Gordon-Conwell Blog

Our Creative God

July 21, 2016

By Tim Laniak, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament and former Dean of the Charlotte Campus

Let me begin this brief (and therefore audacious) refection on God’s creativity with a short summary of what the Bible says regarding creation. Genesis leads with a bold idea that only Yahweh* is the Creator— He alone created everything in this world. In the context of rival worldviews, this likely constituted a polemic against any claims to the contrary. Nothing else is to be worshipped because, after all, everything except God is derivative. Genesis 1 describes God’s creative acts as issuing from a divine word. As the writer to the Hebrews puts it, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible,” (Heb. 11:3**). A succession of powerful, life-creating words is at the heart of the panoramic description of creation.

Genesis 1 is also characterized by order, and perhaps more to the point, ordering. God orchestrates the creation in a succession of days, beginning with the domains for all things and then the respective inhabitants of each domain. The puzzle pieces fall into place, one by one, until the humans are created and given a sacred, royal trust to rule over God’s world. Genesis 2, the “zoom lens” view of the sixth day, provides a different angle of vision on our Creator God. He creates a world that is, in all of its diversity, pleasurably beautiful. This may already be hinted at in the simple words, “it was very good,” repeated in Genesis 1. Chapter 2 goes even further to stir the senses. The trees are “pleasing to the eye and good for food.” You can virtually hear the bubbling streams that led from Eden to the four great rivers. You can smell the “aromatic resin” and perhaps catch a glimpse of shimmering gold and onyx.

Adam takes the invitation to name the various animals that are living with him safely in this stunning paradise. And then God creates Eve to join Adam in their shameless, naked enjoyment of God’s created world—an expansive garden of delightful differentiation of life forms, sizes, colors, textures and elements. Think of the garden described lyric after lyric in the Song of Songs. Who wouldn’t, while looking and smelling and tasting in this exotic garden, admire the creative mind behind it all?

That gives you a sense of what a fairly quick read of Genesis 1 and 2 says. Taking the rest of the Bible (and a bit of Ancient Near Eastern background) into account, you can also recognize some implicit analogies about this Creator God. Before I mention them, let me assure you that I’m not trying to turn God into a human. That’s the last thing the biblical creation account allows for! But the Bible does engage in what we call “anthropomorphisms.” That is, we are invited to think about God in terms of human qualities and roles. This is a massive accommodation to us created beings, but one that graciously makes an invisible God more understandable and more accessible.

First, God is the Divine Architect who fashions the world according to his predetermined design. In the prophets and wisdom literature we hear about God “laying the foundations of the earth.” He asks Job if he was there when he “marked off the earth’s foundations” and “stretched a measuring line across it.” Job wasn’t there when the footings were set and the cornerstone was laid “while the morning stars sang together and the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:4-9; cf. Prov. 8:27-31). The heavens were filled with the sounds of astonishment and delight when the Architect took what was in his mind and made it visible in space.

God is the Divine King who chose to create and order a kingdom. The Kingdom of God is not just a New Testament concept. It is a notion of life the way God intended, grounded in this initial design. His Sabbath rest hints of “sitting down” on his throne in a cosmic realm over which He alone reigns— a realm where all his enemies are “under his feet.”

God is also the Divine Craftsman who “makes” (‘asah) and “forms” (yatsar) things that he calls into being. Forming Adam from the ground (‘adamah), in particular, is the result of God “getting his hands dirty.” And Eve’s creation equally engages God in an intimate, personal way. He, literally, “built” her from a rib taken from Adam. We are, as humans, a mix of divine breath and the dust of the earth. God continues to create each one of us and to “form” every day of our lives (Ps. 139:13-17).

It isn’t hard to spot the Divine Gardener at work in Paradise. “The Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed” (Gen. 2:8). God brought Adam and Eve into the creative project that he had begun. They would oversee and contribute to the fertile productivity of this garden. This was not only the organic environment where they would work. Eden was a covenantal farm, with one tree that brought perpetual life and another tree that brought an end to that life.

Finally, God the Divine Father is here in Eden as the spiritual parent of the first humans. You find a hint of that when the same language of “image and likeness” is used as Adam has his own son, Seth. Luke will later trace the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam, “the son of God.” Sonship is perhaps as “creative” as any analogy. Reproduction is the most direct way that any person contributes to the creation of another.

