Friday, October 18, 2013

A Prayer

My Father who is in heaven, who is also present with me in Christ by the Spirit, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, in me and through me; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven by me in how I think, in how I judge, and in how I act.

Let me be content with your daily provision.
And forgive me of my sins, as you’ve called me to forgive those who have sinned against me.

And keep me from falling into sin when tempted by delivering me from the evil one and his influences.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Simply Jesus--simply read it!

N.T. Wright: “Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters”

I’ve just finished reading “Simply Jesus” and I must say that it was simply wonderful. In this book, Wright brings us a vision of Jesus that is sorely lacking in the church (and world) today. Wright gives us fifteen beautifully written chapters explaining how, by-and-large, the church has misunderstood who Jesus was, what He did and why He matters. The “new vision” part of the subtitle is provocative because it suggests that Wright is going to give us his own novel ideas about Jesus; but in point-of-fact, all he is doing is bringing us back into Jesus’ first century context to help us understand the vision of Jesus that the Scripture and the early followers of Jesus believed and proclaimed. The “new” vision is, in fact, the “old” vision that the church has largely forgotten or, in some cases, suppressed. Thankfully there are many churches, SGCC included, that have been reviving the original vision of Jesus and His mission and challenging the church at-large to re-think the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Rather than write a lengthy review of my own I will link to two reviews (here and here) that sum up my thoughts fairly well. I will, however, “simply” state that I loved this book. Wright rightly captures the importance of Jesus in fulfilling the purpose of God to, as he says, “bring heaven and earth together”. It’s the story of Jesus becoming King and inaugurating a new world, a new order of things. This is not so much the story of “How God became King” (ironically, the title of his book published a year after Simply Jesus), but that God became King in Jesus. And why did God become King in Jesus? To fulfill His purpose to bring New Creation by renewing this creation, by making it what He originally intended it to be. Jesus’ coming was not simply to “forgive sins” and take believers up to heaven. No. Jesus’ purpose was to bring “heaven” to earth and create a brand new world where God is King and the world, the Cosmos, is His (king)Dome.

Simply Jesus is an easy read and should be a wake-up call to the church. Simply read it!

If the above links did not work, try these below: