forgotten or ignored. Not simply a lump of tissue…a little soul and light and life with a purpose.
Did you hear? You….sitting right there….you are known and loved and marked by the image of a Creator God. He knows you, loves you and has so much grace for you. And, Oh my soul, we need to be moved by these videos and by this reality.
You are Loved by God and not forgotten. Nothing about you is forgotten.
(For booking info see giannajessen.com. Text message updates (no spam) text: gianna to 95577)