Have you forgotten just how creative God is? Look around at the world he created. Do you see the fingerprints of a master Architect? A sovereign King? An engaged Craftsman? An imaginative Gardener? Your eternal Father? I certainly hope so!

Dr. Tim Laniak (M.Div.’89) is Professor of Old Testament and former Dean of the Charlotte Campus. He has served as a missionary in 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East; as the Director of the International Fellowship House in Boston; and as a welfare housing manager for elderly immigrants in Brookline, Massachusetts. For more insight on topics addressed in this article, see his book Finding the Lost Images of God (Zondervan, 2012).

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Weep with Those Who Weep

July 11, 2016

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Last week the tragic murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile unleashed a wave of distress, anger and fear. The trauma continued as five Dallas civil servants were killed with seven others maimed by a vengeful sniper. Our hearts go out to the numerous families suffering and mourning the loss of loved ones as a result of these violent and senseless actions. Clearly as a society we have much work to do in balancing social justice and order.

This past weekend, many of you led and participated in prayer vigils, sensitive dialogues and communal worship experiences where you prayed for the families who are in mourning and prayed for peace and justice across the country. In times like these it can be challenging to make sense of the anxiety that is sweeping the land. As leaders who have accepted God’s challenge to “think theologically, engage globally and live biblically,” I encourage you to pray, engage in meaningful dialogue and to continue to lead God's people in communal worship seeking shalom.

As a seminary, we remain committed to encouraging opportunities for formal and informal dialogue within our diverse and inclusive campuses as we continue to train leaders for the 21st century Church. To that end, over the coming months you will hear about our new Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience (ISBCE) which will lead conversations on race relations and racial reconciliation, one of ISBCE’s goals. Led by Drs. Emmett G. Price III and Patrick Smith, the ISBCE will further empower our comprehensive training for seminarians and our robust resources for prospective and current students as well as graduates.

Please continue to pray for those who are mourning and suffering, and for the Church as it seeks to comfort, bring hope and embody justice in this time of turbulence and great loss.

Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

Dr. Hollinger, I appreciate your comments and your desire to promote peace and racial reconciliation. I must respectfully disagree however with your characterization of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as murder. Though their deaths were certainly tragic and perhaps unwarranted, they are not categorically the same as those of the five policemen who were killed by a sniper. An investigation and perhaps a jury will determine if Sterling and Castile were in fact unjustly killed (murdered) or if they were tragic victims of their circumstances and our gun obsessed culture.
margaret 10:30AM 07/13/16

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 7

July 06, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando on 6/12 as well as those impacted by the recent terrorism in Turkey. The following is the final of a seven-part blog series adapted from an article originally published through the C.S. Lewis Institute.

Part 7 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Mystery, Not Certainty

…If God is good and all powerful, then why are there terrorist acts within the world? All humans have wrestled in some fashion with that question, and a whole book of the Bible is devoted to it– Job.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 many have yearned for certainty regarding God’s actions on that day. Where was God and what was God up to? It’s only natural to seek certainty in the divine realm. It brings consolation in the face of threats of and evil which has now become normalized in our world. As a result some believers have felt the need to make pronouncements regarding God’s involvement in this terrorist act, and with certitude assert judgment, causality or other kinds of divine action. These difficult questions have been constant struggling companion to faith amidst the world’s growing familiarity with terrorism.

Clearly there are many things about God’s actions and character we know with confidence. For example, we know that God is personal, triune, and simultaneously transcendent and immanent. We know that He is a God of mercy who wants to redeem us and who has taken the initiative to reveal himself to us in the written word, the Bible, and the incarnate word, Jesus Christ.

But clearly there are some things about divine actions we just do not know. This is especially true in attempting to understand God’s ways in human history– his judgments, actions and permissions within the world. As Isaiah the prophet put it, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:9). Thus, we need to affirm some degree of divine mystery that we will never fully comprehend and capture within the limits of finitude. Let’s explore three such mysteries that are pertinent for our times.

First, there is mystery regarding human suffering and evil within the world. If God is good and all powerful, then why are there terrorist acts within the world? All humans have wrestled in some fashion with that question, and a whole book of the Bible is devoted to it– Job. Interestingly in the biblical drama after all of Job’s loss, suffering, and anguish from his “friends,” he never gets an answer to his question. God never answers the philosophical, theological or practical life questions surrounding suffering and evil. What Job receives is a new vision of God: “I had heard of you, now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). The reality of evil, suffering and terrorism in our world cannot be attributed to God, but clearly God has the power to intervene. Thus, the why’s and wherefore’s of God’s action in the face of the evil of September 11 and all terrorism today remain a mystery.

