CWR Blog

Christianity Without The Religion BLOG hosted by Brad Jersak.

Seven Stanzas at Easter – John Updike

John Updike - Poet - 1932-2009 Seven Stanzas at Easter Make no mistake: if He rose at allit was as His body;if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the moleculesreknit, the amino acids rekindle,the Church will fall. It was not as the flowers,each soft Spring recurrent;it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddledeyes of the eleven apostles;it was as His flesh: ours. The same hinged thumbs and toes,the same valved heartthat–pierced–died, withered, paused, and thenregathered out of enduring Mightnew strength to enclose. Let us not mock God with ...

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Q & R with Brad Jersak: “How do we practice Matt. 18:15-18 discipline without using it as a bludgeon?”

Question I am part of a Christian group going through some unresolved conflict. One side keeps trying to use Matt 18:15-18 like a sledgehammer against the other. How do we read this passage in context when people try to weaponize it?  Response  Here are Christ’s instructions as translated in N.T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone version: ‘If another disciple sins against you,’ Jesus continued, ‘go and have it out, just between the two of you alone. If they listen to you, you’ve won back a brother or sister. But if ...

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CWR Video – Brian Zahnd on the Crucified God

CLICK HERE to view video   Short 7 minute video by Brian Zahnd

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“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 ...

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

Short video by Brad Jersak

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The Ultimate Declaration of God’s Grace – Greg Albrecht

Americans are used to hearing the President of the United States make critically important announcements either from the Oval Office, simply speaking to television cameras, or to a combined, televised session of Congress. And, as they begin their term of office, Presidents give an inaugural address, during which many of them attempt to rally the nation behind their clear vision. In 1865, during the final days of the Civil War, addressing a nation tired of bloodshed, Abraham Lincoln, who would be assassinated only 41 days after this address, said, in part: "...

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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 ...

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Triumphal Entry – Brian Zahnd

Short video by Brian Zahnd

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Go to Him Outside the Camp – Greg Albrecht

On what we now call Palm Sunday, almost 2,000 years ago Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey. He was welcomed by people who had heard him preach—among whom were the poor, the diseased, the disenfranchised and outcasts, all of whom shouted "Hosanna!" to Jesus (Matthew 21:9, 15). Many Christians think "Hosanna" has always been defined as a joyful worship word. It hasn't. Hosanna means "save us now"— it was a cry of desperation, shouted at Jesus by the crowds as he entered Jerusalem. Most who greeted Jesus with "Hosanna" wanted physical relief from ...

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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. ...

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