A Good Read on the Resurrection

In preparation for Easter this year I have been doing a lot of reading and studying about the incarnation of Christ and specifically about his resurrection.  This is such a profound and foundational teaching for the Church, I thought I would post a good article I read on this topic.

Here is an extended quote from an article Tim Keller wrote titled “A Case for the Resurrection” in the magazine Relevant. It was subtitled: “Author and pastor Tim Keller on why Christ’s Resurrection is more than just a story.

The resurrection was as inconceivable for the first
disciples, as impossible for them to believe, as it is for many of us
today. Granted, their reasons would have been different from ours. The
Greeks did not believe in resurrection; in the Greek worldview, the
afterlife was liberation of the soul from the body. For them,
resurrection would never be part of life after death. As for the Jews,
some of them believed in a future general resurrection when the entire
world would be renewed, but they had no concept of an individual rising
from the dead. The people of Jesus’ day were not predisposed to
believe in resurrection any more than we are.

Celsus, a Greek philosopher who lived in the second century A.D., was
highly antagonistic to Christianity and wrote a number of works listing
arguments against it. One of the arguments he believed most telling
went like this: Christianity can’t be true, because the written accounts
of the resurrection are based on the testimony of women—and we all
know women are hysterical. And many of Celsus’ readers agreed: For
them, that was a major problem. In ancient societies, as you know,
women were marginalized, and the testimony of women was never given
much credence.

Do you see what that means? If Mark and the Christians were making up
these stories to get their movement off the ground, they would never
have written women into the story as the first eyewitnesses to Jesus’
empty tomb. The only possible reason for the presence of women in these
accounts is that they really were present and reported what they saw.
The stone has been rolled away, the tomb is empty and an angel declares
that Jesus is risen.

Please check out the Relevant website to read more.

In Him,

Pastor Dennis

Farther Along

It is always interesting to me how the theme we are studying at Fellowship ties to the stuff that is happening in our community.  This last month or so has been a stretching one for me and for our community as many tough things have happened among us and among those tied to us relationally.

At the same time we are studying the Kenosis, the voluntary emptying taken on by Christ in the incarnation.  The “emptying” is actually summed up the taking on of the additional nature of humanity and along with it the giving up of the independent and continuous use of all that his deity would afford Him.  Only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to accomplish the will of the Father would He rely on his divine nature.

All of this was put into place that He might be the humble servant, redeemer and mediator that we so desperately needed, and for all this we are told that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow and tongue confess Jesus as Lord to the glory of the Father.

With all that has happened over the last few months I have to rest in the fact that this perfect God-man has the world in His hands and I can trust Him.

One of my favorite songs over the last year or so has been “Farther Along” by Josh Garrels a good old Portland boy.  The song says that Life does not make sense but “farther along” the journey we shall see more clearly, but for now we trust in the Lord and trust that all things will bring glory to God the Father through Jesus Christ.   Here video of the song and  the words from the song are below.  I hope you enjoy.

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves ’em both
We’re all cast-aways in need of rope
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by
Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all

And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
‘Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Theology, Context and Life Primer

As I have been preparing for our new teaching series for Easter I have been stretched in my understanding and application of the doctrine of the Incarnation.  I have always been intrigued by the meaning and implications of the Incarnation. 

In the Incarnation we find a solid theological foundation for the Gospel and the hope the Gospel brings.   Our study of the Incarnation will bring us to the understanding of the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made in taking on our form and becoming like us.  In this move He became our perfect High Priest who could understand our frailty and He became the one that would accomplish what we could not do for ourselves. 

Jesus also set the pace for what it means to contextualize the truth of the Gospel into the lives of those that He walked among,  Through this He shows us how we need to live life as His representatives.  We must look at the life of Christ as an example of how to live and the Gospels become our primer on how to live life well.