418 results for tag: blog


Q & R: Why the Prophetic Directives to Destroy? — Brad Jersak

Question:  I just finished reading your new book A More Christlike God and I loved it! I have a question and want to see if you know of any resources that might be helpful.Specifically, my question relates to certain stories in the OT where God seems to give clear prophetic directives about killing every man, woman, child and animal in the city such as in the story of Joshua and Jericho. I understand that sometimes people heard God through their own "lens" and may have attributed actions/words to God that were really a reflection of their own image of God. However, what do you do with passages where there seems to be a clear prophetic directive? And ...

Q&R with Brad: Why did God put us on earth in the first place?

WHY?LIFE is precious QUESTION: If God's final word for humanity is mercy rather than eternal conscious torment, then that sits better with me. This question remains for me: why would God even put us on earth in the first place, if we are just going to freely choose him anyway? We didn't consent to be put through all of this suffering. God doesn't need more glory. I was always taught that free will was just because God wanted someone to freely choose to love Him, which is a cool idea, but at what cost to us? RESPONSE: I wonder if it’s the same reason we keep having babies. Because despite the suffering humanity both causes ...

Grace = No More Scorekeeping – Greg Albrecht

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.—1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Keeping score is one of the fundamental predispositions of human beings. Keeping score is the way we operate, it's the way we gauge our progress and that of others and it is one of the primary ways in which our culture motivates us. I learned to keep score at an early age via two of my passions—sports and music. The first score-keeping experience I had in sports was with the game of baseball. As I recall, I was about ten years ...

The Perils of Caged and Free Range Christians – Brad Jersak

Top news in American Christianity The top news item in American Christianity over the past few years continues to be the ‘nones’ (non-affiliated) phenomenon. Is the exodus of churchgoers a blessed deliverance from bondage or a cursed wandering in the wilderness? How we see it depends on one’s perspective, experience and observations … and it’s going to warrant ongoing examination. But there’s no skirting the stubborn fact that tens of millions no longer and likely will never return to the institutional church as they knew it. For my part, I note that both churchgoers and nones can get pretty defensive and contemptuous of the other. ...

The Not Yet Kingdom Pt.3 – Greg Albrecht

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God's salvation.'"—Luke 3:3-6 As John the Baptist preached he quoted from the prophecy in Isaiah, which spoke both of his own ministry preparing for Jesus' ministry and Jesus' central message—the kingdom of God. ...

Who Are You? by Greg Albrecht

Friends and Partner Letter From July 2014 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990, was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century. While she was in office Mrs. Thatcher visited a home for seniors, the kind of place often referred to as an “old folks’ home.” As she made the rounds shaking hands, she came to one older lady who seemed to be suffering from dementia. She gave no indication that she had any idea that she was shaking hands with the Prime Minister. Mrs. Thatcher asked the woman: “Do you know who I am?” The dear lady replied, “No dear, but if you really want to know ...

On the Grill: An Inquisition of the Sincere – Brad Jersak

On the Grill: An Inquisition of the Sincere Questions. Interviews, investigations, inquisitions. Grilling. I’ve been on the grill a fair bit over the decades. Questions, so many questions. And I love questions. There is no greater favor you can do a vocational teacher than ask him or her a question. These include the happy experiences of Q & A sessions where I really knew my material. Others were designed to be positive, yet felt stressful because the stakes involved were high: job interviews, candidacy committees or the closing viva (oral exams) for my post-graduate degree. Some interviews were promotional, whether on TV, radio or umpteen ...

Between Religious Rocks and Life’s Hard Places – Greg Albrecht

  Don’t you just hate it when you are in church, and the preacher finally utters those sweet words of promise—“and in conclusion” —but your idea of a conclusion and his are like ships passing in the night? When you hear the words “and in conclusion,” you heave a sigh of relief and start dreaming about beating the lunch crowd at your favorite restaurant, but the preacher keeps going on and on and on.    Okay, I’ll make this brief (that’s another thing that preachers like me say that drives me crazy because when they do I know it will be anything but brief ).   In the “Introduction” to my ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak – On Abraham’s Attempt to Sacrifice Isaac

"Woah there, big fella!" QUESTION My husband and I were missionary children, and have been impacted by the perceived “child sacrifice” practices/ideology (boarding school, prioritization of ministry and the unevangelized, etc.) of the mission organization our parents worked with at the time. As adults, we find the story of God asking/demanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to prove his loyalty extremely troubling. Your teaching about the love of God being the nature and character of God resonates with me. I thought you might have a way to approach this story. Response This is certainly an important question, probably best handled by ...

The Already Here Kingdom Pt. 2 – Greg Albrecht

Have you ever had the experience of frantically looking for your keys only to find that they are in your pocket, or in the ignition of the car or hanging from the lock on the back door—just where you left them? You may have looked all over the house for your hat, only to find it sitting right there on your head. As you searched and searched, it was there, on your head, all the while. Just where is the kingdom of God? In Mark 1:15 Jesus said "the kingdom of God is near." In Luke 17:20-21 he says, "the kingdom of God is in your midst." So is the kingdom near, but not here? Is it here, but we just don't know where to look? The Interpreter's ...

Q&R with Brad Jersak – “What will become of the ungodly?”

Question How do you understand 1 Peter 4:17-18, which reads: 17 The time has come, you see, for judgment to begin at God’s own household. And if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel? 18 And "if the righteous person is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? I'm especially wondering about what "the judgment" that begins with the church means, but also what verse 18 could mean for "where will ... the sinner appear." Response Excellent question! The best way to respond begins with the bigger picture of Peter's purpose for writing this community and what ...

“I Believe I’m Right” – Grant Corriveau

“It can’t be about having ‘right’ beliefs,” my pastor said. The day our pastor’s mother died our church followed some very strict beliefs. Some would call it ultra-legalism. Others would have identified it as a cult. But then the church doctrines changed radically and he (all of us) were faced with the question, “What about those who apparently died “in error?” “It can’t be about having ‘right’ beliefs.” Suddenly we were confronted with the understanding that our faith in God, our eternal life, and all the most important issues of eternity, could NOT possibly be tied to our often flawed and always incomplete ...