Wednesday, July 24, 2013
So after the last few theologically oriented, substantial postings, I thought it would be good to turn to something lighter. A lot lighter. Like aerogel lighter. I came across this video looking for an updated link to a video in an older post on my blog and couldn't resist sharing, especially since it is a spoof on the classic arcade game Street Fighter II. (click here to see actual game footage if you don't know the game to compare and get the most out of the spoof). I grew up playing Street Fighter II like a maniac and I was good. Like ran-the-arcade-game-for-three-hours-on-one-quarter-taking-on-all-comers good. My apologies to our Pentecostal brothers for whom this video pokes a bit of fun, but I think you will find it low brow enough to not to be too offended, but corney enough to warrant a chuckle, even if you are a fan of Benny Hin.
Posted by BPhillips at 3:09 PM
Monday, June 17, 2013
commercial consumption. Religion falls prey to dissatisfaction as we seek newer ways to get a better “God-experience”. Even in the ancient world people were keen to 1-up to the next religious idea or fad. Such was the case in the city of Colossae, to which St. Paul wrote a letter guiding them to not fall prey to the latest philosophies and religious ideas that were part of the first century spiritual stew of the Roman Empire.
Paul admonishes the Colossians to make sure that “no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition” (2:8). He wanted them to not chase after religious practices and observances to be better Christians, and so feed their sense of dissatisfaction. Instead he urges them to be satisfied with Jesus Christ. In Colossians Paul gives us some of the grandest and richest descriptions of Christ in all the New Testament. “For in him all the fullness of God was please to dwell” (1:19). There is no one greater than Jesus, the God-Man, and nothing sweeter than his Gospel, and yet, as Augustine pointed out, “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.” Learning to be satisfied in life is a constant challenge, and certainly part of our life of faith we are to learn to be satisfied with God’s saving grace in Christ. During July we will be reading through Paul’s letter to the Colossians. May we heed its glorious presentation of Jesus Christ, and learn from its sacred message to die to our dissatisfaction and trust in and be satisfied with Christ alone – for all else will leave us wanting.
Posted by BPhillips at 9:28 PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
It is life-giving because in the Gospel a message is given to sin-sick souls that something has already been done to cleanse, forgive, restore, justify, and ultimately glorify them. The rub is that we sinners had nothing to do with it, and we just don’t like that part! That is why it is by God’s grace. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul declares, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness came through the Law, then Christ died for nothing” (2:21).To put it in Luther’s terminology, if the Glory Story worked, then we have no need of Jesus on the Cross. If we are helpless, and can see our own helplessness, then we have every need of a crucified and risen Savior.
The cross story creates faith in Christ, the glory story creates faith in ourselves.
Crux sola est nostra theologia.
Posted by BPhillips at 4:13 PM