It is usually cliché to open essays with a statement of a universal truth, but it is true that Christ’s death on the cross is at the center of Christianity. Paul described his preaching ministry by focusing on the cross: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians […]
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Now midway into holy week, Christian minds will be turning to the cross with intensity this weekend. Remembering and celebrating Christ’s passion and resurrection will renew contemplations of love and altruism. Isn’t the image of the cross just what the world needs, then? The image of the cross as self-sacrificing love, however, has come under […]
What Herod Means to Me
We are all Herod. We would-every one of us-snuff out the cries of the Babe in its mother's arms rather than have to hear His words from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Forgive us, indeed. We will have none of that. In the time of King Herod, after […]
Christianity in America – A Roundtable Discussion
HORTON: Do you think the complaint that evangelicals in this day and age are shallow and superficial is justified? BOICE: Yes, I would agree with that complaint. For various reasons I think we are contributing to the very thing we ought to be working against. One reason is that we are so preoccupied with numbers. […]
The commercial capitol of Greece, Corinth was the quintessence of metropolitan sophistication in the region. Athens was the center of academic life, but the practical Corinthians liked to think that they were up on the latest ideas, too. Temple prostitution was big business at the shrine of Aphrodite (goddess of love). Down the street was […]
Can Politics Save?
Can Politics Save? Can politics save? Any professing Christian would answer with an emphatic no! But that's only if the topic of conversation is the doctrine of salvation. However, when the subject turns to certain hot political issues, often, what sounded like absolute, unconditional doctrine is transformed into a political viewpoint. There seems to be […]
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest
Joseph was told by an angel to name his son Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins (Mt 1:21). In times past in Egypt, the Passover lamb had borne people's sins. But now Jesus came into the world to become the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world […]
Luther Lite and Reformation Schmooze
C. S. Lewis, we all know, came "kicking and screaming" into the kingdom. My family has recently also come "kicking and screaming" into the Reformation. It has been a long and arduous journey which included an extended desert experience in evangelical pietism mixed with many years as missionaries with a high energy parachurch organization. These […]
Who Am I…Really?
Nearly all the wisdom we possess . . . consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves. But, while joined by many bonds, which one precedes and brings forth the other is not easy to discern (John Calvin, Institutes 1.1.1) No wonder Paul said the Gospel was foolishness to Greeks. […]
The Altar of God's Mercy
The following are excerpts from plenary addresses delivered at the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology in April. The theme was "The Theology of the Cross." The Centrality of the Cross Alistair BeggPastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland …We are not surprised by the antithetical nature of world religions. We have grown accustomed to the marginalizing of essential […]
Fascinations that Lead Away from the Cross…
Martin Luther opposed the "theology of the cross" to all "theologies of glory." The latter can be generally placed into three categories: three types of "ladders" we try to climb in order to see "God in the nude," as Luther put it. These ladders were mysticism, speculation, and merit. I would like to suggest a […]
Is Anybody Home?
At the end of Shisaku Endo's novel Silence (the silence of God is meant), the Japanese convert Kichjiro comes to a fallen Portuguese missionary priest, seeking absolution for trampling on the image of Christ. The priest, Sebastian Rodrigues, has earned the epithet "the Apostate Paul" by succumbing to torture and trampling on the image of […]