CWR Blog

Christianity Without The Religion BLOG hosted by Brad Jersak.

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 ...

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Why Did Jesus Die? – Greg Albrecht

"Why did Jesus die?" may seem like an easy question, because the answer seems obvious, doesn't it? Normally, most Christians immediately answer the question something like this: "He died to atone, that is pay for, our sins. As the Lamb of God, he took away the sins of the world, redeeming us from sin through his precious blood. He died that we might die to sin, so that he might live in us, producing his righteousness within us." That answer is true—but it's not the whole story. Much of the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, presents the cross of Christ as a ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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...

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A Covenant – Not a Contract Greg Albrecht

There is probably no other human endeavor quite like marriage—sadly, many of these partnerships that begin with such hope and expectation regularly fail. One of the reasons marriages fail is because many see marriage and the entire relationship through the eyes of a contract rather than through the perspective of a covenant. Marriage, an example of a human covenant, can help us to understand the divine relationship God offers to each of us. He offers us the new covenant in Christ, not the new contract in Christ. It's a covenant, NOT a contract! CONTINUE ...

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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 ...

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“Going to the Dogs” (Matt. 15:21-28) – by Greg Albrecht

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman - by Sadao Watanabe Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.  He replied, "It is not right to take the ...

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God’s Grace Is For Everyone – Greg Albrecht

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. —Titus 2:11 You are invited to the kingdom of heaven, and the invitation is called "the gospel" (good news) because it has no strings attached. You and I are invited to the kingdom of heaven in spite of what we have done! The body of Christ on earth is not the equivalent of an exclusive country club or a cloistered, highly restricted religious fraternity or union. Titus 2:11 says that God's grace is available to everyone—it does not promise or insist that everyone receives and accepts it —but ...

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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 ...

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