In 140ad, the Turkish merchant and ship owner Marcion of Sinope began proclaiming throughout the regions of Rome and Turkey that the God of the Old Testament (OT) was incompatible – no, completely contrary – to the God proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament (NT). Marcion rejected the entirety of the Old Testament and even redacted the New Testament in such a way that every Old Testament reference was edited out. Ironically, Marcion also only accepted the gospel of Luke as legitimate (because of the overwhelming amount of Old Testament usage in the other gospels). Marcion was widely regarded as a heretic with all of his teachings being biblically refuted by scholars such as Tertullian and Justin Martyr (among many others). But why? Why was Marcion regarded as a heretic? Why did Marcion reject the God of the Old Testament in the first place?
Continue reading “God of Wrath, or God of Grace?” →
“…patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never fails.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
The Greek word that Paul uses here for our English translation “love” is agape. The word Agape is always the word used for love when the Bible talks about God’s love toward us. It is especially pertinent because when the New Testament talks about God’s love for us, it is almost always in reference to the sacrificial love Jesus displayed at the cross. God gave His life for us (agape) and we are called to give our lives for others (agape). Agape love is a self-giving love that puts others before itself.
But what is self-giving love practically?
Continue reading “Love is…” →
“Let go and let God, ask and you will receive anything you want, God wants you to be healthy and wealthy” and a multitude of other Christian catchphrases declare “truths” about God that aren’t really truths at all. Christian culture has so readily accepted sayings of popular Christians that they believe God Himself has said these things. Well, friends, let me tell you, there are a variety of things that Christians say God has said that He, in fact, has not. Here are 4 things Christians Believe that Christianity Doesn’t Actually Teach:
Continue reading “5 Things Christians Believe that Christianity Doesn’t Actually Teach” →
“… and missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
(John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad)
As much as I want to say I understand that my existence isn’t predicated on my accomplishments in ministry (missions), I don’t. I don’t understand it. I am a goal-oriented, goal-driven, results-focused individual who struggles to enjoy the goodness of God if results don’t follow that goodness. If there is even a single day where I sit in my room and do nothing, my brain interprets that as a day of failure, a day that God is disappointed with me, a day that should be counted as regret.
Continue reading “We Don’t Exist for Mission, We Exist for Worship” →