Tag: Jesus (home)

Most Christians are affected far more than they know by the standards and methods of the surrounding world. In these days when power and size and speed are almost universally admired, it seems to me particularly important to study afresh the "weakness", the "smallness of entry", and the "slowness" of God as He begins His vast work of reconstructing His disordered world. We are all tempted to take short cuts, to work for quick results, and to evade painful sacrifice. It is therefore essential that we should look again at love incarnate in a human being, to see God Himself at work within the limitations of human personality, and to base our methods on what we see Him do.

permalink source: J. B. Phillips, Making Men Whole [1952]
tags: Success, Jesus, Theology

Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscleman, a clown, or even a bathing beauty? Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn't fit the body. If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head?

permalink source: Dan Bernard
tags: Holiness, Discipleship, Jesus

I danced in the morning When the world was begun, And I danced in the moon And the stars and the sun, And I came down from heaven And I danced on the earth, At Bethlehem I had my birth. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he I danced for the scribe And the pharisee, But they would not dance And they wouldn't follow me. I danced for the fishermen, For James and John - They came with me And the dance went on. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he I danced on the Sabbath And I cured the lame; The holy people Said it was a shame. They whipped and they stripped And they hung me on high, And they left me there On a Cross to die. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he I danced on a Friday When the sky turned black - It's hard to dance With the devil on your back. They buried my body And they thought I'd gone, But I am the dance, And I still go on. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he They cut me down And I leapt up high; I am the life That'll never, never die; I'll live in you If you'll live in me - I am the Lord Of the Dance, said he. Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he

permalink source: Sydney Carter, The Lord of the Dance
tags: Jesus, Worship

You know those little pincushion metal show the form of your face things? That's what it means to be conformed to the image of Christ.

permalink source: Glen
tags: Discipleship, Jesus

The nominal Christian, then, will see Jesus as a name, a representative, a symbol, a personification, a prototype, a figure, a model, an exemplar for something else. The nominal Christian pays homage to something about Jesus, rather than worshipping the man himself. For this reason, nominal Christians will extol the moral teachings of Jesus, the faith of Jesus, the personality of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus, the world view of Jesus, the self-understanding of Jesus, etc. None of these worships Jesus as the Christ, but only something about him, something peripheral to the actual flesh-and-blood man. This is why when the almighty God came into the world in Jesus, he came as the lowest of the low, as weakness itself, as a complete and utter nothing, in order that men would be forced into the crucial decision about him alone and would not be able to worship anything about him.

permalink source: Robert L. Short, The Parables of Peanuts
tags: Jesus, Worship

I have put no emphasis on the virgin birth in the course of this chapter. This is not because I do not believe in it, for I do; but because, as I understand it, the account of Christ's miraculous birth was given in the Gospels for the sake of those who had already come to believe in him and who wished to know the facts, but was never used as a means of evoking faith in those who were not yet convinced on other grounds as to who he was. After all, a virgin birth would be possible without any implications of deity.

permalink source: J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity: the Witness of History [1969]
tags: Apologetics, Jesus, Theology

It is of no use to say that Christ, as exhibited in the Gospels, is not historical, and that we know not how much of what is admirable has been super-added by the tradition of his followers. Who among his disciples or among their proselytes was capable of inventing the sayings of Jesus or of imagining the life and character revealed in the Gospels? Certainly not the fishermen of Galilee; as certainly not St. Paul, whose character and idiosyncrasies were of a totally different sort; still less the early Christian writers, in whom nothing is more evident than that the good which was in them was all derived, as they always professed that it was derived, from the higher source.

permalink source: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), Three Essays on Religion
tags: Apologetics, Jesus