Second, there is mystery in God’s judgments in history. Some were of course quite certain that the terrorist acts were divine judgment against America and thought they knew the reason for them. It is quite clear that God’s judgment comes in history; it is less clear how it comes. For one thing, the judgment of God is always at work against human sin and injustice, as there are continual reverberations from actions and character that fly in the face of God. And likely the list of why God is judging us is more extensive and closer home than we think. Moreover, it is hard for us to comprehend what is clear in the biblical story, that judgment and redemption are sometimes mingled in ways that defy human imagination.

Third, there is mystery to God’s work of redemption in the midst of evil situations. God’s ways of awakening, of vindicating justice and righteousness, and of drawing humans to himself are always beyond our limited perceptions. If redemption was limited to our preconceived notions of how God can or must work, such redemption would hardly be worth the time.

A sense of mystery in our understanding of and relationship to God is significant for deep spirituality. After all would we really want to entrust our lives to one we’d figured out? We would be trusting in the finite. Would we really seek to glorify one we fully understood? G.K. Chesterton with great insight once wrote: “We are perhaps permitted tragedy as a sort of merciful comedy: because the frantic energy of divine things would knock us down like a drunken farce. We can take our own tears more lightly than we could take the tremendous levities of the angels. So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear” (Orthodoxy, p. 160).

And so as we seek to understand God’s presence amidst evil we see mystery not certitude. But in that mystery we find the hope of the world that binds our wounds, evokes our trust, ensures our freedom, and guides our paths for a journey in a very precarious world.

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 6

July 06, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando on 6/12 as well as those impacted by the recent terrorism in Turkey. The following is part six of a seven-part blog series adapted from an article originally published through the C.S. Lewis Institute.

Part 6 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Global, Not Parochial

By nature we seek to preserve ourselves, our own group, and our own nation. Particularly in time of crisis, when our very existence is threatened, we turn to that which is safe and familiar. Our natural tendencies are in one sense good, as we strive for familiarity which eases discord. Thus it makes sense that our natural response to terrorism is often to be parochial, and to shrink into being self-focused. Though a self-focused stance can be viewed negatively, there’s also good reason to believe that moral responsibility always begins at home.

But as we know too well, parochialism (the restriction of concerns to the narrow and limited– to those like me) stifles humanity through prejudice, ethnocentrism and racism. Parochialism teaches a mindset of only “my group” and “my nation” as the center of reality and the bearer of good. With this all else is deemed to be evil.

In stark contrast, God calls us to be global Christians. Globally-focused Christians know that while national, racial, and ethnic identities are important, they are not the defining marks of a Christian. It is important that factors such as these are always viewed secondary to both our humanness and our identity as members of the universal Church, the Body of Christ. World-focused Christians recognize that we have brothers and sisters in Christ in almost every nation and tribe. Thus, we can never look out just for ourselves. Therefore, being a global Christian reminds us that we must be concerned for terrorism not only on our own turf, but all over the world. Because of this we become painfully aware of the global terrorism that has relentlessly ensued. Global faith always keeps Christ’s Great Commission central, recognizing that some national (national as in what? Nations? Government? Individual responses from a nation?) responses can have dire consequences upon our attempts to invite men and women across the globe to experience God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

The more we know and experience terrorism the more we realize that it is a worldwide issue, not just an American issue. Recent history has proved this to be tragically true. Therefore, it is important to remember parochialism is blinding and will cut us off from this reality and from the responsibilities we share in our world community. Thus through the eyes of faith, our response should be global, not parochial.

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 5

June 30, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando on Sunday 6/12. The following is a seven-part series Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Institute, www.cslewisinstitute.org, Knowing & Doing, Winter 2001.

Day 5 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Mortality, Not Invincibility

Up until September 11, 2001 the United States mostly thought we were invincible. Thus, one of our first responses was, “How can this happen to us?” Since the industrial revolution, the Western modern world has mastered nature, natural resources, reproduction, the human genome, life, death and much in between. As moderns we assumed that we could solve all problems, set things right, and determine good outcomes according to desired ends. We had become accustomed to thinking of ourselves as all powerful and in control.

