Thursday, 17 August 2017

Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 2)

Brian Zahnd joins me on the MennoNerds podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. This is Part 2 of our ongoing discussion on the book.

Video Breakdown 

The idea tracing back to Anselm that God is satisfying his wrath, punishing Jesus, in order to gain the capital that allows God to forgive. (0:16)
The kind of justice which takes place at the cross. (6:42)
The view of wrath striking Jesus on the cross, and how we should see wrath instead. (14:11)
Hell and its various meanings which are not from Scripture. (23:16)
The parables of the sheep and the goats and of Lazarus and the rich man. (32:52)
How Brian preaches Hell. (36:48)
Interpreting the book of Revelation. (41:04)
The centrality of love. (45:31)
Brian’s hope for the book. (49:46)
Closing prayer. (50:42)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 1)

Brian Zahnd joins me the podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. In Part 1, we focus on Brian’s story and the nature of the Bible. 

Video Breakdown
  • Brian’s work with Word of Life Church in St. Joseph’s, Missouri. (1:09)
  • Writing theology at a pastoral level. (4:39)
  • The artwork on the cover of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. (9:21)
  • Brian’s fascination with the infamous sermon of Jonathan Edward, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, including how that sermon is not representative of Edward’s ministry. (12:59)
  • Why we should not see God as angry, spiteful and abhorring of sinners. (22:50)
  • How we got to this place where the Bible is understood the way it is. (29:26)
  • Interpreting the Transfiguration. (37:20)
  • What the Bible is, if it isn’t an end in itself. (44:44)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Interview with Bruxy Cavey: (Re)Union

Bruxy Cavey joins me on the MennoNerds podcast to talk about his newest book, (Re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Historical Reasons for the Resurrection?

This past Sunday I did something that I had never done before as a Pastor. I preached on the historical reasons for the resurrection. It was not an easy sermon to prepare. There is a lot of material to cover in such a short time. I found myself a bit apprehensive to give a list of reasons why one might believe in the resurrection. (You can listen to that sermon above in the video player) 

You may ask, "Why the apprehension?"

Certainly, that is a valid question. 

Why should any minister of the Gospel be apprehensive on sharing the historical case for the resurrection? I guess my apprehension could be narrowed to the fact that I did not want to build an entire case on reason alone. I think it's dangerous to base our faith on a post-enlightenment rationalism that declares, "I have empirically proven the answer, thus removing the need for faith."

 Jason Micheli captures my apprehension perfectly when he writes,
 "The Barthian in me bristles at the unexamined assumption that that which is ‘objective’ and true must be empirically verifiable, it’s nonetheless true that the same Barthian in me is allergic to rational apologetics."- 
And so all of this left me with an uneasy feeling about putting together a sermon that compiled a list of reasons for believing the resurrection. I was apprehensive about a "wooden rationalism" that called for undeniable verification. Thankfully, both Jason & N.T. Wright helped me provide a proper framing of where to put these arguments for the resurrection. 

Jason Micheili cleverly asserts this dialectical statement:
To say the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical verification is true, for we believe God intervenes from beyond history to raise Jesus from beyond the grave. But to say the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical verification is not also to suggest that the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical plausibility, for we believe God intervenes to raise Jesus from the grave within historyIn fact... I do think the resurrection is the best- or at least a compelling- historical explanation for the resurrection of Jesus.

N.T. Wright, in his popular book Surprised By Hope, (and elsewhere) spends endless chapters laying out the historical case for the plausibility of the resurrection. Yet, after tirelessly laying out his through argument, Wright explains to his readers exactly where these rationalistic based arguments belong for followers of Jesus. He writes, 
"[T]hough the historical arguments for Jesus’s bodily resurrection are truly strong, we must never suppose that they will do more than bring people to the questions faced by Thomas, Paul, and Peter, the questions of faith, hope, and love. We cannot use a supposedly objective historical epistemology as the ultimate ground for the truth of Easter. To do so would be like lighting a candle to see whether the sun had risen. What the candles of historical scholarship will do is to show that the room has been disturbed, that it doesn’t look like it did last night, and that would-be normal explanations for this won’t do. Maybe, we think after the historical arguments have done their work, maybe morning has come and the world has woken up. But to investigate whether this is so, we must take the risk and open the curtains to the rising sun. When we do so, we won’t rely on the candles anymore, not because we don’t believe in evidence and argument but because they will have been overtaken by the larger reality from which they borrow, to which they point, and in which they will find a new and larger home. All knowing is a gift from God, historical and scientific knowing no less than that of faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love."- N.T. WrightSurprised By Hope, pg. 74
So this is all to say, that while I find the various reasons for the resurrection compelling, I must always recognize that these reasons alone cannot form the basis of faith and trust in the resurrection. I must go deeper from reason to hope, faith, and love

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

This age. This era.

This age. This era. 
The age of anger & cynicism; 
Outrage & worry;
Fear & reaction. 

If it bleeds it leads,
Outrage is all the rage,
Anger is the new patience 
And our worries multiply.

Wordless groans.
O Spirit, help us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray
We do not know what we ought to say

Help us see the new age that is to come;
A new vision, a new creation, the age of: 
Love! Joy! Peace! 
Patience! Kindness! 
Goodness! Faithfulness! 
Gentleness! Self-control! 

We are frail and weak;
In need of the Helper.
Lord, have mercy,
Christ, have mercy,
Lord, have mercy. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A Celtic Prayer


Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.


May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing
once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.