Archive for December, 2010

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…to present us spotless before the Father.  Whatever the cost.



You’ll have to view this one on the blogpage

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Happy Friday

It’s still only the 7th day of Christmas you know.

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Cheek Turning – a repost

when you are struck…

don’t strike back, take the blow

don’t protect yourself, expose yourself

don’t lead with justice, lead with mercy

don’t retreat into safety, advance into danger

don’t retaliate with strength, retaliate with weakness

don’t shrink into self-pity, move out into self-giving

don’t insist on your rights, open yourself to wrong

don’t cower in defeat, hold fast in meekness

don’t stand on your dignity, stand on your shame

don’t harden into bitterness, soften into tenderness

be defiantly peaceable

be immovably vulnerable

be steafastly gracious

be victoriously wounded

be like Jesus.

Who, when we lashed out at Him…

did not come in violence.  nor remain in indifference

did not strike back.  nor shrink back

did not retaliate.  nor harden

He absorbed the blow

And He turned again to us.

He upheld His offer.

Arms outstretched, even to His killers.

Especially them

Only them

You, even.

There is strength in this weakness.

Strength to redeem the world.

It begins with surrender.

Laying down your arms.

Receiving His peace.

It continues with service.

Following His way.

Absorbing your own blows.

Today. Every day.  Turning your cheek.

To this you are called.

To be lower than a door-mat.  Far lower.

A door-mat is passive

But you thow yourself under the feet of your enemies.

To be lower than a slave.  Far lower.

A slave walks his alotted mile grumbling in his heart.

You walk two miles with a glint in your eyes.

For you know the power of this weakness.

It reconciles the world.


See also Turning the Other Cheek in the OT and Cheek Turning 101


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Well it’s up.

Now I’ve just got to write 365 posts.

Here’s my page about the blog.

And here’s my page about Jesus.

Please link to it if you can.  And if anyone has ideas about design (header, etc), let me know.



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The Old Testament is fulfilled by Jesus.

Tuck that thought away somewhere, it will come in handy.

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In this 8 part series we look at our experience through the lens of the children of Israel in the wilderness.

Wilderness Church 1  Introduction  (Deuteronomy 8)

Wilderness Church 2  Saved by the blood  (Exodus 12-13)

Wilderness Church 3  Brought out  (Exodus 14-15)

Wilderness Church 4  Sustained  (Exodus 16-17)

Wilderness Church 5  Guided  (Numbers 9)

Wilderness Church 6  Lead  (Numbers 27)

Wilderness Church 7   Promised  (Numbers 13-14)

Wilderness Church 8  Fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 3-4)

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At the end of this thread Paul makes bold to interpret my position.

Some might say he needs to add such words because my own have been so confused and inconsistent.  That’s certainly a possibility.  But I think if you approach my words with the expectation that I know what I’m saying it’ll make more sense.

Some might say that Paul is proclaiming something new.  Well certainly his words convey an insight and depth that is peculiar to him.  But from my perspective he’s just saying what I’ve been saying (because really, I’m just saying what he’s always been saying!).

In between my original authorship and his authoritative summary there have been ten days of mixed reception.  Well that happens doesn’t it?  It’s a blog after all.  But it’s been interesting that occasionally a commenter has gotten the wrong end of the stick about what I’m saying.  But when that’s been corrected their response has been to impugn the original clarity of my position.  Apparently I’ve needed to progress in my revelation of these thoughts.

Well that’s a possibility.  But another possibility is that I was clear and consistent in the beginning and the confusion has come in the reception not the revelation.

The bottom line is whether the original author can stand up and say of the authoritative summary: Yes indeed, this is what I was always on about.

And indeed I can.  Here’s Paul’s summary.

As far as I can see, Glen’s proposal is clear enough. The issue is not that everybody or even most people trusted Jesus as Moses and the Prophets intended them to do. The faithful remnant might have been a very small remnant.

I don’t think that is the main point… but I may have misunderstood this.

As far as I can see, the issue here is about a correct exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures. The simple claim is that the apostles preached Jesus *out* of the Hebrew Scriptures rather than preaching Him *into* those Scriptures.

Glen is saying that Jesus is *exegeting* the Scriptures as Moses and the Prophets originally intended. In other words, Jesus is not reading meaning *back* but reading meaning *out*.

The reason that myth 2 is a problem is that it gives support to and is typically consciously joined to the notion that Jesus was not the Messiah that the Hebrew Scriptures intended. I remember recently hearing a speaker who with great passion and excitement claimed that Jesus, in a brilliant creative move, joined together ideas of suffering/sacrifice with triumph/glory in a way that *nobody had ever seen before*. This was intended as a kind of compliment to the creative genius of Jesus… and yet if it is true it means that Jesus was wrong in His little Bible Overviews.

As far as I can see, Jesus seems to say that His reading of the Hebrew Scriptures is the one that everyone must take and that was held by Moses and the Prophets.

As we have often said in this thread, Jesus Himself, both before and after His crucifixion/resurrection summed up the Hebrew Scriptures with a clear statement about His own life of suffering, death, resurrection and glory –

“see Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:24; Matthew 26:53-54; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:12; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34; Mark 10:45; Mark 14:21; Luke 9:22; Luke 18:31-33 – “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” Luke 24:6-7; Luke 24:25-27; Luke 24:44-45.”

Again, as we have said in this thread, Peter says that the ancient saints were looking forward to the sufferings first and then the glory of Christ.

Over the years I have been in different conferences and forums when I have said something like “The Hebrew Scriptures teach that Christ will suffer, die and then be resurrected. This is the Biblical Faith of the Old Testament church and it is still the faith of the church today.” Nearly every time that I have said that kind of thing, somebody [and sometimes many people] come up to me or post after me that this was *not* the faith of the Old Testament and that they didn’t know or intend or understand those things about Christ. Usually they point to Biblical or extra-Biblical examples of teaching/people who did not think like Jesus about the Scriptures. Yet, again, that isn’t the point. We all know of many, many, many examples of teaching about Jesus/Hebrew Scriptures in every age that is different to His own teaching about Himself.

The claim is that Jesus’ own simple Bible Overview is a *correct* statement of Hebrew Scriptures as they were originally intended… and that this understanding of Christ is what He Himself expects from His people in every age. He expected the church of His own day to trust Him in that way… regardless of whether many did.

Jesus is angry about other views of the Scriptures/Himself [no matter how embalmed in tradition or popular they are] because He is the object of saving faith.

If someone says that the Hebrew Scriptures were not *intended* to be about Jesus but we should preach them as if they are about Jesus, then I’m left really confused.

As far as I can see, Glen is not saying anything more than Jesus Himself is saying in His simple Bible Overviews. Glen is not making any massive claims about the views of *everybody* at any point in history. He doesn’t seem to be saying anything about the kind of extra-biblical teaching that might or might not have been around at any time in history.

He simply seems to be saying that Moses and the Prophets intended to speak about Jesus Christ in the way that Jesus Himself understood them… and that this understanding was expected of the church in every age. How many people or what percentage of the visible church really did trust Christ in this saving way… who knows?


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