The Hero died- But that isn't the end of the story. -Billboard 'Book Review' J Kornegay First Baptist Church, Bryan

permalink source: Church billboard
tags: Humor, Jesus, Theology, Resurrection

The church in the world is a lot like the story that E. Stanely Jones tells of the missionary in the jungle. He got lost with nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He finally found a small village and asked one of the natives if he could lead him out of the jungle. The native said he could. "All right," the missionary said, "Show me the way." They walked for hours through dense brush hacking their way through unmarked jungle. The missionary began to worry and said, "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?" The native said. "Bwana, in this place there is no path. I am the path."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Jesus

In the 1960s at a theological bookstore in Durham, England Christopher overheard two students in the next aisle talking. They had just finished finals and were in a celebratory mood. One said to the other, "I think I'll go buy some Jesus stickers and plaster them all over the town!" There was a long pause, and then the second said, "Do you think Jesus would do that?" There was an even longer pause, "No, I guess Jesus wouldn't do that. But I bet Paul would!"

permalink source: Christopher Gornold-Smith at TWS
tags: Evangelism, Jesus

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending seminary in Utah. In Utah, seminary classes are held as part of the curriculum. Mr. Christianson taught seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Mr. Christianson's Seminary class. Steve was told that he couldn't be late, so he would come in just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over. One day, Mr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Mr. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?" Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do." Then Mr. Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?" Steve said, "I do about 200 every night." "200? That's pretty good, Steve." Mr. Christianson said, "Do you think you could do 300?" Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time." "Do you think you could?" again asked Mr. Christianson. "Well, I can try," said Steve. "Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it." Mr. Christianson said. Steve said, "Well... I think I can… yeah, I can do it." Mr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday." Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Mr. Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts. They were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited -it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an extra early start on the weekend. Mr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?" Cynthia said, "Yes." Mr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?" Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Mr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk. Mr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?" Joe said, "Yes." Mr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups. Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle. Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Mr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Mr. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?" Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?" Mr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them." Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then." Mr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?" Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!" Mr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it", and he put a donut on Scott's desk. Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down, and a little perspiration appeared around his brow. Mr. Christianson started down the third row. By now, the students were beginning to get a little angry. He asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?" Jenny said, "No". Then Mr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten; Jenny got a donut. By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, and his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved. Mr. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. Robert began to watch Steve closely. Mr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Mr. Christianson realized this, he did a quick count and saw that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it. Mr. Christianson went on to the next person, the next, and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set. Steve asked Mr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?" Mr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You can do them any way that you want." And Mr. Christianson went on. A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come." Mr. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him." Steve said, "Yes, let him come in." Mr. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?" "Yes." "Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down. Mr. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room. The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Mr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?" Linda, too choked up to talk, just shook her head. Mr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda. Then Mr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan,do you want a donut?" Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Mr. Christianson, can I help him?" Mr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone." "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor. Mr. Christianson then said, "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, pleaded to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit", and with the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, collapsed on the cross and died - even for those that didn't want His gift."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Jesus, Sacrifice

We usually think of Jesus in the upper room as calmly and patiently preparing his disciples for their coming crisis; only in the garden are we shown his deep anguish over what lies ahead for himself. But if this verse ("They hated me without a cause." Ps. 69:4) occurred to Jesus as describing his enemies, surely he was also identifying with the rest of [Psalm 69] with its vivid description of overwhelming troubles and importune cries to God for deliverance. What in the upper room was still under the surface was openly expressed in the garden.

permalink source: John R. Cogdell, "The humanity of Jesus Christ, as revealed in certain Psalms"
tags: Jesus, Crucifixion

Why did Jesus have to die? Brian McLaren was asked this question by a seeker in his church, and realized he didn't know an answer that would satisfy him. Brian asked for two weeks to think about it. He read all these books on the atonement, but all the answers were abstract and unhelpful. He mentioned it to his brother, who is an engineer. Without missing a beat, his brother said, "Jesus didn't know, either. Remember in the Garden?" Brian was stunned: John Stott never said that! He told the guy the story of the garden. The seeker said, "Well, that doesn't really answer my question, but it does make it go away."

