In the beginning, God spoke and time began. (Gen. 1:1ff) Galaxies came to be; stars and worlds, fauna and flora were birthed in divine thought. Their existence is the very expression of divine creativity. In the climax heavenly imagination, the Artist affirms that “it was very good indeed.” (Gen. 1:31) This pronouncement succeeds the Trinitarian prerogative to shape man in the similitude of his own person.
The work of the third member of the Trinity has been the hinge upon which innumerable church councils and debates have revolved. The prominence and priority of the Spirit in the life of Christian is, indeed, a hotly contested subject. Throughout the Scriptures, the Spirit is commonly associated with God’s “creative power” and the “newness of life” that comes from the proclamation of God’s Word.
When one refers to the “Synoptic Problem,” one is endeavoring to address a fundamental question in Scriptural textual criticism: “What is the best explanation for the textual similarities and differences between Matthew, Mark, and Luke?” (Baum, 911) How one determines a solution to this supposed problem discloses the source of one’s faith.
I am a mere month away from entering my first post as a senior pastor. Last week, that reality felt months and months away. Now, it feels more imminent than ever. For a while now, my wife and I have tried to make sense of our feelings as we entertain this significant season of transition in our lives, explaining our emotions as some strange amalgamation of nervous excitement.
Of the Gospels, it could be asserted that the Johannine version is that which is most replete with cruciform language. Though each Gospel makes its own “turn” towards Jerusalem and, therefore, towards the cross, John’s narrative is uniquely concerned with the Son of Man’s accomplishments on Golgotha’s tree.
First Corinthians 15 is a chapter brimming with cruciform language. The apostle Paul’s symphony to the Church at Corinth crescendos into a 58-verse movement whose melody is the resurrection. From the first word to the last, Paul endeavors to draw the readers’ attention to the veracity of the resurrection.
One of the core Reformational ideas that many ascribe to today is what is known as sola gratia, or “grace alone.” This Latin phrase is one of the pillars of the Reformation, the five solae, which were advocated in order to summarize the foundational structure upon which the Reformers’ took their stand.