Then came the terrorism on September 11, 2001. Amazingly the terrorists used our own instruments of control, our technology, back against us. With a handful of people and a few hundred thousand dollars, the terrorists were able to do what no other nation or army on earth could do. This forced us to realize– we were not invincible.

If there is anything we have learned from tragic terrorist attacks around the world, it is awareness of our own mortality. This is the biblical perspective. God is Creator; we are creatures. God is infinite; we are finite. God is eternal; we are temporal. As C.S. Lewis noted, events such as war or terror in the past made death real to humans, for,

they thought it good for us to be always aware of our mortality. I am inclined to think they were right. All the animal life in us, all schemes of happiness that centered in this world, were always doomed to a final frustration. In ordinary times only a wise man can realize it. Not the stupidest of us knows.... If we had foolish un-Christian hopes about human culture, they are now shattered. If we thought we were building up a heaven on earth, if we looked for something that would turn the present world from a place of pilgrimage into a permanent city satisfying the soul of man, we are disillusioned, and not a moment too soon (The Weight of Glory, p. 32).

A sense of mortality in the face of terrorism leads us to humility, not triumphalism; to realism, not utopianism. It evokes wisdom, not arrogance. It is in mortality that we seek dependence upon God and find salvation in Christ. Thus through the eyes of faith, our response should be mortality, not invincibility.

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 4

June 24, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando on Sunday 6/12. The following is a seven-part series Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Institute, www.cslewisinstitute.org, Knowing & Doing, Winter 2001.

Part 4 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Justice, Not Revenge

 

Following the emotions of anger and fear, terrorism tends to breed an emotional response of revenge. This is a natural response, wanting to hit back, get even, and take out vengeance on the evildoers. Revenge is the innate desire to make the wrong right. It has roots in our created being. But as fallen creatures, that deep impulse becomes twisted, excessive and misguided. On the basis of emotional outrage, revenge often wants to strike back without principle or limitation. Largely originally triggered by the events of September 11, 2001, we’ve often heard the language of revenge in the form of contempt towards Muslims, Arabs, and people of middle-eastern descent. Even Arab Christians in the United States have had to fear for their lives. This is not helpful.

Alternatively, it would be more helpful to replace revenge with a need for justice. Even as Christians are called to a spirit of forgiveness that ultimately seeks restoration, it is appropriate that life in a fallen world calls for justice. A voice for justice in a world that seeks unrestrained vengeance is a voice for fairness, not just emotional outrage. Justice seeks to limit our passions and feelings and respond from principle and wisdom rather than just internal sentiments. Justice does not belong in personal hands and should be supported by evidence. The blindfold on “lady justice” has often symbolized the importance of ensuring that justice, not revenge, is our response to evil.

In a world without justice, revenge dominates and builds a history of injustice. It perpetuates more acts of violence, and the spiral begins – generation after generation – a reality we now know all too well throughout the world. The goal of justice is ultimately comforting as it calls for restoration and peace. Isaiah 32:17 says, for “The fruits of justice shall be peace,” (Isa. 32.17). Thus through the eyes of faith, our response should be justice, not revenge.

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 3

June 22, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando on Sunday 6/12. The following is a seven-part series Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Institute, www.cslewisinstitute.org, Knowing & Doing, Winter 2001.

Part 3 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Hope, Not Fear

After anger, the next emotion many of us feel in response to terrorism is fear. As we experience and hear of more potential terrorist strategies, fear proliferates. After all, terrorism is the attempt to overthrow and control others by instilling intense fear or terror in the hearts and minds of people. Fear is an emotion of distress in response to impending danger, pain or evil. It helps enable us to become aware of these realities as well as respond to them. Fear is a natural emotion and one of God’s good gifts to us.
But fear also has great dangers. Most visibly - its sinister ability to immobilize and cause paralysis of action. It often prevents us from performing responsibilities and engaging new opportunities in life. Thus, there are parts of fear that need to be redeemed.
We might think that the antidote to fear is courage, since it is a classical cardinal virtue. But the more appropriate Christian response to fear is actually hope. While courage tends to reside within our own natural proclivities and self-discipline, hope is supernatural in its source and nature. For Christians, hope in perilous times is not ultimately in nation, military power, or our own ability to cope. Our hope is in a God who is ultimately in control. In the midst of terror and evil, Christians have hope because we believe God is nonetheless there turning human desecration into good. This is illustrated in Romans 8:28 which says, “We know that in all things God is working for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to his purposes.” Hope is a true reality because we can have confidence in the One beyond the immediate, finite and sinful realities of this world. Therefore, in a troubled dangerous world, it is that ultimate hope that motivates and sustains us.
Thus, if we look at the world from a natural lens of courage, due to human failure, there is reason to fear. But when we look at the world through a supernatural lens there is reason for hope. Psalm 27:1-3 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?... Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” Thus through the eyes of faith, our response should be hope, not fear.