permalink source: Brian McLaren @ AGTS seminar
tags: Jesus, Sacrifice, Crucifixion

Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You don't have to be smart. You don't have to be good. You don't have to be wise. You don't have to be wonderful. You don't have to be anything...you just have to be dead. That's it.

permalink source: Robert Farrar Capon
tags: Salvation, Grace, Jesus, Gospel

Most people assume WWJD is for "What would Jesus do?" But the initials really stand for "What would Jesus drive?" One theory is that Jesus would tool around in an old Plymouth because "the Bible says God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury." But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to "pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm." Perhaps God favors Dodge pickup trucks, because Moses' followers are warned not to go up a mountain "until the Ram's horn sounds a long blast." Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but didn't like to talk about it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel where Christ tells the crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord..." Meanwhile, Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as evidenced by a Bible passage declaring that "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the hills." Joshua drove a Triumph sports car with a hole in its muffler: "Joshua's Triumph was heard throughout the land." And, following the Master's lead, the Apostles car pooled in a Honda..."The Apostles were in one Accord."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Jesus, Bible

Is Jesus Safe? CS Lewis wrote one of the most endearing Christian books titled The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe. If you have half an imagination you need to read it. You will never forget the story. In the book Jesus is represented by a Lion by the name of Aslan. The four children who are finally introduced to Aslan by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver are not quite sure they want to met him. Mr. Beaver says to them: Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. You'll understand when you see him." "But shall we see him?" asked Susan. "Why, Daughter of Eve, that's what I brought you here for. I'm to lead you where you shall meet him," said Mr. Beaver. "Is--is he a man?" asked Lucy. "Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion--THE Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly." "Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? "Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

permalink source: Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, August 2001. Quote: CS Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, New York: Macmillan, 1970, p. 76-78
tags: Courage, Jesus

Setting aside the scandal caused by His Messianic claims and His reputation as a political firebrand, only two accusations of personal depravity seem to have been brought against Jesus of Nazareth. First, that He was a Sabbath- breaker. Secondly, that He was "a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" -- or (to draw aside the veil of Elizabethan English that makes it sound so much more respectable) that He ate too heartily, drank too freely, and kept very disreputable company, including grafters of the lowest type and ladies who were no better than they should be. For nineteen and a half centuries, the Christian Churches have laboured, not without success, to remove this unfortunate impression made by their Lord and Master. They have hustled the Magdalens from the Communion-table, founded Total Abstinence Societies in the name of Him who made the water wine, and added improvements of their own, such as various bans and anathemas upon dancing and theatre-going. They have transferred the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and, feeling that the original commandment "Thou shalt not work" was rather half-hearted, have added to it the new commandment, "Thou shalt not play."

permalink source: Dorothy L. Sayers, Unpopular Opinions [1946]
tags: Jesus, Rules, Religion, Legalism

A group of first graders got together and decided to write their own version of the Nativity. It was more modern than the traditional drama. Oh, there were the familiar members of the cast: Joseph, the shepherds, the three wise men, the star, and an angel propped up in the background. But Mary was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly behind the bales of hay could be heard some loud moans and groans. Evidently Mary was in labor. Soon the doctor arrived dressed in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck. Joseph, with a look of relief on his face takes the doctor straight to Mary, then starts pacing back and forth. After a few moments the "doctor" emerges with a big smile on his face. "Congratulations, Joseph," he says, "It's a God."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Jesus, Children, Christmas

Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. One night during a campaign, he couldn't sleep and left his tent to walk around the campgrounds. As he was walking he came across a soldier asleep on guard duty - a serious offense. The penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it. The soldier began to wake up as Alexander the Great approached him. Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. "Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?" Alexander the Great asked the soldier. "Yes, sir," the soldier responded in a quivering voice. "Soldier, what's your name?" demanded Alexander the Great. "Alexander, sir." Alexander the Great repeated the question: "What is your name?" "My name is Alexander, sir," the soldier repeated. A third time and more loudly Alexander the Great asked, "What is your name?" A third time the soldier meekly said, "My name is Alexander, sir." Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye. "Soldier," he said with intensity, "either change your name or change your conduct."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipleship, Jesus

from PreachingToday.com "After six years given to the impartial investigation of Christianity as to its truth or falsity, I have come to the deliberate conclusion that Jesus Christ is the Messiah of the Jews, the Savior of the world, and my personal Savior." These were the words of Lew Wallace, Governor of New Mexico, over a century ago. He had started out to write a book against Jesus Christ and in the process was converted to Christianity. He told a friend how it happened. I had always been an agnostic and denied Christianity. Robert C. Ingersoll, a famous agnostic, was one of my most intimate friends. He once suggested, "See here, Wallace, you are a learned man and a thinker. Why don't you gather material and write a book to prove the falsity concerning Jesus Christ, that no such man has ever lived, much less the author of the teachings found in the New Testament. Such a book would make you famous. It would be a masterpiece, and a way of putting an end to the foolishness about the so-called Christ." The thought made a deep impression on me, and we discussed the possibility of such a book. I went to Indianapolis, my home, and told my wife what I intended. She was a member of the Methodist Church and naturally did not like my plan. But I decided to do it and began to collect material in libraries here and in the old world. I gathered everything over that period in which Jesus Christ, according to legend, should have lived. Several years were spent in this work. I had written nearly four chapters when it became clear to me that Jesus Christ was just as real a personality as Socrates, Plato, or Caesar. The conviction became a certainty. I knew that Jesus Christ had lived because of the facts connected with the period in which he lived. I was in an uncomfortable position. I had begun to write a book to prove that Jesus Christ had never lived on earth. Now I was face to face with the fact that he was just as historic a personage as Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Virgil, Dante, and a host of other men who had lived in olden days. I asked myself candidly, "If he was a real person (and there was no doubt), was he not then also the Son of God and the Savior of the world?" Gradually the consciousness grew that, since Jesus Christ was a real person, he probably was the one he claimed to be. I fell on my knees to pray for the first time in my life, and I asked God to reveal himself to me, forgive my sins, and help me to become a follower of Christ. Towards morning the light broke into my soul. I went into my bedroom, woke my wife, and told her that I had received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. "O Lew," she said, "I have prayed for this ever since you told me of your purpose to write this book, that you would find him while you wrote it!" Lew Wallace did write a very famous book. It was a masterpiece and the crowning glory of his life's work. He changed the book he was originally writing and used all his research to write another book. Now every time I watch the epic film made from that book and see Charlton Heston racing those four magnificent white horses in that amazing chariot race, I wonder how many who have seen Ben Hur, with its moving references to Jesus, know it was written by a man who wanted to disprove that Jesus ever existed, and instead became convinced that he was the greatest man who ever lived!

permalink source: Citation: David Holdaway, The Life of Jesus (Sovereign World, 1997), pp. 42-43
tags: Apologetics, Jesus

It was Palm Sunday and Sue's five-year-old son had to stay home from church, with a neighbor, because he was sick. When the family returned home carrying palm branches, he asked what they were for. His mother explained, "People held them over Jesus' head as He walked by." "Wouldn't you know it," the boy said. "The one Sunday I don't go, Jesus shows up!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Church, Jesus, Easter

Why is forgiving a man's sins a greater miracle than healing his body? There's a lot to it, but almost everything can be seen through this lens: modern medicine can duplicate the physical miracle but not the spiritual one.

permalink source: my thoughts
tags: Forgiveness, Grace, Jesus

Many writers have critically examined the gospels to show that no proof exists for the facts they relate about the life of Christ, even strongly suggesting that He may never have existed. Archbishop Whateley wrote a little work, Historic Doubts Relative to the Existence of Napoleon Bonaparte, in which he shows that the actual history of this notorious personage really consisted of a number of improbable incidents. In fact, because so much suspicion attaches to the events recorded of Napoleon, the Archbishop hints, it is likely that he never lived. For some skeptics this humorous refutation of their position might yield a much greater impact than all the standard arguments presented in most logical fashion. Someone has said, “In its proper place nonsense may be sense.”

