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Destroyed By Love

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“Salvation” is a word that flows in Christian circles the way water hurls itself down a riverbank. Assumptions are made, distinctives are codified and labels are assigned.

Most have a narrow understanding of the concept that Jesus called the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus was excited about it.
He wanted everyone to experience it.
He gave His life to open it’s entrance.

I like Tozer’s take:

“If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”
― A.W. Tozer

Salvation is more than a get out of Hell card. That limited view makes Jesus a mechanism, and centers everything on me.

Salvation is an invitation.
Salvation is a transformation.
Salvation is undeserved.
Salvation is a person, Jesus.

N.T. Wright notes:

“the work of salvation, in its full sense, is (1) about whole human beings, not merely souls; (2) about the present, not simply the future; and (3) about what God does through us, not merely what God does in and for us.”
― N.T. Wright

The motivation for salvation is God’s tenacious, unyielding, ferocious and all-consuming love.

The hum that you feel in the core of your soul, is the love of God inviting you into an adventure through Christ. Peter Kreeft said it this way:

“We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.”
― Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock

 

Grace and Peace…

 

*artwork (c)  is by Justin Spencer Lamborn: http://www.specterandbride.co/

Bedraggled, Beat-Up and Burnt Out

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
‘But how?’ we ask.
Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’
There they are. There *we* are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”
― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

ragamuffin

Bad Trinity Analogies

I have heard a number of “Trinity” analogies over the years. Some are clever and add a nuance of understanding, but ultimately, every analogy breaks down at some point. Describing the three-in-oneness of God isn’t an easy task, but it is definitely worth the time and energy to study and broaden our understanding of the way God is revealed in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

It is somewhat easier to describe what the Trinity isn’t. and the folks over at Lutheran Satire have created a funny look at debunking the bad analogies of St. Patrick concerning the Trinity…enjoy and glean some insight into theologian humor.

 

Justice Begins In The Home

Check out my latest talk in the “Be The Change” series…

“We can change the world, by starting at home. When we honor and elevate women to their true biblical-equal-status in our culture, we will have the credibility to empower women in other cultures and other faiths where the gender-line of inequality remains so thickly drawn that death, devastation and poverty follow her cries.” – Monty

Be the Change – Week 5 from Snoqualmie Valley Alliance on Vimeo.