CWR Blog

Christianity Without The Religion BLOG hosted by Brad Jersak.

Are You “Christian”? Brad Jersak

Are You “Christian”? Having firmly identified as an “Ex-vangelical,” a friend of mine was asked whether she would still call herself a Christian. Her answer was necessarily complex since the question involves defining “Christian,” who gets to define it’s and whether we should preserve the word or put it to rest. Frankly, identifying as “Christian” has always been a bit risky, whether because it incited persecution or was co-opted for domination. So, are you a Christian? How do you feel about that word? What if we were to come at the question from a ...

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What is True Fellowship? – Greg Albrecht

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you read or hear the word fellowship? Within a Christian context the word usually calls to mind something to do with companionship and community. For some people fellowship is just another religious thing they have to do or (so they believe) God won't be happy with them. In many cases, fellowship means going to places to spend time with others who are also members of their church. Fellowship has also come to signify a spiritual atmosphere that will soothe and secure a person from the life they live. Given ...

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Does God Save Us from God? Brad Jersak

Does God Save Us from God? Twitter statement: “God saves us from God. The One who mercifully drags us out of the rebellious city is the same One who rains down fire upon it.” Thus wrote a popular tweeter whose handle I’ll withhold out of respect and concern. God saves us from God? How so? Penal substitution continues to be the most popular Western answer to the question, “Why did Christ die?” and is the default interpretation for Scripture’s assertion that “Christ died for our sins.” Rather than treating it as one of many atonement theories, ...

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Hurricane Florence – Greg Albrecht

As Hurricane Florence approaches the Southeastern coast of the United States, here is an electronic version of the letter CWR/PTM is sending to those we serve in the Carolinas and Georgia. September 13, 2018 As I sit at my keyboard typing these words the eyes of our nation are on the Southeast. All around the United States your fellow Americans have heard North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper saying “This storm is a monster.  It’s big and it’s vicious.” We have seen news footage of people evacuating, while others board up windows and stock their homes with ...

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Is Death Eternal? Kenneth Tanner

One of my all-time favorite after-church conversations: A seven-year-old visitor to Holy Redeemer, a young black man: “When I die I am dead. I stay dead. It will be dark forever and I’ll be bored and alone.” Me: “Everyone dies. We agree on that.” <I pause, waiting for his eyes to meet mine again.> “But we don’t believe death lasts forever. Death is not eternal. We believe that death will someday die forever.” “But not you. Death will end but you will go on. You will never end. Death has an expiration date, but not you.” “And ...

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A Formula for Atheism – Brian Zahnd

A few years ago the pastor of an evangelical-fundamentalist church with whom I’m acquainted announced on the Sunday after Easter that he had become an atheist. He told his stunned congregation that he had been an atheist for a year and a half and that all attempts to revive his faith had failed. So on the Sunday after Easter, he publicly left Christianity and moved on with his life — a life with no more Easters. A few days after his bombshell resignation I met with this now erstwhile pastor. As I listened to his story, it quickly became apparent that he had not so ...

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When Towers Fell – Remembering 9-11 – Greg Albrecht

The images are etched in our minds—a commercial airplane, in slow motion, on a collision course with, and then finally crashing into the World Trade Center in New York. Then in what may have seemed at first to be a replay, a second plane. Glued to our televisions, we saw smoke and explosions and people jumping, out of desperation, from inconceivable heights. Many of us remember exactly where we were when we first heard and saw the unspeakable and unbelievable events of 9-11-01. As Christ-followers how shall we remember and observe the annivers...

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“No” to Wrath and “Yes” to Love – Part 2 – Greg Albrecht

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute ...

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CWR video – Angry, Retributive Images of God

Thanos: Is the Villain Kinder than God? Brad Jersak

"The hardest choices require the strongest wills." - Thanos Spoilers in the video Thanos—the supervillain in Marvel Comics’ latest Avengers movies—strikes a challenging contrast to the God many Christians profess, not least because Thanos compares rather favorably to a lot of our dominant conceptions. Thanos is actually a titan, but close enough. The Greek-sounding name may be short for either Athanasius (immortal) or Thanatos (death), and either would be suitable. In the movie, if he can gather and wield all six coveted “infinity stones,” Thanos will ...

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