Browsing articles from "April, 2011"
Apr 30, 2011

Renewed covenant

There is no Biblical basis for the separation of “old” and “new” Testament or “old” and “new” covenant for that matter.
A simple search for “covenant” yields 360 results in the Good News Translation. Which ones do you consider “old” which ones “new”?
Today’s Reading, Hebrews 8:1-13, as all “new covenant” texts does not actually use νέος (Greek “new”) but καινος (Greek for “renewed”). That tells us a whole lot about how we see God: Does God just ditch one relationship to enter the next or is God’s love consistent and reliable? I vote for the latter!

Apr 29, 2011

British Tweet Wars

The thing I found most interesting in preparation for the royal wedding was the big showdown between @PiersMorgan and @Lord_Sugar – face-to-face in-front of Buckingham Palace:

Apr 29, 2011

Hebrews 7:1-28

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 7:1-28.
It is yet another reflection on Jesus’ priesthood, the essential theme of Hebrews.

Apr 28, 2011

Hebrews 6:1-20

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 6:1-20.

It raises a great question:
“For how can those who abandon their faith be brought back to repent again?”

And it gives a great answer, too:
“So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary. On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a high priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”

As hard as you may try you simply cannot fall from grace because our Heavenly High Priest Jesus has your back.

Apr 27, 2011

Please pass Ordination Amendment 10-A

To my Presbyterian readers: Please support Ordination Amendment 10-A for the 219th General Assembly. Here in Utah the vote came out positive on 3/19/2011. Please do that all over your governing bodies. For words of encouragement please read A letter to the PC(USA) from Rick, Freda and Bruce.

Apr 27, 2011

Hebrews 4:14-5:14

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 4:14-5:14.
Here Jesus is described as being in the priestly order of Melchizedek. That is a thing the Bible has hardly anything about:

Genesis 14:17-19 knows:
“When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram!”
– So the sacrifice that is brought by a priest of the Melchizedek order does not have animals in it but merely bread and wine. This can be understand as to relating to Christ’s last supper.

Psalm 110:4 knows:
The LORD made a solemn promise and will not take it back: “You will be a priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”
– Of Melchizedek we don’t know anything as far as ancestors or descendants goes. Same for the priesthood of Christ not being handed down to him or by him but eternal in itself.

What all of this does is that it gives Christ a unique position of unquestionable stability and power as an intermediator between God and us. Enter the Bible has a wonderful summary of the Epistle’s intention:
“The book of Hebrews brings a word of encouragement to discouraged Christians. The intended readers once had a vivid sense of God’s presence and later showed bold support for others during an outburst of persecution. Yet as time dragged on, some began drifting away. The author emboldens them by telling of the way Jesus the pioneer went through suffering into glory, making a way for others to follow. As high priest, Christ offered himself as the atoning sacrifice, bringing others into a new covenant relationship with God. People are therefore called to persevere in faith, knowing that God will be faithful.”

Apr 26, 2011

John 21:1-25

Today’s Reading is John 21:1-25.
Here you have a second account of the miraculous catch of fish. The first instance was told in Luke 5:1-11 when Simon Peter was called to be a fisher of people. Now the problem about Peter’s ministry is that is has always had its ups and downs. Ultimately he denied Jesus three times. That does not read like a great resume for the greatest church leader. Four generations and one continent away the Peter story finally gets a happy ending. The leader is reinstated by three times confessing his love for Jesus literally reversing the triple denial. Jesus charges him with the office of a shepherd: “Take care of my sheep.” In God’s heart there is always more room than we can imagine – especially for lost sheep turned shepherd like Peter.

Apr 26, 2011

Gender Bender?

Denny Burk almost blames the victim: 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis was kicked and punched in the head until she appears to have a seizure. She is a victim of anti-transgender hate. Burk thinks she must not be called “She” because, well, he doesn’t like that:
“In the Christian worldview, maleness and femaleness originate with the creative intention of God, not with a social construct we learn from human culture. In the beginning God differentiates humankind as male and female, and God unambiguously calls this differentiation “good” (Genesis 1:27, 31).”

First of: How come you know “The Christian World View”?
Second: The creation story does not “differentiate humankind as male and female” but quite the opposite: In a society where the value of a women is measured in camels, the God of Israel makes it a point to call man and woman equal to one another and even God! Differences don’t matter all that much!
Denny Burk, even though you claim to pray for both the victim and the victimizers you certainly add fuel to the fire of hatred.

Apr 25, 2011

Do you believe in reality?

Economist David Friedman looks at the real-life value of religious belief from an atheist’s position. His findings suggest that the more fundamentalist your believes are the less they actually matter in your life.
Or wording it positively from my perspective: Don’t check your brain at the church door!

Apr 25, 2011

John 20:1-30

Due to a busy Holy Week Schedule I have missed quite a few readings. Hopefully I will be able to catch up.
Today’s Reading is John 20:1-30.

For the first part may I refer to my slide-show Easter sermon of 2010:

For the second part may I refer to my sermon for the second Sunday of Easter 2009.