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Owl Post 4-6-2012

The Neglected Resurrection:

Too often in our churches the resurrection of Christ is a doctrine of secondary importance. It is neglected and forgotten until Easter comes around each year. The same disregard for the resurrection is seen in how we share the gospel. Christians tend to share the gospel as if Jesus died on the cross and that is the end of the story. We make a zip line from the crucifixion to “repent and believe,” contrary to the example Peter sets for us in Acts 2:22-24 and 4:26. The cross is central to our salvation, but what God accomplished there is incomplete unless the tomb is empty on Sunday morning. Therefore, the resurrection of Christ is vital “for us and our salvation” (to borrow from the Nicene Creed). But how exactly? Link

Andrew Sullivan: Christianity in Crisis:

If you go to the second floor of the National Museum of American History inWashington, D.C., you’ll find a small room containing an 18th-century Bible whose pages are full of holes. They are carefully razor-cut empty spaces, so this was not an act of vandalism. It was, rather, a project begun by Thomas Jefferson when he was 77 years old. Painstakingly removing those passages he thought reflected the actual teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, Jefferson literally cut and pasted them into a slimmer, different New Testament, and left behind the remnants (all on display until July 15). What did he edit out? He told us: “We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus.” He removed what he felt were the “misconceptions” of Jesus’ followers, “expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves.” And it wasn’t hard for him. He described the difference between the real Jesus and the evangelists’ embellishments as “diamonds” in a “dunghill,” glittering as “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.” Yes, he was calling vast parts of the Bible religious manure. Link 

Christianity in Crisis? A Response to Andrew Sullivan

Mariylnne Robinson on the Anthropology of Religion and the Intervention of Grace:

Man, I wish I could write like Marilynne Robinson. Such precision and clarity, so much soul and insight. She takes on subjects that can be so dull, and breathes such life into them. The following quotations come from the first essay in her much-recommended new collection, When I Was a Child I Read Booksalt, entitled “Freedom of Thought.” Link

Homosexuality, Christianity, and the Gospel:

The following are the videos from the Equip Forum for our leaders last Tuesday night. It was a pretty incredible time–we looked at the issue of same-sex-attraction from a biblical, pastoral, counseling, and personal perspective. We tried to get past the myths, the political talking points, and discover how the gospel challenges this issue and those of us on both sides of it. Link

The Cross and Christian Blogging:

We love the shrewdness and wit of Jesus. There’s a fist somewhere inside that pumps whenever we read the parts of the Gospels where the religious leaders are left unable “to answer him a word,” or when no one “dared to ask him any more questions.” Link

The Satanic Ideology of Photoshop:

A cover photo for Intelligent Life magazine caused a small stir recently because it dared the unthinkable: show a celebrity’s actual face. Cate Blanchett, 42, appears on the cover in little makeup, her smile lines and wrinkles un-retouched. She looks less like an Hollywood star and more like a dignified human being, like someone you might see drinking tea at a neighborhood Starbucks. Link