‘With God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). ‘Nothing is impossible with God’ (Luke 1:37)
So why doesn’t God simply forgive sinners, without need of any atonement? Why can’t he just let bygones be bygones?
After all, he can do anything, can’t he?
Well, setting aside the obviously absurd (God cannot create a two-sided triangle), we note with Puritan Thomas Brooks that there are three things that God cannot do:- he cannot die; he cannot lie; and he cannot deny himself.…
By the time we reach chapter three of Philip Gulley’s book If the Church were more Christian, the procedure is becoming rather predictable: tell a story or two illustrating how bad ‘they’ (other Christians) are, and then tell a story or two showing how ‘we’ get it right. Throw in one or two references to the Bible (don’t take too much trouble about how you select, interpret, or apply them). Job done. Next chapter please.…
Philip Gulley puts it like this:- If the church were more Christian, ‘affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness.’ (If the Church Were Christian. HarperOne)
The church’s teaching about the sinfulness of human nature, it appears, has done great harm. It has brought the church into disrepute, and caused individuals to feel damaged and guilt-ridden. Gulley supports this with anecdotes of horror stories from which every reasonable person would recoil with horror.…
Transformations. DIY SOS, Restorations, Homes Under The Hammer, House Doctors, Grand Designs, Tattoo Fixers, Embarrassing Bodies.
But none of them attempts: the transformation from death to life.
V5 ‘God made us alive even when we were dead.’
1. Before, 1-3
A threefold tyranny: –
The tyranny of the world: v2 ‘You followed the ways of this world’. ‘Those places, persons, pleasures and pursuits where God is left out.’ Those without Christ are slaves to secularism, materialism, peer pressure, religious fads, and the dubious role models of celebrities.…
The account of the ten plagues of Egypt frequently refers to the ‘hardening’ of Pharaoh’s heart. Because ‘hardness of heart’ suggests to us something to do with the emotions, Goldingay prefers to think of this as ‘the closing of Pharaoh’s mind’. There are four aspects to this:-
Yahweh will close Pharaoh’s mind: Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 14:4
Pharaoh’s mind was closed: Exodus 7:13, 14, 22; 8:19; 9:7, 35
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law murmur, saying, “This man receives sinners, and eats with them!” Luke 15:1-2
The beings whom Jesus sought out, and drew around Him, were . . . . the burdened, the bowed down, the disconsolate, the poor, the friendless, the helpless, the ignorant, the weary.
He loved to lavish upon such the fullness of His benevolent heart, and to exert upon such the skill of His wonder working power.…