permalink source: Serve Him With Mirth
tags: Apologetics, Jesus, Bible

Catholics have a reputation for severity, for judgment that comes down heavily. My experience with Father Martin was not at all like that. He was very kind. He served me tea and biscuits in a tea set that tinkled and rattled at every touch; he treated me like a grown-up; and he told me a story. Or rather, since Christians are so fond of capital letters, a Story. And what a story. The first thing that drew me in was disbelief. What? Humanity sins but it's God's Son who pays the price? I tried to imagine Father saying to me, "Piscine, a lion slipped into the llama pen today and killed two llamas. Yesterday another one killed a black buck. Last week two of them ate the camel. The week before it was painted storks and grey herons. And who's to say for sure who snacked on our golden agouti? The situation has become intolerable. Something must be done. I have decided the only way the lions can atone for their sins is if I feed you to them." "Yes, Father, that would be the right and logical thing to do. Give me a moment to wash up." "Hallelujah, my son." "Hallelujah, Father." What a downright weird story. What peculiar psychology. I asked for another story, one that I might find more satisfying. Surely this religion had more than one story in its bag - religions abound with stories. But Father Martin made me understand that the stories before it - and there were many - were simply prologue to the Christians. Their religion had one Story, and to it they came back again and again, over and over. It was story enough for them. (Yann Martel. Life of Pi)

permalink source: The Life of Pi, p 53 by Yann Martel
tags: Jesus, Cross, Christianity

That was how I met that troublesome rabbi of long ago; with disbelief and annoyance...He bothered me, this Son. Every day I burned with greater indignation against Him, found more flaws to Him...I couldn't get Him out of my head. Still can't. I spent three solid days thinking about Him. The more He bothered me, the less I could forget Him. And the more I learned about Him, the less I wanted to leave Him.

permalink source: Yann Martel, The Life of Pi, p 56-57
tags: Jesus

Thursday, March 18, 2004 Posted: 11:30 PM EST (0430 GMT) STATESBORO, Georgia (AP) -- A couple who got into a dispute over a theological point after watching "The Passion of the Christ" were arrested after the argument turned violent. The two left the movie theater debating whether God the Father in the Holy Trinity was human or symbolic, and the argument heated up when they got home, Melissa Davidson said. "It was the dumbest thing we've ever done," she said. Davidson, 34, and her husband, Sean Davidson, 33, were charged with simple battery on March 11 after the two called police on each other. They were released on $1,000 bail. According to a police report, Melissa Davidson suffered injuries on her arm and face, while her husband had a scissors stab wound on his hand and his shirt was ripped off. He also allegedly punched a hole in a wall. "Really, it was kind of a pitiful thing, to go to a movie like that and fight about it. I think they missed the point," said Gene McDaniel, chief sheriff's deputy.

permalink source: CNN.com - http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/18/passionate.dispute.ap/index.html
tags: Conflict, Jesus, Theology

Early in the 20th century, French painter Georges Rouault gave people a new way to see Jesus. Using layer upon layer of luminous colors and bold black lines, he brought biblical themes to life on his canvases. His shockingly powerful images expressed his profound personal faith in a living Jesus. Though highly skilled and trained in the popular styles of his day, he turned his back on artistic fashion to provide fresh perspective. Because Rouault saw beyond the accepted pictures of Christianity, he exhibited his work with other creative, cutting-edge rebels. His incandescent images of Christ healing the lame and feeding the poor were (and still are) hung side by side with landscapes by Henri Matisse and abstracts by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. During his 60 years as a working artist, Rouault depicted many subjects, but his favorite by far was the face of Jesus. His studio overflowed with hundreds and hundreds of portraits of Christ. When asked why he was so obsessed with painting Jesus, his answer was, "My life's goal is to paint a portrait of Christ so moving that whoever looks on it will be immediately converted."

