Note: I published a version of this post a year ago. Writing and publishing it then was really helpful for me as I worked through some major grief. Since I published it though, I have experienced the loss of my grandfather and a number of other smaller, but still difficult things, all of which caused me grief and sorrow. God has worked in me tremendously, and I believe will be helpful to publish this reworked version of last year’s post.
Something that has been weighing heavily on my mind for the last year is the idea of Christian lament. How should Christians go about the grieving, mourning or lamenting process? Beyond this, how must we handle depression or times of intense sadness? I believe these are issues the church has failed to address for a long time, and ones that we must speak out on. My reasons for believing this are varied, but essentially they come down to a question of the function of the Church. If we believe (as the bible teaches) that the Church is to be a place where we can both reach a lost world for Christ and also build up Christians in their knowledge of God, helping them mature, we must be prepared to speak out on real-world issues. Continue reading
The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks “Are there more Gods than one?”, then answers emphatically “There is but one only, the living and true God.”. Since my school just finished a week-long conference on this very theme, today’s post will revolve around the topic and will discuss the reasons for believing in the singularity of the Christian God. I hope to leave you with a clear understanding of the doctrine of monotheism in Christianity.
What on earth is the atonement? Christians tend to talk about it in hushed tones, as if it is a divine mystery (spoiler: it is), while somehow failing to ever really talk about what they are referring to or what it actually is. Merriam Webster defines the word simply as “reparation for an offense or injury”, while giving satisfaction as a synonym. While this is certainly true, when we refer to the atonement as Christians, we refer to so much more. We speak of the atonement, referring to a particular historical event which has changed all of history. In doing this however, we incorporate the theological and historical significance of atonement as a cleansing from sins and the way to become right with God. Let me explain what I mean by this.
Q. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin. (Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 22).
These words are nearly 400 years old, but ring as true today as when they were first set to paper. They are a succinct reminder of the glorious and redemptive truth of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), God set in motion a grand plan for redemption. From Paul’s words in Romans 5:12, we then discover that just as sin entered the world through the actions of one man, Adam, so did God’s grace overflow to the world through another man, Christ Jesus.
Have you ever heard Jesus Christ referred to as “The Word”? Usually people who use this terminology are referring to John 1:1, which says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NASB).
This verse makes it abundantly clear that Jesus Christ is the Word, and that he is God. What this means is not so clear, because we also refer to the Bible as the Word (of God), as in Hebrews 4:12. Jesus is not the Bible, nor is the Bible Jesus, so where is the disconnect?