Random Links 243

Is Our Pain God’s Problem?

Sometimes our debates are distracting, other times it helps us clarify the issues. Bart Ehrman verses N.T. Wright, so we are in the later catergory.

Philosophical Fragments by Sören Kierkegaard

This quote brought me here … I love the word "Paradox"

"If . . . subjectivity is truth and subjectivity is the existing subjectivity, then, if I may put it this way, Christianity is a perfect fit. Subjectivity culminates in passion, Christianity is paradox; paradox and passion fit each other perfectly, and paradox perfectly fits a person situated in the extremity of existence" (Johannes Climacus, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments)

How Can We Know the Way?

Another great excerpt …

In his remarkable book, Jesus For President, Shane Claiborne includes an excerpt from a letter written from Aristides the Athenian to the Roman Emperor in 137 A.D. In the letter, it is clear that the early disciples understood the Christian life as a process of becoming, a process of devoting themselves to the Jesus Way. In taking on particular practices, the early Christians set themselves apart from life in the Empire. In this way, the Christian Way was remarkable. In his letter, Artistides writes:

“It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make themselves friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies. They live in the awareness of their smallness. Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a traveling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother…If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”

A Spirituality of Gladness, Joy, and Celebration

We are PRO-Life in the fullest sense of the word …

We were created for life, to give life and to enjoy the presence of our Creator because our God is a God of life, not death.4 In Jesus we see a God who is not foreign to celebrating, enjoying meals, opening Himself up to others, dialoguing, weeping, rejoicing—in summary, living and drinking in life in all its dimensions. In fact, Jesus loved the table fellowship so much, and all that it implies emotionally, socially, and spiritually, that He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard!5 Our intimacy with Jesus should have implications for our daily walk with Him. Our spirituality, or the spirit by which we live, should reflect our desire to follow our Master, to understand and make the same choices as the man from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth.6
“I have come so that they might have life, and have it to the full.”7 I think this verse has usually been interpreted as referring solely to the fullness of life we experience after death. However, I believe it’s more inclusive than that. The verses preceding Jesus’ statement of abundant life tell of a present situation: the sheep hearing the shepherd’s voice and following Him while they are alive! Jesus came announcing the Kingdom of God’s eruption into history and inviting humanity to participate in it. Jesus laid down His life for us so that we could live like Him on earth and experience and celebrate the fruits of life now, as well as enjoy the bliss of being in God’s presence for all eternity.

Four excellent new books on spirituality: Brian McLaren, Robert Benson, Richard Foster & Leighton Ford

Spiritual formation strikes back …?

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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