permalink source: Steve Sjogren, Dave Ping, Doug Pollock, "Irresistible Evangelism," Group Publishing (p. 109); submitted by Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois
tags: Evangelism, Jesus, Culture, Art

The Word became flesh -- and then through theologians it became words again.

permalink source: Karl Barth
tags: Jesus, Theology, Incarnation

Statistically speaking, my bout with Evangelicalism was probably unremarkable. For white Americans with my socioeconomic background (middle to upper-middle class), it's an experience commonly linked to one's teens and moved beyond before one reaches 20. These kids around me at Creation—a lot of them were like that. How many even knew who Darwin was? They'd learn. At least once a year since college, I'll be getting to know someone, and it comes out that we have in common a high school "Jesus phase." That's always an excellent laugh. Except a phase is supposed to end—or at least give way to other phases—not simply expand into a long preoccupation. Bless those who've been brainwashed by cults and sent off for deprogramming. That makes it simple: You put it behind you. But this group was no cult. They persuaded; they never pressured, much less threatened. Nor did they punish. A guy I brought into the group—we called him Goog—is still a close friend. He leads meetings now and spends part of each year doing pro bono dental work in Cambodia. He's never asked me when I'm coming back. My problem is not that I dream I'm in hell or that Mole is at the window. It isn't that I feel psychologically harmed. It isn't even that I feel like a sucker for having bought it all. It's that I love Jesus Christ. "The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." I can barely write that. He was the most beautiful dude. Forget the Epistles, forget all the bullying stuff that came later. Look at what He said. Read The Jefferson Bible. Or better yet, read The Logia of Yeshua, by Guy Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia, an unadorned translation of all the sayings ascribed to Jesus that modern scholars deem authentic. There's your man. His breakthrough was the aestheticization of weakness. Not in what conquers, not in glory, but in what's fragile and what suffers—there lies sanity. And salvation. "Let anyone who has power renounce it," he said. "Your father is compassionate to all, as you should be." That's how He talked, to those who knew Him. Why should He vex me? Why is His ghost not friendlier? Why can't I just be a good Enlightenment child and see in His life a sustaining example of what we can be, as a species? Because once you've known Him as God, it's hard to find comfort in the man. The sheer sensation of life that comes with a total, all-pervading notion of being—the pulse of consequence one projects onto even the humblest things—the pull of that won't slacken. And one has doubts about one's doubts. http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=17

permalink source: Upon This Rock, John Jeremiah Sullivan
tags: Skepticism, Jesus, Teenagers, Youth Ministry

Jesus Christ in legal battle to get license Tuesday, May 10, 2005 Posted: 7:58 AM EDT (1158 GMT) CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) -- Even Jesus Christ can't circumvent the rules for getting a driver's license in West Virginia. Attempts to prove his name really is Christ have led the man born as Peter Robert Phillips Jr. through a lengthy legal battle and a recent victory in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. "This all started with him expressing his faith and his respect and love for Jesus Christ," attorney A.P. Pishevar told The Associated Press. "Now he needs to document it for legal reasons." Described by his attorney as a white-haired businessman in his mid-50s, Christ is moving to West Virginia to enjoy a slower lifestyle. He bought property near Lost River, about 100 miles west of Washington, and has a U.S. passport, Social Security card and Washington driver's license bearing the name Jesus Christ. But he still falls short of West Virginia title and license transfer requirements because his Florida birth certificate has his original name on it and he has been unable to obtain an official name change in Washington. "We just need official documentation that that's his name," said Doug Stump, commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. "He will be treated no different than anybody else." Christ applied for the legal name change in May 2003, but it was denied by District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Tim Murphy because "taking the name of Jesus Christ may provoke a violent reaction or may significantly offend people." In his appeal, Christ's attorney argued that Phillips had changed his name to Jesus Christ 15 years earlier, and "has been using the name since then without incident." The appeals court last month sent the name-change proposal back to the lower court, saying some required hearings in the case had not been held. Any comment from the man in the middle of this legal tussle? "Christ is not speaking to the press at this time," Pishevar said.

