734 results for author: Brad Jersak


CWR video – “Why did Jesus die?” – Brad Jersak

Short video by Brad Jersak

“Is Paris Burning?” Greg Albrecht

LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images) In 1944 the Allied armies were marching on Paris intent on liberating it from the German military. Hitler, realizing the inevitable, ordered his armies to burn Paris before leaving. Many believe that General Dietrich von Cholitz wrestled with his conscience before refusing Hitler’s decree that Paris must be set ablaze. Apparently, Hitler’s general could not bear to be responsible for such a craven act of destruction.  Hitler did not know of this insubordination until he was informed by his staff that the Allies had liberated Paris. Hitler reportedly asked, “Is Paris burning?” It seems the evil ...

Salvation: Three Perspectives (Transactional, Unilateral, Reciprocal) – Brad Jersak

“Salvation”(Gk. soterion – Luke 2:20; 3:6; Acts 28:28; Eph. 6:17; Titus 2:11).Related to: save (sozo); savior (soter). Remember that moment in Christian history or biblical revelation when the people of God arrived at consensus on what “salvation”meant and how it is achieved?  Me neither.  But amid the roiling ocean of competing ideas, opinions and systems, we can occasionally discern currents—popular themes surface through the cacophony and congeal into doctrinal streams. Allow me to identify three visions of salvation that compete for our attention and form our practices. Indeed, one’s image of salvation ...

Q & R with Brad: Doesn’t Isaiah 59 teach “separation” from God?

Question: Hi Brad,I love the article you wrote on separation/alienation but I am having problems understanding the separation verses in scripture. The specific scripture I had trouble interpreting in light of your article on “separation” was Isaiah 59:1-2. Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Response: Thanks for your question. In general, "separation" references are best interpreted as phenomenological....

The “Universe” Does Not Love You – Kenneth Tanner

The universe is vast, mysterious, dark, and lovely (the images of the universe we are the first privileged humans to see blow my mind and provoke deep emotion in me). The cosmos makes us ask questions of time and existence and meaning, some of which we cannot answer. Yet the ones we can answer inspire us to know and see and experience more. The universe is intelligent and beautiful and is created good but it’s not personal and “the Universe” is not a good or a proper way to name God. The “Universe” does not love you, the “Universe” will not raise you from death, the “Universe” is not patient or kind and it does not ...

More on Inviting our Everywhere-Present God – Brad Jersak

Recently, I wrote a post on why we ask Abba for gifts already given. In that article, I distinguished between problematic assumptions about our need to ask (e.g. needing to beg a stingy God) and healthier reasons why we Christ instructed us to ask (e.g. God honors our permission). In this post, I will pick up on the important difference between alienation, separation and space as we conceive our relationship with God. Alienation vs Separation This weekend, I was thinking about the Prodigal Son's real experience of alienation from his father. That is, he felt the pain of turning from his father's love. Out of this alienation, he ...

When did the ‘Finished Work’ start? Brad Jersak

"It is finished!" One of the beautiful catchphrases in the Christian tradition is "the finished work of Christ." We typically associated the phrase with Christ's decisive declaration from the Cross, "It is finished!" In this post, I'd like to ask what is finished and when it started. The words, "It is finished," in Gospel context are found only in John 19:30. The full verse says, "When Jesus had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." What was finished? First, the word we usually translate "finished" (Τετέλεσται) is rich in meaning. It could be accurately ...

Un-Boxed! Irene Frances

A FRIEND recently commented that religion puts people in boxes, and I had to agree. Not only does organised religion, particularly Christianity, herd people into their particular corral, but within their specific congregation individuals end up being in separate, personal boxes in which they have to work out their own understanding of God as best they can. To question becomes fraught with fear, to challenge invites ostracism and being labelled a heretic. Most people who have been in churches for decades are oblivious to this. Their particular ritualistic worship—whatever brand of faith community they are in—has become so ingrained in them ...

Why Ask? Why pray for gifts God has already given? Brad Jersak

“Forgive us our trespasses…” “Lord, have mercy.” “Come, Holy Spirit.” The prayers of God’s people are replete with requests for that which God has already graciously and abundantly provided. So why bother? Is praying for the gifts God has already given an act of unbelief, a confusion of theology or an offense to God? Some seem to think so and in a sense, may be right. But both the question and answer are important and far more nuanced than an either/or knee-jerk reaction. What are the perils and what is the point of asking for what we’ve already been given? THE PERILS Two obvious perils accompany requests for ...

Q & R with Brad Jersak: In whom and when does the Holy Spirit “enter” us?

Question:  Thanks, Brad for bringing so much needed clarity to “the sons issue” in your blog post, “Are All People God’s Children or Only Christians?” I would love to see a follow up to that in regards to the work of Holy Spirit. When does he enter, manifesting his presence as sons, etc. Response:  That’s an excellent question, the answer to which has filled volumes of books for two millennia. My brief response will cover just the two major features of your question: First, “When does the Holy Spirit enter”? Some say we all “receive” the Spirit when we come to faith in ...