Thursday, November 12, 2020

Freed from the Devil by Jesus

The anonymous author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes to us about human beings as children of God: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he [Jesus] himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:14-15, English Standard Version).

God created Adam and Eve, and the rest of us human beings through them, as his children and with physical bodies. Having physical bodies meant that God created us with a definitive physical limitation: death. His original intention, however, was to graciously and continuously respond to this limitation by enabling us to eat of the tree of life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Recovering Our Distinctive Character

It is 1450 BC. The people of Yahweh have been camped at the base of Mount Sinai for about a year. They are about to pull up stakes and walk through hostile territory to the Promised Land. Moses goes to the Tent of Meeting to speak with Yahweh.

He says to Yahweh, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight and your people. Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16, English Standard Version).

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sense of Adventure

Edith Hamilton (1868-1963), in her magnificent book, Mythology (1942), writes of the Quest of the Golden Fleece. To obtain that prize, Jason would have to man his ship, the Argo, with the best and brightest of Greece. Hera, Queen of Olympus, helped Jason gain their enthusiastic support. In one priceless sentence, Edith describes how Hera did so: she kindled in each one the desire not to be left behind nursing a life without peril by his mother's side, but even at the price of death to drink with his comrades the peerless elixir of life (p. 163).

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Master Church Chronology

Chadwick, Owen. A History of Christianity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995, pp. 286-293).
Latourette, Kenneth Scott (1884-1968) A History of Christianity (Peabody, Massachusetts: Prince Press, 1999; originally published by Harper & Brothers, 1953).

1. “The First Five Hundred Years: Christianity Wins the Roman Empire and Takes Shape [A.D. 1-500]” (Latourette, v)

AD 1
Birth of Jesus.

AD 30 [or 33]
Death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.
Pentecost: beginning of the Church.

Herod Agrippa 1st (grandson of Herod “the Great”) persecutes church in Jerusalem and has James, brother of John, executed and Peter jailed.

Missionary journeys of Paul.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Camus: The Plague

Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, French Algeria (now DrĂ©anAlgeria). His father died ten months later in one of the early battles of World War I. Camus and his mother then moved to a poor area of Algiers. He developed tuberculosis when he was 17.