Kindness and Sternness (Romans 11.22-24)

Listen to The Daily Word online. What is God like? First John 4.8 says, in the context of encouraging Christians to love one another, “God is love.” But Hebrews 12.29 says, in the context of warning Christians about divine judgment, “God is a consuming fire.” Is God love or fire? Why not both! I thought about the dual nature of God’s character when I read Romans 11.22-24:  Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they … Continue reading Kindness and Sternness (Romans 11.22-24)

“Not to act reasonably is contrary to the nature of God”

Pope Benedict XVI deliverd a speech at the University of Regensburg that has generated quite a bit of controversy in the Muslim world. (The text of the speech is here.) The thesis of the speech, as far as I can tell, is a quote from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palelogus, who was dialoguing with a Persian scholar about the differences between Christianity and Islam: "Not to act reasonably (with logos) is contrary to the nature of God." In and of itself, the quote is uncontroversial, both within Catholic and Muslim theology. What has been controversial is the Pope's citation of another … Continue reading “Not to act reasonably is contrary to the nature of God”

The Humility of Faith (Romans 11.17-21)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– On Monday, August 21 of this year, my family and I visited the Stutthof Concentration Camp, which is situated in the forests near Gdansk, Poland. Construction on the camp began on September 2, 1939, the second day of World War II. (The war, in fact, began when Nazi troops overran Gdansk.) At first, Poles who opposed the Nazi regime were incarcerated there. Then Jews, Russians, and others who ran afoul of the Nazi’s found themselves unjustly imprisoned there. Stutthof’s gallows, gas chamber, and crematorium mark it as a place of execution. Tens of … Continue reading The Humility of Faith (Romans 11.17-21)

Bad Choices, Good Results? (Romans 11.11-16)

Listen to TDW: —– Can bad choices nonetheless have good results? If I read Romans 11.11-16 correctly, the answer to that question is yes. Throughout Romans 9-11, Paul has been reflecting on Israel’s bad choice in rejecting Jesus Christ. Although Christ fulfilled all of God’s promises to them, many in Israel nevertheless rejected him in his own day. This seems at first glance to be a failure in God’s plan. But Paul sees the matter differently. Here’s what he writes: “Again I ask: Did they [that is, Israel] stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, … Continue reading Bad Choices, Good Results? (Romans 11.11-16)

Master Narrative, Part 2: Fall

In this lecture, I continue my discussion of the Christian worldview's master narrative, based on Albert Wolters, Creation Regained, 2nd ed. The specific topic is the Fall. I'm still having problems with my Belkin TuneTalk Stereo, so about five minutes of the recording got dropped. However, Belkin customer service is great and is sending me a brand new TuneTalk Stereo. I hope to have it in time for next week's lectures. Download lecture MP3. Continue reading Master Narrative, Part 2: Fall

Master Narrative, Part 1: Creation

This morning, I began a three-part lecture entitled, "The Master Narrative of the Christian Worldview." Part 1 deals with the topic of "Creation," and is based on a close reading of Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview, 2nd ed., chapter 2. I recorded the lecture with my Belkin TuneTalk Stereo iPod attachment, and I am still having problems with skips in the recording. I have a technical support email out to Belkin, and I hope to have this issue resolved soon. Download lecture MP3. Continue reading Master Narrative, Part 1: Creation

NT Survey Lecture 1b

Today, I finished the lecture, "What Is the New Testament?" I used the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo to record the lecture on my video iPod. The sound quality is good, although for some inexplicable reason, the recording skips a lot from the middle of the recording onward. You still get the gist of the point that I was making, but it is a bit annoying. I'll try to get that problem fixed in time for my next lecture. Download lecture MP3. Continue reading NT Survey Lecture 1b