It is not unusual for all religions to be lumped into the same basket and dismissed collectively. Yet, even a cursory reading of the core texts of any religion will expose clear differences. What does Christianity offer that might helpfully encourage a person to look more deeply into the truths that the Bible reveals?
Foundational to belief of Christianity, is the historical reality of the person of Jesus and with that comes his well-documented life, teaching, death and resurrection.
Whilst it is true that belief in the existence of Jesus may be a no brainer and acknowledging his death traditional – to allow his teachings to shape the way we live, or to hold to the idea of a resurrection – for some is a step too far.
There are a chorus of Atheist voices who have spoken loudly against religion. That is not new, every age in history since and including the time of Jesus has seen opposition to organized religion – and at times, sadly, the opposition has been well placed.
In a series of short talks, we look at what the ‘new atheists’ say about the resurrection, before examine the resurrection for ourselves. The hope that we might be able the weigh up what is said and reordered in scripture and history and make our own decisions about faith.
Easter is a special time for many around the world – a time to reflect, to be thankful, to lift our minds and hearts above the day to day and to appreciate the world we live in.
Arguably, more than any other event in history, Easter has shaped our world. The coming of the man Jesus and then his arrest, trial, crucifixion and then resurrection stunned the world. What Jesus taught about life, love, good works, sin, justice, forgiveness, hope has shaped cultures, governments, legislation, education, tradition and so much more. Yet his death and resurrection transformed people’s lives and gave a personal hope beyond the grave. Love him or loath him, he has left his mark for the benefit of generations across history.
In this trilogy of Easter talks, we walk with Jesus through the pages of John’s Gospel from his arrest to his resurrection.
We all like and want justice – yet justice is not possible unless there is judgement (vindicating the good and condemning the bad). In Jesus you have a judge – who is just, right and good. Can we say the same about our own judgements?
Without love, truth will not be valued. Without truth, it is difficult to know how to obey. Without obedience, it is impossible to demonstrate true love.
To understand Love, it will help to understand how it is integrally connected to Truth and to Obedience, such that you cannot separate the three. These three ideas intersect with one another at almost every point.
Taking our lead from the letter of 1 John, we have looked at Perfect Love (Part 2 of this series). We turn our attention now to the relationships between Love, Truth and Obedience.
I was asked the question: ‘What are the major challenges, and/or ministry opportunities, facing Australian churches in 2018?”
It is far above my station to be able to speak for just the church in which I serve let alone all Australian churches! And so with that caveat, I humbly offered this opinion in answer to that question:
Christians face the continued challenge to be in the world but not of it.