Saviour of the world

“This man really is the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42)

An International Red Cross survey found “millennials are nervous about their future and see cataclysmic war as a real likelihood in their lifetime.” Add catastrophic fires and climate disaster, and it’s not hard to see why many people live in fear.

Does the gospel address our global fears? Or is it about how to escape from a world that’s likely to blow up? Is Jesus merely a personal Saviour? Or is he the Saviour of the world? Continue reading “Saviour of the world”

Jesus as Saviour

What do we mean when we call Jesus “Saviour”?

Would you describe Jesus as your personal Saviour? That’s good, but that’s only a tiny fraction of what the Bible means when it calls Jesus Saviour.

Let’s try a story. What’s your favourite spy movie? You know those ones where our agents have been incarcerated in a foreign land and condemned to death. With meticulous planning, satellite intelligence, and drone support, we send in the commandos to bring them home. Commandos are the “saviours” in our culture.

The gospel is that kind of story, with more intrigue and less gunfire.

Continue reading “Jesus as Saviour”

Relationship with God

So, how’s your relationship with God? Personal? Troubled? In love? Inert?

The question is helpful for some, but I’ve noticed others retreat. They feel like God isn’t speaking to them. Or their life is a struggle right now. If they felt safe enough to give an honest answer, they might respond like Job, “If only I knew where to find him” (Job 23:3). Continue reading “Relationship with God”

Society on the couch

Can you use cartoons in an academic paper? Ann Fink did. Her article is a case study I may use in ethics class.

She asks how to treat this police officer. During Algeria’s War of Independence, he presents to Dr Frantz Fanon (psychiatrist) suffering PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) as a result of his work, which involves torture. He’s not coping, and his home life is becoming increasingly violent.

The patient asks Fanon “to help him torture … with a total peace of mind.” Is it possible to treat the inspector in a meaningful way?

How would you advise the doctor?

Continue reading “Society on the couch”

Why have you forsaken me?

If you’ve known rejection, you’ll appreciate this.

If you’ve felt abandoned, discarded by family and friends, you may understand this:

Mark 15 34 At three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachdthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

What was Jesus saying? Continue reading “Why have you forsaken me?”

Are the Psalms messianic?

Do the Psalms tell us about Jesus? Are these verses about Christ?

Psalm 22 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? … 16 They have pierced my hands and feet.

Psalms 118 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

The New Testament writers thought so. So did the church fathers. Were they right? Or were they bending texts to fit their beliefs? What did David intend? Does authorial intent define the meaning? Or is meaning in the ear of the hearer, whatever the reader wants it to mean?

When the church fathers used the Psalms this way, the Jewish leaders were mortified. They pointed out that no one read the Psalms like this until after Jesus died, so the Christians were merely imposing their own meaning on Jewish literature.

Should we be seeing the Messiah in the Psalms? Everywhere? Nowhere? In a few cases? What do you think?

Continue reading “Are the Psalms messianic?”