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series, Part 2

June 20, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

The following is part two of a seven-part series Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Institute, www.cslewisinstitute.org, Knowing & Doing, Winter 2001.

Part 2 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: Righteous Indignation, not Unbridled Anger

Likely, one of our immediate reactions to terrorism is anger. When attacked physically or psychologically, resentment and belligerence often arise within us. Anger is a good gift, as it enables us to deal emotionally with violations, injustices, and evil that threatens our life and integrity. But anger is also fallen, and hence it can turn to unbridled anger that will eventually control us. In its fallen state, unbridled anger tends to build a pattern that imprisons us, one that won’t let go and perpetuates disgust, disrespect, and eventually violence. As Horace, the Roman poet put it, “Anger is a short madness.”

It’s because of the safeguard against the brutal impact of anger upon both the victim and the offender that the Bible provides this wise direction, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” (Ephesians 4:26). Thus our natural unbridled anger needs to be transformed into righteous indignation, a holy wrath with strong feelings directed towards the evil, sin and injustice perpetrated. Righteous indignation moves us beyond the uncontrollable outrage directed against individuals to a more principled anger focusing on the evil done. Such redeemed anger is perhaps akin to God’s own holy wrath, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). Such anger arises from

God’s own holiness, sin and evil are direct contradictions to God’s own nature and actions.

A tension exists. And because terrorist events continue, such as the recent tragedies in Orlando, amidst mourning, this is a tension we must navigate on a daily basis. If we are not angered by acts of terrorism, we likely have little sense of either goodness or evil. But if we live in unbridled anger, we may succumb to the very evil that outrages us in the first place. Thus, as we continue to explore this topic, we remember the Lord calls for righteous indignation, not unbridled anger.

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

June 15, 2016

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: A Gordon-Conwell Blog Series

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Gordon-Conwell joins the global community in mourning and praying for the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place in Orlando this past Sunday. The following is a seven-part series Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Institute, www.cslewisinstitute.org, Knowing & Doing, Winter 2001.

 

Part 1 | Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith: An Introduction

The events of September 11, 2001 triggered a paradigm shift that brought terrorism to the dinner table. Within all of us, this shift produced a broad array of conflicting emotions that had to be dealt with. Since 2001 and through today, terrorism continues to sadly make its mark. We still struggle to know how to think, feel and respond to these attacks.

Of course as Christians it should not come as a total surprise, we know the world is not the way it’s supposed to be. The words of CS Lewis at the outbreak of World War II are applicable to the current situation: “The war [attack] creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice..... We are mistaken when we compare war with ‘normal life.’ Life has never been normal” (The Weight of Glory, p. 23). But as Christians, despite a world view that predisposes us to understand such evil, we are still left reeling within ourselves.

As we think about our responses to the continued threat and impact of terrorism, it is helpful to recall that our emotions and cognitive processes are ultimately good gifts of God to help us navigate our way in the face of danger, evil and uncertainty within the world. But of course there’s a problem. We are fallen creatures, and thus our emotions and cognitive responses aren’t as God intended. While they are still fundamentally good gifts of God, they are twisted, distorted, and miss the mark of their original intention. As those redeemed by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we need to allow our emotions and thinking to also be transformed. Thus, terrorism through the eyes of faith needs a clear understanding of our natural emotions and thinking, in contrast to the redeemed perspective. Yes indeed, terrorism now battles for a seat at our dinner tables. In the coming days in this series, we will explore this reality together.

 

 

 

Tags:

Add comment

COMMENTS

Indeed. I believe that now, more than ever the Christian message of redemption through the cross of Christ must be proclaimed in its fullness. The rise of Islamic extremism has exposed the human depravity and continually poses questions in the mind of the skeptic and believer, questions only the cross can answer. I love the simplicity of language and clarity of writing.
Joseph Byamukama 2:41PM 06/24/16