Saturday, October 31, 2015

Freedom: Olympian or Christian With No Neutral Third Option

Let us recall that we each have two distinct and opposing personalities: one, Olympian; the other, Christian. Our Olympian personality is formed in terms of the six false gods of Olympianity. Our Christian personality is formed in terms of the one true god of truth, freedom, love, and vitality.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dying Churches: Olympian Works vs. Christian Fruit (Galatians 5)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 English Standard Version).

In his Letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul stresses that Jesus Christ is the truth who sets us free, from the law in this case, to love and leads us into fullness of life. In that same letter, Paul also says that Jesus frees us from the works of the flesh (5:19) so that we might freely produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (5:22).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Unbearable Challenge of Freedom

We may readily affirm that Jesus Christ is the truth who sets us free to love and leads us into fullness of life. So we may readily affirm that freedom is one essential aspect of our core identity as truly human beings; or, again, of the core identity of our Christian personality.

Sadly, each one of us humans still has two distinct and opposing personalities: one Olympian, structured in terms of the false Olympian gods; and one Christian, structured in terms of Jesus. Worse, our thoroughly Olympian society and culture greatly strengthen our Olympian personality at the expense of our Christian one.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Third Temptation: Controlling Even God Matters Most (Luke 4:9-13)

In this series of three definitive temptations, the devil wants Jesus to be savior his way. First he tempts Jesus to affirm that reality matters most. Values like truth, freedom, and love aren’t measurable and therefore don’t exist or matter much. Jesus disagrees, affirming that Abba’s words matter most.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Second Temptation: Controlling Reality Matters Most (Luke 4:5-8)

Then the devil led [Jesus] up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” (Luke 4:5-8, New Revised Standard Version)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The First Temptation: Reality Matters Most (Luke 4:1-4)

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (Luke 4:1-4, New Revised Standard Version).

Jesus has just been baptized by John. He is about to start his brief but singular public ministry.

To prepare him for this, the Spirit leads him into the wilderness (v. 1). The wilderness is a place where we are completely on our own. There is no one there to help when danger confronts us.