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Showing posts from March, 2016

The Church: 16. The Church of Christ our Saviour: The Meaning of the Cross

The Church: 16. The Church of Christ our Saviour: The Meaning of the Cross


[A reflection for Holy Week]

Introduction
If we had witnessed Jesus’ week leading up to his crucifixion, we might have seen it as a week beginning with hope for religious, social, and political change that ended terribly.  His execution would have been seen as the result of a hasty and unjust verdict by a corrupt judicial system, as yet one more example of the horrific and violent acts carried out by persons with power, the fickle views of an ignorant mob seething with anger and eager for political change, and even an act of betrayal by a friend.  If a video camera had recorded the actual crucifixion, nothing ‘religious’ would have come to mind except, perhaps, the thought that here was an example of the righteous sufferer of the Psalms—the problem of evil itself with no apparent resolution as Jesus breathes his last in utter agony on a Roman cross just a short distance from the Temple of God in Jerusalem. 
What …

Issues Facing Missions Today: 47. The Kingdom Ethics of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel: Healing from Sin, Doing Righteousness, and Making Peace

The Kingdom Ethics of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel: Healing from Sin, Doing Righteousness, and Making Peace
Mission and ethics are inseparable.  The communal testimony of God’s reign among His people is a proclamation of the Gospel of God’s reign.  Without such a testimony, there is no good news.  The church in every culture and age faces the challenge of living faithfully before God—life in the Kingdom—despite the pressure to conform to culture and submit to the powers of the age.  Various ministers, churches, and denominations have succumbed to the forces at work in Western culture as society lurches away from its somewhat Christian moorings.  Yet every generation of believers in every social context is challenged to be God’s faithful witness in the counter-cultural Kingdom of God.
The ethic of Jesus is an ethic for people prepared to live within the reign of God—the Kingdom of Heaven.  It begins with recognition of and repentance for sin, pursues the restoration of God’s righteousness…