permalink source: Jesus Christ in legal battle to get license, Tuesday, May 10, 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/05/10/jesus.lawsuit.ap/index.html
tags: Discipleship, Jesus

"A story is told of Stanley Jones (1884-1973), which underscores in an excellent way the Christological difference in the meeting between Christians and Hindus. After one of his missionary sermons in a small Indian town, a Hindu scholar come up to Stanley Jones and explained to him: "What the white missionaries can tell us is really nothing new, because we Hindus have a culture several thousand years old. Everything can be found already in our venerable Sanskrit writings. Therefore, I ask you to give me the opportunity, after your next speech, to clarify this fact to the audience." Stanley Jones agreed to the suggestion. He preached the gospel as he always did in which he presented Jesus as the crucified one to the people. The Hindu scholar was then called up to the front to present his criticism. He appeared unsure of himself and quite confused, until he finally just uttered one sentence: "We don't have such a person!" (in Hinduism). He then walked off the stage quickly. This statement confirms the admission that, while profound human wisdom lies in the Hindu writings, this truth still cannot comprehend the unique form of an unmistakable man from Nazareth, who revealed Himself on the cross as the Saviour sent by God for all mankind."

permalink source: http://community.gospelcom.net/lcwe/assets/LOP31_IG2.pdf
tags: Jesus, Pluralism, Hinduism

Was Jesus a Jokester?

That Jesus used humor may come as a surprise to some. For several reasons we do not readily recognize His humor. In the first place, when we read the words of Christ, our solemn mood looks for values different from humor. Second, if what one generation laughs at is not regarded as funny by the next, appreciation of the incongruity of situations which existed 1900 years ago may not be easily grasped. Psychological reorientation to the first century scene may be required before we can enter into some of Jesus’ humor. Finally, some never find humor in Jesus’ teaching because they claim, “Jesus never laughed. In fact, there is no record that He even smiled. He was a Man of Sorrows.”

permalink source: Leslie Flynn, Serve Him With Mirth
tags: Humor, Jesus

Listening To Eyewitnesses

Moreover, trusting testimony is a normal, perfectly rational thing to do. One can try to test the reliability of witnesses, but then they have to be trusted. We cannot independently verify everything they say and that’s the point of testimony.

permalink source: Richard Bauckham, http://blog.christilling.de/2006/11/richard-bauckham-on-jesus-and_13.html
tags: Apologetics, Jesus

Jesus Embodied Israel

God’s message to Israel throughout the prophets was always this: you will suffer deeply because of sin, but glory and restoration will be there to greet you on the other side. When the Christ came to stand in the place of Israel, to be Israel, what would we expect of him but that he would suffer judgement because of sin before being vindicated and glorified on judgement's far side?

permalink source: The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne page 34
tags: Jesus, Theology

Jesus Played It Fair

The Church’s answer is categorical and uncompromising and it is this: That Jesus Bar-Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, was in fact and in truth, and in the most exact and literal sense of the words, the God “by whom all things were made.” His body and brain were those of a common man; his personality was the personality of God, so far as that personality could be expressed in human terms. He was not a kind of demon pretending to be human; he was in every respect a genuine living man. He was not merely a man so good as to be “like God”; he was God. Now, this is not just a pious commonplace; it is not commonplace at all. For what it means is this, among other things: that, for whatever reason, God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—he [God] had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace, and thought it was worthwhile.

permalink source: Dorothy Sayers, The Greatest Drama Ever Staged, http://www.wacmm.org/Sayers.html
tags: Suffering, Jesus, Evil