Modern Idols

It is pretty common to hear Western Christian thinkers and commentators talk about and warn against idolatry. The issue of idolatry even appears in some popular Christian worship songs. Idolatry is a real thing and the prohibition against it is a very serious matter for Christians being enshrined in the second commandment. Furthermore, it is a perennial concern throughout the Scriptures. It therefore is certainly something worth talking about and guarding against. However, even though these Christian commentators undoubtedly have real, legitimate concerns, I am not certain what they are talking about is actual idolatry. Continue reading “Modern Idols”

The Shame of the Cross

Over the last year or so I have been learning more about honour-shame cultures and how they impact the way we read the Bible, particularly how we understand and communicate the Gospel. The Roman world in which the Jesus’ movement emerged consisted of honour-shame cultures. While I have recognized its importance, its only very recently that I have begun to fully grasp its significance. The insight came from reading a short but illuminating article from Jennie Pollock over at Think Theology entitled Global Glory. She writes: Continue reading “The Shame of the Cross”

The Goodness of Randomness

Last week I wrote an article on the theological significance of self-organisation. In that piece I argued that disorder is an original part of God’s creation and that he has made it for a purpose. To my delight I just came across an article titled Randomness Keeps You Breathing: A physicist’s perspective on the richness of the created order expressing similar thoughts. Continue reading “The Goodness of Randomness”

Order from Disorder

Some months ago I learnt something that absolutely blew my mind. It was self-organization. As the name suggests, it is the ability for order to spontaneously arise out of disorder. Continue reading “Order from Disorder”

A Note on Narrative Theology

…So the death and resurrection of Jesus define, for Christians, the core identity of God.  God–for us–is the one who handed Jesus over to be crucified, who raised him from the dead, and who has subsequently installed this risen Jesus at His right hand as Lord over all.  Deny this and, simply put, you are talking about another God.  I’ll leave the last word to Robert Jenson as he unapologetically lays out what which distinguishes Judaism and Christianity ever since Jesus came on the scene (hint: it’s not primarily different “attributes” of God, as if the prospect of Jews and Muslims and Christians all signing off on the same list of divine attributes would mean we all worship the same God.  What we fundamentally differ over are the acts of God in history, along with their specific interpretation and meaning for the community of faith):

“To the question “Whom do you mean, ‘God?’” Israel answered, “Whoever got us out of Egypt”.  The gospel of the New Testament is the provision of a new identifying description for this same God, that this new description comes to apply is the event witness to which is the whole point of the New Testament.  The content of the gospel is that God can now be known as “whoever raised Jesus from the dead” ‘ (Robert JensonThe Triune Identity God According to the Gospel [Philadelphia Fortress Press, 1982], pp 7-8) Continue reading “A Note on Narrative Theology”