Inseparable

Recently, I seem to have posted an awful lot about the intellectual aspects of Christianity, like its defend-ability and that sort of thing (here, here and here, for example). Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an apology for that, far from it, because the fact Christianity can stir and stretch your mind as well as your heart is one of the things that makes it so brilliant. But we’re to love God with our heart and soul, as well as our mind, and I think I may have overshadowed the relationship with the rationality, if you will. So, to sort out the balance, this post is about one of the things that I’ve realised about Jesus’ incredible love for us over the past week.

Marriage, in the Biblical sense, is an illustration. The self-sacrificing, all-encompassing love that a husband has for his wife, and vice versa, is meant to be an analogy of the awe-inspiring Love that Jesus has for us. Watching the love between two people who deeply love each other is like watching the Love Jesus has for us through a cloudy mirror, because in reality, God’s love is so much more. For example, in Ephesians 5 Paul writes:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Christ’s selfless Love, the sort that would move someone to completely ‘give themselves up’ , even to death, is the sort that is meant to exist in a marriage. It’s an imperfect example, obviously, because we’re imperfect people, but the truth it reveals, the depth to which Jesus loves us, is incredible.

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Newsflash: Bible May Be Correct

The Bible makes a lot of claims which are impossible to verify. Is there an afterlife? Do angels exist? Is there even any spiritual realm to speak of outside of ours? These questions, by their very nature, are, at least to an extent, unanswerable by scientific methods. I mean, determining the strength of a steel bar is in an entirely different league to proving whether or not Jesus was the Son of God. When the Bible talks about stuff on earth, then, battles and cities and tribes and governors, it provides a unique opportunity to check whether what it’s saying is even slightly reliable. Like Jesus himself said in John 3:12:

I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

This article talks about just such an earthly thing. The scope of David and Solomon’s reigns have been widely disputed by modern scholars, with many thinking that the grandeur described in the Bible is largely mythological. Perhaps, they argue, David and Solomon were simply small time tribal heads. However, if a fortification uncovered in Jerusalem really is as old as the dating suggests (10th century BC), it could back up the idea that David and Solomon were pretty important guys, all things considered. Interesting stuff, ay?

[If you enjoy checking out the links between the Bible and modern Archeology (such as this one), and you’re heading down to London soon, this book is awesome. Seeing tangible references to the Bible in the British Museum is quite a cool experience!]

Alpha: Who is Jesus?

We’re about to run through an Alpha course at Murano Street next week and in preparation we watched the video that we’re going to play. It’s really good. And conveniently, online!

Who is Jesus

[This post will be updated in the future with some points from the video (it is half an hour long after all…) but I’m shattered at the moment, so I’ll do it later. but yeah, check the video out!]

Where was God when Haiti shook?

Disasters often shake people’s faith. That much is obvious. What isn’t obvious, on the surface, is why God lets them occur in the first place. This seeming incongruence between God’s supposed Love and what we actually see was recently brought to the fore by the earthquake that struck Haiti.  I’m in no way capable of doing justice to such a topic, especially when it’s brought about by a disaster of such magnitude, so I’ll let the posts speak for themselves, I think.

Firstly, my favourite Atheist in the world, Richard Dawkins:

Hear the Rumble of Christian Hypocrisy

And in response to that, from the website of St. Peters in Dundee:

God and Haiti

Hopefully these will help you to make sense of what is understandably a difficult issue. Enjoy!

[Maybe at some point I’ll comment on the Richard Dawkins post. I mean, to be honest, its rubbish. Whatever brand of ‘Christianity’ he’s satirising, it’s not any that I recognise! As for why God couldn’t just wipe sins away with a click of his fingers, see this post.]

Lent: What’s the point?

Lent#blog A few short weeks ago the world pledged itself to everything good, and right, and noble: to a new start for a new year. People flocked to gyms and shunned the confectioners as a hope rekindled inside them spurred them to ever greater heights of humanity. The reign of the resolution had begun.

But alas, the reign was to be, as always, a short one. As the world began to realise it wasn’t superhuman after all, a cloud of disillusionment began to penetrate all echelons of society (bar perhaps the echelons with stakes in the chocolate industry). Hope seemed lost. But humankind does not give up so easily! It drags itself from the miry fog of disappointment and decides to try the negative of what so dramatically failed a few weeks previous. The season of Lent has begun!

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Stuff Christians Like

Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t linked to this site earlier.

The brainchild of Jonathan Acuff (@prodigaljohn on Twitter), Stuff Christians Like is an excellent blog, humorous and thought provoking, and just generally pretty different. Painting skillfully over subjects with a definite sarcastic streak, Jon Acuff shares his wisdom on everything from Christians smoking to the appropriate response when people swear. This is definitely a blog you should check out!