Sunday, October 26, 2008

Putting Out An APB For...

I'm curious as to whether or not anyone else is looking at this blog at all. If people are, I'm wondering if there would be interest in using this as a forum for discussing the challenges facing college-aged Christians in general. Is anyone interested in something like this?

Also, how many of us actually finished the book?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spicing it Up

Hello!! How is everyone doing?

I know that this is a book discussion but I am switching gears a little bit. I know people are probably super busy and I will be honest: I have not put as much time in the book as I would have liked to. I'll be on a 5-6 hr car ride tomorrow & Sunday so there should be some reading time.

This summer, I've found myself understanding more about Jesus when I reflect on different experiences I have. My desire to talk about Jesus with others has grown tremendously. At the rehab. hospital I volunteer at, the majority of the patients are senior citizens. Many are nervous about death and worried about time. I have yet to experience this but I think as people grow older, they begin to wonder, "What is going to happen to me?" I thank God I will never experience this but please pray for the people who do. Being with these people has helped me gain a better understanding as to why it is good to be open about Jesus with people you don't know that well.

I hope that everyone is having a fantastic summer. I am sorry to switch gears, but I wanted to inform everyone on how God is working in my life. Also, please pray for the summer camp I will be working at. I'm hired as one of the directors which is exciting, except I need prayer with this job. At camp, I tend to be someone who avoids conflict, confrontation, and if someone walks over me, I just take it. My boss had a conversation with me and the main director, informing me that I need to be more vocal about my needs and not to let lower-staff walk all over me. I also tend to worry about different things (I'm now worried about being able to effectively prepare everything, being less scatter-brained, and just doing a great job in general). Please pray for my confidence, ability to initiate/step up, organization skills, and just that I will do a great job. I care a lot about my campers, the counselors, and the other directors. God enriches my life so much from working here.

Thank you!

In Him,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To the Finish

This week's assignment is to the end! If you have made it this far, well done. I hope the reading has been helpful to you and am always interested in questions or reflections you've had. If you are behind, take heart and press onward! The words of the book do not change just because the month of June is over.

See you all at the finish!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Halfway to Glory

A quick disclaimer afer a deluge of reading (and probably slow reading at that!) from Week 2: If you've fallen behind in the "schedule," take heart! You can read a book outside the time schedule set up by this blog! I'm merely putting up weekly readings for those Type A folks who desire (read: need) a strucuture in which to accomplish the reading and who desire to be in the same place as others. Do not feel pressured that if you are not keeping up here you have failed and should just stop reading. Please proceed at your own pace. And if thoughts come to you, feel free to share them with us, regardless of where you are.

Week 3 (June 16-22): Part 3, pgs. 165-246

The material eases up considerably in Part 4, so take heart and keep plowing if you are on schedule.

Onward and upward, my friends!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mystery, Necessary but Unexplainable

I joined a church for the first time in my life two years ago. I had to go through an interview with one of the elders to ensure I understood the Gospel (and to talk to me about it if I did not) before welcoming me in as a member to receive all the privileges of membership.

In the interview, the elder asked me, "Who was Jesus?". I paused, knowing one cannot sum up God's character in a 30 second monologue, and then proceeded to toss out some things about salvation, identity, and freedom from anxiety. He smiled and told me he was blessed by my answer but would not let me leave until I answered his follow-up question:

"Was Jesus man or God?"

I responded "fully God and fully man," as I had been taught to do by my three years in InterVarsity (shameless plug!). Poof! I was a member. I remember thinking it odd though that of all the questions he could have asked, my interview turned, indeed depended on, this one about Christ's divinity.

Any time the Trinity comes up in any discussion on campus I almost automatically default to "God's mysterious"/"If we could understand God, he wouldn't be God"/"There's just some things we can't know" language. This is all true. The Trinity is, and has been, an unexplainable mystery, how one God can exist in three persons.

100% + 100% + 100% = 100% Go ahead, Math majors. Try to explain that one to me.

The end of Part 2 does help our understanding of this mystery though, not that we know how it works but that we know why it's necessary and what the consequences of Jesus being fully God and fully man (or to use other language, not just a human but also a divine part of the Trinity) are.

"Anselm was right that only man should make reparation for his sins, since it is he who has defaulted. And he was equally right that only God could make the necessary reparation, since it is he who has demanded it. Jesus Christ is therefore the only Savior, since he is the only person in whom the 'should' and the 'could' are united, being himself both God and man" (157).

If Jesus is not a complete human, he is not qualified to receive the punishment due to sinful man. Mankind as a race will not have received its punishment, and there is no second Adam to undo the first. God would not be holy and just.

If Jesus is not completely divine, then our salvation cost God nothing. He merely would have poured out his wrath on a 3rd party which would have been either unjust, immoral, or unfair (depending on who the party was). Either way, God would not be loving.

Now how does this "fully God, fully man" thing work? I have no clue. But it is indispensible to our salvation from a God of holy love. In fact, without the "fully God, fully man" doctrine (which one could say makes no sense), our salvation makes no sense.

I think I have confused myself. Somebody push back on this. Can someone explain this better? Are my above "If" clauses heretical?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


on humility, the cross and some other stuff thrown in there :-D

there is so much to look at and think about here that i dont know where to start, and i hope that i am not too long winded (even in type) as i randomly try to think stuff through, but here goes.

starting off Stott says we need to seriously look at both the "seriousness of sin" and the "majesty of God"... and really when we can look at these I think that humility is all that there is room left for. It seems like the more we see who God is and His perfect and scary Holiness, well thats when we can see how imperfect, dirty and small we are. If we can really look at who we are then we can realize that we are nothing and that God is everything, and I guess when we get to that point there is really no room for pride.

The Holiness and the wrath of God seems so crucial to this point, because without them our sin doesnt seem too bad and we look like maybe we could make do on our own. And we dont really talk about a wrathful God all that much, because honestly who wouldnt rather talk about happy, loving Jesus all day? Stott quotes Hab. on page 104 it says that God is "too pure to look on evil." its just something that i've been thinking about and still trying to understand....

so far as building humility in ourselves and in our community... and what it looks like to live it out... i just get the word honesty. like pure honesty and openess with who we are and the crap that we've done. being honest about who God is and how short we fall down- and how AWESOME that makes God's grace. learning to be open and honest with each other and holding each other accountable to that.
and (honestly...) this isnt something i am wicked great at all the time, but thats the idea that i'm getting about humility and as i read this book... i'm looking forward to see what other stuff you guys are thinking about!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Take It Back

So, on Saturday I wrote that reading Part 2 would be "fun."

Today, I came across Stott's description of the work we must do in Part 2 on page 91:

"It will not be a plesant exercise, and our integrity will be tested in the course of it."