One of the earliest posts I ever wrote was about how the cross should be understood through the lens of the resurrection. When it comes to the events surrounding the climactic moments of Jesus’ life, it is best appreciated in retrospect. The ascension of Jesus is the same. So like an amazing film told through flash back, we have to go back 47 days to know why in the present, a ragtag group of awestruck men are standing on a hill overlooking Jerusalem witnessing a man literally disappear from the earth. As we shall see by the end of this article, this extraordinary occurrence was actually the conclusion of a prophetic/apocalyptic ceremony that began on Palm Sunday. Continue reading “The Crowning of the King”
I have a close friend with whom I spend quite a fair bit of time arguing with. For some weeks now we have been debating the state of the Ghanaian Church. One particular point of disagreement is about Ghanaian Charismatism, particularly the so-called prophetic aspects of it. As I articulated in my most recent Pilgrim’s Penseive post, I think Ghanaian neo-prophetism, as we see it today, does not resemble biblical prophetism at all but rather local pagan practices. I am quite aware that is a pretty serious accusation but I fully stand by it for many reasons, some of which I will explain here. Continue reading “The Brazen Serpent”
Happy Easter. Wait a minute, hasn’t Easter passed? Actually no, we are still in the Easter season which is known as Eastertide. Eastertide is a term I recently came across. Growing up in a Pentecostal home and attending Pentecostal churches, I did not know the fifty-day period between Easter Day and Pentecost had a name and in some Christian circles it was a huge event. It is the most important event on the church calendar but because of the church tradition I am familiar with, I have not had an opportunity to fully commemorate it. The difference here is apparent between churches with more formal liturgies and the less formal, the so called “high church” and “low church” liturgical models respectively.
Though I consider myself post-charismatic I still value the inclusion and improvisation that is characteristic of charismatic liturgy, which creates the expectant atmosphere for the manifestation of the Spirit. However, there are somethings we miss out on by not having a more definite liturgy. Continue reading “Eastertide”
My first ever post in this series was more or less my manifesto. Coming from a Pentecostal/Charismatic background I’ve seen the movement’s brilliance but also its shortcomings, which I have personally experienced and been harmed by. I am not willing to throw out the baby with the bath water but the movement does need a reformation. On my part I do not hold any pretensions that I can save Pentecostalism but I do want to recover for myself a biblical vision of a charismatic faith. I’ve made quite a lot of progress pursuing some tough questions even though many still remain. Continue reading “The Pilgrim’s Pensieve #25”
There is a habit that plagues many so-called spiritual minds: they imagine that matter and spirit are somehow at odds with each other and that the right course for human life is to escape from the world of matter into some finer and purer (and undoubtedly duller) realm. To me, that is a crashing mistake – and it is, above all, a theological mistake. Because, in fact, it was God who invented dirt, onions and turnip greens; God who invented human beings, with their strange compulsion to cook their food; God who, at the end of each day of creation, pronounced a resounding “Good!” over his own concoctions. And it is God’s unrelenting love of all the stuff of this world that keeps it in being at every moment. So, if we are fascinated, even intoxicated, by matter, it is no surprise: we are made in the image of the Ultimate Materialist.
– Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
The Arch of Titus is a 1st-century AD triumphal arch found in Rome. Architecturally it has provided the general model for many triumphal arches erected since the 16th century including the most famous one, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. It was constructed in c. 82 AD by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’s victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem (70 AD.) Titus was the Roman Emperor who sacked Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple, bringing to an end the Second Temple Era of Judaism. This event radically altered the state of the Jewish people and in a sense they have never since fully recovered. There is a tableau on the arch depicting this catastrophic event which has now been digitally restored and can be seen in the video below. Continue reading “The Fall of Jerusalem”
Undoubtedly, one of the most important figures in Christian history has been Constantine the Great (c. 272-337 AD), the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire reigning from 306-337 AD. He was influential in bringing about the Edict of Milan in 313 AD which ended the worst period of Christian persecution under the Emperor Diocletian and ushered Christianity into a new epoch of tolerance. He also called for and chaired the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD which was the first step in formalizing Trinitarian doctrine. As you can see he had a huge impact on Christianity but he was, and will always be, a controversial figure. Love him or hate him as the founder of Christendom, his political legacy in the West lasted for over a 1000 years and he has left an indelible mark on Christianity.
My country Ghana has unquestionably been influenced by Christendom being a former colony of the British Empire with long history of European missionaries coming to the former Gold Coast. Like the Christendom of old there is a pervasive cultural Christianity in the country. Continue reading “Nana Constantine”