A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Scriptures and Prayer for Easter Sunday

Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:1-6

Epistle: Colossians 3:1-4

Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10
Resurrecting God, you conquered death and opened the gates of life everlasting. In the power of the Holy Spirit, raise us with Christ that we, too, may proclaim healing and peace to the nations. Amen

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ten Tips for Atheists to Consider This Easter

from John Dickson:
As an intellectual movement, Christianity has a head start on atheism. So it's only natural that believers would find some of the current arguments against God less than satisfying.

In the interests of a more robust debate this Easter, I want to offer my tips for atheists wanting to make a dent in the Faith. I've got some advice on arguments that should be dropped and some admissions about where Christians are vulnerable.

The ten tips and commentary on them can be found here.

And no doubt there are atheists who would like to offer tips for believers. That's fair enough. Perhaps if there were more true, honest, and respectful dialogue there wouldn't necessarily be agreement, but a better understanding of each other's views that might help to avoid the caricatures offered of the other on both sides.

Saturday at the Cinema: Christianity Stands or Falls on the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus

I want to be very clear. To make the claim that Jesus was raised bodily does not mean that Jesus was simply resuscitated back to his pre-crucifixion existence. Rather, it is to claim that Jesus' resurrection to new life must have also involved his body; for God intends to redeem every aspect of creation, including our physical existence. Jesus was not resuscitated; he was resurrected. If God is going to bring a new creation, new life must reflect that new creation. The tomb was empty because what happened to Jesus on that first Easter Sunday involved, in some miraculous way, his flesh and bones and blood and sinews. The resurrected Jesus was, in the the words of Tom Wright, "a transformed physicality." If the early church's proclamation of resurrection did not involve Jesus' body, than the universe will continue to expand and decay only to collapse in on itself in billions of years; and the only hope we have for eternity is a disembodied Platonic existence for which the gospel is unnecessary.

Holy Saturday: A Great Silence

Leader: Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep.

People: The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Were You There...

...When They Crucified my Lord?

Good Friday: Stations of the Cross

Holy Week: Good Friday

My Lord, your son has suffered so much, shed so much blood. I was born with so many faults and my nature is so full of weakness, and yet your son Jesus has died on the cross. For me. I know your grace has the power to cleanse me of my many sins and to make me more like your Son. Thank you for your goodness and love for me. I ask you, Father, to watch over me-- always. Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week: Maundy Thursday

Loving Provider, you gather me in this upper room with your son, to be fed by your love. At that supper, Jesus told us to "love one another" and I know that is the heart of his gift, his sacrifice for me. I ask that I might find the source of my own heart, the meaning for my own life, in that Eucharist. Guide me to the fullness of your love and life. Amen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did Jesus Die on Wednesday?

Dr. Claude Mariottini thinks so.
It is important to emphasize that John's view that Jesus died on 14 Nisan, the day of preparation for the Passover, is the best interpretation of the time when Jesus died. He died on the eve of the Passover.

Another clue that must be taken into consideration when deciding the day Jesus died is found in Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees when they asked him for a sign. Jesus said to them: "An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:39-40).

The question then is whether we should take the "three days and three nights" literally or symbolically. If Jesus died on a Friday, then the three days and three nights must be taken symbolically, that is, counting the few hours after his death as a whole day, the sabbath as the second day, and the morning of the first week as the third day.

The symbolic interpretation of the days does not account for the three days and three nights that Jesus said he would be "in the heart of the earth." So, there must be another way of deciding the day when Jesus died. I want to make a proposal, one that is based on the Jewish calendar.
The entire post is worth a read and can be found here.