"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
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Dogma or Disarray?
A couple of perceptive quotations I was reminded of recently.
is not true at all that dogma is “hopelessly
irrelevant” to the life and thought of the average
man. What is true is that ministers of the Christian religion often assert that
it is, present it for consideration as though it were, and, in fact, by their
faulty exposition of it make it so. The central dogma of the Incarnation is
that by which relevance stands or falls. If Christ was
only man, then He
is entirely irrelevant to any thought
about God; if He is
only God, then he is entirely irrelevant to any experience of human life. It
is, in the strictest sense, necessary
to the salvation of relevance that a man should believe rightly the
Incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Unless he believes rightly, there is not
the faintest reason why he should believe at all. And in that case, it is
wholly irrelevant to chatter about “Christian
principles”” (Dorothy Sayers, Creed
or Chaos, “Christians Letters to a Post-Christian
the other heresies, Eutychianism
continues to contaminate the faith of contemporaries. The teaching, that after
the incarnation the human nature of Christ withers away or is absorbed into his
divinity, leads people to believe that our being spiritual like Christ means
that our human nature and its limitations are overcome. On the contrary, Christ
himself is depicted in scripture as having the kind of human nature that grows
weary, hungers, thirsts, is hurt by scourging, thorns, nails and the spear, and
The attraction of Eutychian
teaching, however, is ever present, and many believe that “truly spiritual”
persons will not be subject to sickness, but, if they are, they will invariably
be healed because of their exceptional spirituality…
claim, that a fully divine nature and an undiminished human nature are united
in the one Christ, assures Christians that grace does not destroy nature in it
redemption” (C. FitzSimmons
Allison, “The Cruelty of Heresy,” 150-1).
When I was 20 years old, I was stationed in a Muslim country for two years. During that time I read the Quran (in an English translation from Oxford), interacted with Muslim acquaintances, and saw Islam lived out in it's communal context. Therefore I was excited when my mother gave me a copy of "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus". With bazillions of reviews already plastered on the various sites and venues, mine will be short and succinct.
Nabeel Qureshi has woven together a very personal and personable volume written to give "an insider's perspective into a Muslim heart," as well as equip readers "with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam," while chronicling his own inner struggles, sacrifices and doubts when grappling with the Christian faith. The style of writing is autobi…
"When evil looms and darkness falls And tragedy is breaking When all that's good seems overturned By God I'm not forsaken For though I fall or wander far I'm not too far for saving And when my Shepherd seeks and finds How can I keep from singing" (229)?
So cantillates Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, mother, wife, writer, musician and abuse survivor, in her new 240 page hardback "Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse". This volume is the tale of her terrors and troubles at the hands of an abusive father, and it is far, far more. It is truly a story of life after abuse, abundant life found only in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An easy to read book, it is ideally suited for those who have been traumatized and those who long to help the trampled! "I am not my abuser. I have a choice. I aspire to heal and grow by God's grace" (82).
Just like taking an abnormal psych class in college, a reader will likely see their reflection on many pages in the 200-page hardback "When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse". This newly released dossier, written by Chuck DeGroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and senior fellow at Newbigin House of Studies in San Francisco, is a velvet covered brick. It is easily readable, and reasonably attainable. DeGroat exposes the varied ways narcissism shows up in a parish, whether in the leadership, families, or congregational culture; and how it can show up in the corporate culture of an ecclesiastical denomination, association or network. It arises from the "lack of capacity for self-awareness and self-evaluation, shunning humility for defensive self-protection" (15). Further, according to the author, a deep, underlying shame is the driving forc…