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  • A reasonable doctrine (3): Mirror, mirror

    A reasonable doctrine (3): Mirror, mirror

    The root problem of the troubles of the Corinthian Church was pride, and a surprising kind of pride at that: They were proud of being super Christians; and that was what was causing the divisions. We don’t get the full details at the beginning, but we can deduce what was going on: Someone saying, “I am a better Christian than you are because I follow Peter; and he walked with Jesus, you know.” To which someone else could say: “Well, how many churches has Peter planted? Now take Paul… there’s someone to follow; he plants churches left and right.”

    And it got much worse than just boasting. For, later on we find that some thought they were such powerful Christians that they were beyond sin. It is small wonder that by the time Paul writes the 2nd Epistle he has to deal squarely with so-called super-apostles.

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  • A reasonable doctrine (2): Reason and the voice of God.

    A reasonable doctrine (2): Reason and the voice of God.

    In the Introduction to his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul sets out to remind the Corinthian Christians that there is huge difference between the kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God. The first difference that he points out is a difference of the heart. The citizens of the Kingdom of God are known by their humility toward God and their selfless love toward each other. Pride and sectarianism are ways of the world. But there is also another difference just as important; it is a difference of the mind: The kingdom you choose to live in determines the way you reason.

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  • Feythful

    Feythful

    My Fantasy short story “Feythful” is out this month, January 2023, at Antipodean SF.

  • A reasonable doctrine (1): Humility first.

    A reasonable doctrine (1): Humility first.

    Back in 2019 I did a series of posts on the Sermon on the Mount that I called, A Reasonable Faith. In the Sermon, Jesus laid out what the Gospel means to us, what it requires of us. If that were all we knew about Christianity, it would be enough. But we know more… not because 21 centuries have passed and we are all the smarter but because with the passage of those 21 centuries we have seen all the ways there are to mess up. Thank Heaven, over those centuries, we also have seen countless servants of Christ who have gotten it right. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews calls them: our cloud of witnesses.

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  • Spirit Words. Part 2: The reality of the Incarnation

    Spirit Words. Part 2: The reality of the Incarnation

    In the last post, I talked about Jesus’ use of figurative language in his teaching. Figurative language, because it is not concrete, forces the listener to think. We know this from fables. In a fable, there may be animals – like the tortoise and the hare – doing and saying things that humans do and say. But the storyteller doesn’t really expect you to believe literally the dialog and the behavior of those animals. What he expects is that you will “get it’; that you will make the connection between what the animals do, and the patterns of behavior of humans (listener included); and then, from the outcome of the story, get the intended moral lesson. And it works, especially with children…

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  • Spirit words. Part 1: Hearing and Listening.

    Spirit words. Part 1: Hearing and Listening.

    Jesus used figurative language and parables in His teaching throughout His ministry. For that reason, it is easy to think of them as just teaching tools, used – in particular – to engage with the common people. Thus, by using illustrations from their daily life, like fishing, planting, and baking, Jesus made the Truths of the Kingdom of God accessible to them, relatable. But maybe there is more to it than that.

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