626 results for author: Brad Jersak


Will You Remember Me? by Michael Peterson

Graduation is a highlight for faculty and students alike.  With it comes a mix of emotions. Happiness and joy for the success and achievement, and sadness and melancholy that our paths may never cross again.  In the back of our mind is often the question, “Will you remember me?”  Having had thousands of students cross the stage and receive their diploma over the course of my academic career, I honestly have to say that I will not remember most if not all of them.  My graduate students who worked most closely with me I remember best, but even after a decade or two, their faces and names begin to blur and recede into the ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak – Is Noah’s flood story true?

Question Is the narrative about Noah's ark in Genesis a true story? Response Oh, of course the *story* is *true*, just as the *story* of the Prodigal Son is *true,* which is to say, the story is telling us the *truth.* Discovering the truth the story is telling means honoring the genre the story is written in. If we treat a parable as if it is not a parable, and literalize it when Jesus wasn't telling it that way, we may be treating a story as a fact and missing out on its truth. So, to demand a physical address for the Father's house, the names of the prodigal sons, and what type of cow they ate at the banquet would be untrue ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak – “Can we withhold God’s forgiveness?

Question What is your take on John 20:23? "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Response That's a very difficult verse. Of course, the first part seems easy enough. Up until that point, there was this sense that only God could forgive sin (Mark 2:7), so Jesus' critics were upset when he would announce (in the passive voice), "Your sins are forgiven." They claimed it was tantamount to blasphemy. But note, he didn't say, "I forgive you," but rather, spoke the words as the Son authorized by his Father. Even on the Cross, we hear Jesus praying, "Father, forgive ...

Q&R with Brad: What is joy?

Question Could you please describe or define the concept of joy as you've understood, witnessed, or experienced it? Response Happiness At first glance, that's a difficult question. As I thought about it, I began by contrasting it to the word "happiness." Bear in mind that there are a host of personal, traditional and dictionary definitions of happiness and joy. But I'll offer my own thoughts here. First, I tend to associate happiness with a fleeting emotional reaction to the fulfillment of external pleasures. When I see a sunset or hear my grandchildren giggle or savor a delicious meal, there's a happy pleasure to it that I believe ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak: Will Jesus be ashamed of me? Luke 9:26

Question Brad, could you help me to see a more beautiful way of understanding Luke 9:26? "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory, and in the glory of his Father, and of the holy angels." Response That's a difficult passage, isn't it, especially coming from Jesus Christ, the epitome and Incarnation of God's grace and radical hospitality. So when we see a warning so jarring, so out of character with what we know of the Jesus Way, it's good we ask not only what Jesus said or meant, but what he's up to. What is he aiming at with these words? And how might his aim align ...

“God is Love BUT …” Brad Jersak

"Everything before the word 'BUT' is horse sh*t." - Game of Thrones I've heard this statement elsewhere as "Nothing someone says before the word 'but' really counts," especially when an affirmation of love is immediately followed by its negations. The aphorism is loaded with wisdom and experience. Even if you feel that love compels you to bring a word of critique or correction, if you use love as your opening salvo to bring someone down, you'll bring love down with them. It's a big relational mistake... unless it's a case of deliberate 'gaslighting,' which is abusive. How much more so with God! Does Jesus say, "God so love the world BUT..." ...

CWR video – “Why Did Jesus Die?” – Brad Jersak

Short video by Brad Jersak

The Cross: God’s Eternal Mercy Seat – Brad Jersak

The celebration of Easter this month once again places the Cross of Christ and his resurrection front and center of our faith, as they should be. These events comprise a hinge-point in the human story and what theologians have called “salvation history.” The New Testament witness not only records what occurred but also reflects upon the meaning of those occurrences as good news—our gospel. Unveiling the meaning of the crucifixion is of particular importance to the apostles, because they are convinced that it spelled more than a tragic end to the life of Jesus. Somehow, the Cross is essential groundwork for the reconciliation of all ...

The Great Descent – “A Harrowing Exit” – Brad Jersak

The Great Descent The Law, the Psalms and the Prophets forecast it.The Gospels and the Epistles allude to it.Ancient Christian hymns, liturgies and poetry announce it.It permeates both Eastern and Western theological tradition.It even has its own line in the Apostles’ Creed.   But only recently has Christ’s conquest of Hades caught the attention of moderns. It’s so central to the gospel message that its omission requires correction. The same events go by various names—the great descent, the harrowing of hades, Christus Victor. But they all refer to the narrative that culminates in the resurrection of Christ before dawn on ...

CWR Video – Brian Zahnd on the Crucified God

Short video by Brian Zahnd on the Crucified God.       Short 7 minute video by Brian Zahnd

Q&R: Why the Violent God of Joshua? Brad Jersak

QUESTION Where might I find some good help reading the Book of Joshua? I have spent ten years changing my paradigm, coming to see that God is good. But then I read Joshua and have so many questions. I cannot believe this is a good God. Why the violence? Christians don't need more excuses for their bad behavior. Please help me find a good book that can explain some of this violence. RESPONSE Thank you for asking such an important question. While not a commentary, I think you’ll find that our CWR press book, A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel, addresses the bigger problem—particularly the central section, titled ...

Q&R: Isaiah 45:7 – Does God cause evil?

Question What do you make of Isaiah 45:7? Is seems to say that God is the cause of evil and calamity? KJV: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." NASB: "The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating disaster; I am the LORD who does all these things." NIV: "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things." ESV: "I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things. MSG: "I form light and create darkness, I ...