Chapter 8: Mission

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The Christian term mission refers to the idea that God has sent his people into the world in the same way that he sent his Son. Jesus told his followers, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Jesus’ followers are equipped with the task of announcing the love of God in Jesus Christ to the world. Where the church has resorted to ugly militant (whether metaphorical and literal) methods of expanding its borders is where the church stands in outright opposition to the mission of Christ.

Far from stifling indigenous culture, Christian mission ought tocause individuals as well as cultures to flourish in all their unique God-given brightness. In Chapter 6 we talked about how the Holy Spirit fills individuals and causes all the nuances of their personality to flourish in Jesus. In the same way, the Spirit fills communities and causes all their cultural nuances and beauty to come alive in Christ. Continue reading Chapter 8: Mission

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Chapter 7: Bible

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The journey continues as we explore the implications of a world which God has created by, through, and for Jesus, that Jewish carpenter who lived about 2000 years ago.

In chapter 4 we discussed Psalm 19. The first six verses of this Psalm discuss “ha shamayim” (the heavens), describing how creation in its entirety declares God’s glory. But the rest of the psalm turns to a different subject: the Torah, or God’s written instruction or law or simply Scripture. Continue reading Chapter 7: Bible

Chapter 6: Spirit

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The meaning of life is Jesus. His glory is the purpose of the entire world, according to Scripture. God is in the business of orchestrating creation and history to reflect Christ’s goodness and beauty.

So far we have considered how everything in life can rightly be understood as a type of Christ. Life is like the Tabernacle or like Solomon’s Temple; it is like a room or a building that is filled to the brim with images and symbols designed by God, the Master Artist, which point to the Messiah Jesus. The building blocks of our reality are pictures of Jesus. Everything we experience points to him. He is the True Security that our soul longs for when we lock our home. He is the True Freedom our hearts crave when we clock out at work. Continue reading Chapter 6: Spirit

Chapter 5: Evil

Creation is saturated with images of the Messiah, just like the Old Testament is. The building blocks of the world are essentially types of Christ, just like Moses and the Tabernacle were types of Christ. Food, cars, chairs, relationships, streets, oceans, business transactions, computers, and everything else in our world are metaphors which point to the Messiah. Just as Noah’s flood dramatized the future salvation of Jesus, so showering, washing hands, washing dishes, and any kind of washing imaginable is also a picture of the cleansing of the baptism and new birth we receive from him. Continue reading Chapter 5: Evil

Chapter 4: Creation

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Paul begins the book of Romans by saying that the righteous wrath of God is coming in judgment against the ungodliness of humanity because “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20). Continue reading Chapter 4: Creation

Chapter 3: Parables

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We all have a perspective on reality. This shapes the way we live our lives and the way we treat people, and what we think about Donald Trump.

Jesus also had a perspective that shaped his life. He had an opinion about his world and about the people around him. He had ideas about reality and about who he was. Reading the Gospels you find Jesus rejoicing in the behavior of some and indignant toward the behavior of others. Continue reading Chapter 3: Parables