709 results for author: Brad Jersak


Q & R: Did God the Father Forsake Jesus on Good Friday? Brad Jersak

Question: In the movie, The Shack, Papa says that God never forsook Jesus. But that appears to be exactly what Jesus says in the Bible. When Jesus says this, is he (the man) talking to himself (the God part)? We are told that Christ is fully God and fully man even though apparently there were things that he did not know, but the Father did (e.g. the time of his return). ​Response: That's a common belief for sure, but where does it come from? We developed a whole doctrine of God-forsakenness from one verse! "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" and we took off from there. What we fail to remember is that Jesus is quoting the ...

“It Is Finished”: The Cross as our Cosmic Axis – Brad Jersak

“Tetelestai,” cried Jesus, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). God’s redemptive plan, which began its arc in ages past, comes to its telos—its end-goal, its climax, it fulfillment—on the Cross. The “Lamb slaughtered from the foundation of the cosmos” (Revelation 13:8), now dying in space-time history under Pontius Pilate, calls out, “It is finished! Accomplished!” Christ knows this by revelation—Abba’s sure response to the cry of dereliction (Matthew 27:46), for God heard and answered him (Hebrews 5:7). “Tetelestai,” whispered Abba to his beloved Son, “It is finished! Accomplished!” And thus, the Cross became the axis ...

Q&R with Brad – “Can God feel anger even if he’s not an ‘Angry God'”?

Question I listened to a recent podcast on your thoughts, breaking down the "angry God" worldview. You couched it in the language of "worshiping Molech," which was a sharp wake-up call to me, even though I have been moving away from the "Angry God" view for some time. It got me wondering about something and I am hoping that you might be able to provide some context for it. Even though God is not the "Angry God" of modern Evangelicalism ... is it still possible for God to have the emotion of anger? Case in point ... the cleansing of the temple. What do Jesus' actions in the temple reveal to us about the nature of the Father? Was ...

That hopeless (?) other thief – Brad Jersak

Mark 10 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”39 “We can,” they answered.Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my ...

The Crucified Jesus – Richard Rohr

They will look upon him whom they have pierced. —John 19:37 Those who “gaze upon” the Crucified long enough—with contemplative eyes—are always deeply healed of pain, unforgiveness, violence, and victimhood. It demands no theological education, just an “inner exchange” by receiving the image within and offering one’s soul back in safe return. It is no surprise that a naked man nailed to a cross is such a deep, archetypal symbol in the Western psyche. It was meant to transform all earthly suffering. The crucified Jesus offers, at a largely unconscious level, a very compassionate meaning to history. The mystery of the ...

Why Did Jesus Die? – Brad Jersak

Tom Wright, in his book, The Day the Revolution Began, struck a nerve with the candor of his critique of any gospel that implies, “God so hated the world that he killed his only Son.” Of course, laying bare that image of God draws charges of strawmanning – but if Wright is wrong, then I will rejoice when evangelists stop communicating that very impression. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is far more beautiful than what Wright terms the “paganized” message of wrath-appeasement through divine violence. But Evangelical children of the Reformation have been so conditioned with this ethos of ...

At the Foot of the Cross – Irene Frances

Originally published by Irene Frances at https://irenefrances.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/at-the-foot-of-the-cross THREE YEARS AGO, at the age of 70, my life was shattered by the eruption of well impacted memories of atrocious sexual abuse by a church leader.  The man was also a Christian psychiatrist who used his power to force me to stay in my loveless marriage and remain the good, submissive Christian wife he decided I should be. There are no words to describe the torment that took over my life as I tried to make sense of the enormous damage that man had done to me, and the dreadful consequences for me and my kids; no words to describe ...

Q&R with Brad – “Does God have enemies?”

Question Does God have enemies? Response What a fascinating question, and one I have thought about both theologically and personally. To answer it biblically, I am drawn to two important texts:  Matthew 55:44 - “Love your enemies.”Romans 5:10 - “For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son...” What both these verses show us is that enmity—the disposition of being an enemy, in opposition, or hostile toward—can be one-sided.  While God’s enemies (or ours) are those who have chosen to hate, mistreat, or even kill God’s Son (or God’s children), God refuses to be ...

Q&R with Brad: If ‘his mercy endures forever,’ how can death separate us from God’s love?

Question I posed this question at our pastor's fraternal meeting in our area. "Seeing that we all believe God's mercy endures forever, why is it that his mercy has no bearing on us after we die? My question is: Why do we believe that death has the last or final and decisive word and not his mercy? Any comment that you could make? Response I think your question is spot-on. In my young evangelical days, I would have cited a couple of key texts as our "gotcha deal-killers." 1. "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment" (Hebrew 9:27). We used this verse in isolation as an ultimatum with a ...

The Judgement of the Cross – Rob Grayson

“Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” (John 12:31) Christians are generally accustomed to speaking of the cross as the place and time where God enacted judgement on the world. But what does this actually mean, and what are its implications? Usually, the cross as the place of judgement is understood to mean the physical location where God poured out his wrath upon Jesus. Here, wrath is understood as the punishment for our sin which God, in his justice, is obliged to mete out: namely death. And Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, gamely hangs on the cross in our ...

Søren Kierkegaard: Father of Religionless Christianity – Interview with Stephen Backhouse

Art by Delphine Lebourgeois Kierkegaard: Father of Christianity without the religion - Interview with Stephen Backhouse CWR magazine is known to our readers as promoting Christianity Without the Religion. But of course, we’re not the first to do so. Some of the 20th century’s theological greats—Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth, for example—were great critics of Christ-less religion as over against the living faith of Christ-centered revelation. But if we were name “the father of Christianity without the religion” in the modern era, the honor would surely go to the Danish thinker and provocateur, Søren Kierkegaard ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak: If not penal substitution…?

Question: If there is no penal substitution, which I want to believe, how do I deal with passages such as Isaiah 53 or 1 Thessalonians 1:10? I have a hard time reading so much of the Scripture in any other way. I always wonder how any less educated, less theologically trained person can read these scriptures in any other way (even if he was never taught them in this way)? Could that person come to any other conclusion? And if not, would the most obvious interpretation not be also the one God wanted us to get? I have struggled with my faith over these issues for so long, and I just don't seem to be able to "exorcise" the penal substitution idea ...