Topic: “God’s glory”

Great Love and Great Wrath

The following paper was prepared for Dr. Steven McKinion’s Hermeneutics class, with the constraint that it be between 600 and 625 words.

Nahum 1

The Meaning of the Text

The prophet Nahum hammers home this point: Yahweh is enormously powerful and terrible in his judgment of idolaters and enemies of his people. The book as a whole—and this chapter in particular—serve as extended pictures of Yahweh’s passion for his own glory and for the good of those on whom he has set his covenant love. Indeed, so great is Yahweh’s passion for his own glory and so deep is his covenant love for his people that this sort of judgment falls on idolaters and enemies of God’s people. Read on, intrepid explorer →

This emphasis on the glory of God is far more than a decorative flower on the Great Commission. More than ever we must work together with a shared passion that Christ be named and that Christ is praised in every people. A “doxological” (having to do with glory) vision of world evangelization offers practical wisdom essential for the finishing of the remaining task.

—Steven C. Hawthorne, “The Story of His Glory”, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

Epitaph: Write This On My Grave Stone

When they put a headstone over my grave, I hope they chisel on it, “He proclaimed the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things, and he lived like he meant it.”

If I die having spent every day proclaiming – to my family, to my friends, to my coworkers, to my neighbors, to everyone I can – that Jesus is the center of everything, that the Triune Godhead is the point of all existence, it will be a good thing. If I do so having lived in such a way that no one can say I did not mean it, it will be a better thing. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Family Vocation

In Family Vocation, Gene Veith and his daughter Mary Moerbe apply Luther’s views on vocation to family. (Shocking, I know.)

Sometime in the last two or three years, I stumbled on Gene Veith’s blog, Cranach: The Blog of Veith. Though I didn’t initially add his blog to my reading list, I kept finding myself back there. Links from a variety of other sources I read regularly kept drawing me back, and though in general I tend to skip over blogs with cultural or political emphases – it’s just not my main focus – I found his thought and writing unusually compelling. His blog is now among my most regular reads.

One of Veith’s major projects has been reintroducing evangelicals to Lutheran thought on vocation. I’ve heard nothing but good about his previous book on vocation, so when I saw that he’d released a book on relating vocation to family, it immediately went on my reading list. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Paul: Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ

I read Schreiner’s Pauline theology (Paul: Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ – A Pauline Theology) over the course of six months, so this is going to be less detailed and more interested in the broader picture than some of my reviews.

An overview: Pauline theology at its best

In the last couple years, I’ve started tackling theology aimed at a more “academic” level and audience, as opposed to the popular-level theology I had typically read before that. This has been helpful to me as I’ve been more actively involved in teaching, especially in the last year or so. However, I’m still just getting going – something that only becomes more apparent as I read more. The sheer number of footnotes in Schreiner’s book boggles the mind; and truth be told this book wasn’t nearly as heavily footnoted as others. There is, as a wise man once wrote, no end to the writing of books, and therefore to the reading thereof as well. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Our God Really Is Greater

Over at The Pangea Blog, Kurt Willems offers some provocative thoughts on Chris Tomlin’s “Our God is Greater”:

I agree with every line of this song. Nothing about it is theologically untrue in any way. But I think that singing “Our God is Greater” might make God seem less great….

To call God “great” is more than appropriate, but calling God “greater” invites a competitive and confrontational tone. So, in this sort of cultural climate, I make the claim that singing songs about how “our God is greater” actually makes God less great. Two reasons come to mind as to why this might be so.

The two reasons Willems proffers are: first, that it essentially proclaims that the Christian narrative should be central to society – a stance he clearly sees as imperialist and which he conflates with American nationalism; and second, that the proclamation of God as greater may be offensive, especially in an increasingly pluralistic and post-Christian culture.

I should note, right off the bat, that Willems thinks the theology of the song perfectly accurate (and says as much explicitly). More, I believe he is coming from the right direction as he approaches this question: he wants to make sure that God is most glorified and that people are drawn to him. We couldn’t agree more on those aims, but we differ quite a bit on whether this song, and the sentiments it expresses, will be salutary or detrimental in the pursuit of those goals. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Church Behind the Wire

Barnabas Mam knows the love of God. That’s it, plain and simple.

Of course, there is more to it: the story of the Cambodian church in the years of the Killing Fields and the refugee era that followed is complex and sometimes horrifying. Nonetheless, that single theme comes through: Barnabas Mam knew the love of God in the most frightening, dangerous situations imaginable. That love in turn empowered him to pour out his life for his fellow Cambodians, that they, too, might know the power of the gospel. Read on, intrepid explorer →