424 results for tag: blog


Q & R: What are the Limits of Everlasting Mercy? – Brad Jersak

"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3 "For the LORD is good; His loving-kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:5 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever." Psalm 136:1  Question: If God's Spirit "shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3), then what are the limits of God's mercy? David proclaims God's mercy as enduring forever and his loving-kindness as everlasting. But doesn't his patience run out? Doesn't the story of Noah, for example, show that God is ...

Loving Legalism – No Such Thing! – Greg Albrecht

From the time the first human beings walked the face of the earth, literally billions of people have been living lives of religious legalism—attempting to do for themselves what God has already done for them—trying to replace God's infinitely powerful grace with empty, useless human effort. After Jesus came to us, telling us about and showing us God's unconditional love, and after establishing his church, it seems we should have gotten the point. But even though Jesus, God in the flesh, came as one of us revealing the Father, religious legalism continues even among people who claim to be Christians. In fact legalism, as a counterfeit and ...

The Power of a Tireless Minority by Greg Albrecht

Friend and Partner Letter from October 2015 “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather a tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds."– attributed to Samuel Adams, an American Founding Father (1722-1803). IT DOES NOT TAKE A MAJORITY TO PREVAIL! Throughout history, authentic Christianity seems to have thrived when it was a distinct minority. On the other hand, it seems that the pure gospel and faith taught by Jesus and proclaimed in theNew Testament was polluted and corrupted when Christendom became the official, state religion and it was enforced and institutionalized. Setting brush fires in people’s ...

Punisher or Pushover? How Is Wrath “God’s” – Brad Jersak

How, why or when is 'wrath' God's?  Why does the Bible talk about 'the wrath of God'?  As we continue to preach and teach the NT message that "God is Infinite Love," embodied in Christ and revealed on the Cross, it is right that we should continually challenge and be challenged by "the wrath of God." That challenge requires us to keep returning to the Scriptures and to the Lord for greater clarity, because such great potential for error persists. We dare not slander God, either as a violent punisher or a spineless pushover, because such images serve as stumbling blocks, especially to those suffering under the consequences of their poor choices or ...

Christ-centered faith vs Christless religion/spirituality – Brad Jersak

Lately, I’ve been noticing subtle differences between the popular ‘spirituality vs. religion’ and ‘faith vs. religion' Some prefer ‘spirituality’ because it only implies one’s own spiritual self or soul (sans any god at all). So hiking the mountains is ‘spiritual’ because it nurtures the soul. True enough. However,  I personally prefer to speak of ‘faith’ because my spiritual self or my soul has been freed and fed by a Love greater than my own … and indeed, faith freed me from religion in a way that spirituality hadn’t. As one Orthodox priest says, ‘Religion is a neurological disease and faith is its cure.’ I’m ...

Is My Church Legalistic? – Greg Albrecht

Q: I have been a member of a "fundamental, Bible-believing" church for six years and recently, some things have come to light that concern me. First, our church is adamant about the clear gospel in that it is not of works and that you can't ever earn your way into heaven. I know it's a free gift and that is the core of our teaching. However, there are strict rules for the members—no going to movies, no listening to anything that resembles Christian rock music—men must wear suits and women must wear dresses or skirts in church. Our pastor calls these requirements "standards." My most disturbing concern is when people leave our church, we ...

See How He Loves Us – Greg Albrecht

There's a great story about a little boy who was trying to learn the Lord's Prayer. One night he was kneeling down by his bed, and he prayed: "Our Father who are in heaven, how do you know my name?" St. Augustine, revered as one of the great theologians of the Christian faith, once said that Jesus loves each of us as if there was no one else to love.Time after time we read in the four Gospels about people Jesus met who felt and experienced his radically personalized, individual affection—no one they had ever known had talked to them, treated them and spent time with them the way Jesus did. The eyes out of which Jesus saw and perceived ...

Clenched Fists, Limp Wrists or Open Hands – Brad Jersak

How do I wait when God seems to wait? When do I act as God's hands?  How do we wait for God's grace when we are called to be agents of God's grace?  "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." (Hab. 2:3) "God sees the truth, but waits." Leo Tolstoy To me, this is a very difficult question, because rather than just asking God for a direct answer, the question itself puts us into a posture or place of waiting... potentially awkward or even painful waiting. But here's a little prayer exercise that may lead you into seeing ...

18 Prominent Biblical Passages – and Why by Greg Albrecht

Greg Albrecht Recently I was asked to provide a list of my top ten verses in the Bible. The request specified that each of the ten selections be restricted to just one, or at most, several verses and no more. I tried, but I could never boil my list down to just ten brief passages, so I decided to respond by expanding on the original request. I set out to make a list of top ten passages. At first I thought that I could come up with my top ten passages in the Bible if I allowed for "passages" to be more than simply a verse or two but a chapter or even an entire book of the Bible. But then, after working on that plan, I was still stymied. I ...

Q&R: What’s with ‘spiritual warfare’?

Question I've been thinking about this idea of war. Is there any space for 'war' in God's heart? I think absolutely not. Just peacemaking, and laying life down, and endless mercy and love, etc. But what about spiritual warfare? What about the spiritual battle language so prevalent in the church. Is that not a form of war against...the devil, demons, etc? Is that appropriate. Are they not also God's creatures whom he cannot hate? Will he not forgive them in the end? Or is spiritual warfare just a metaphor to help us make sense of things? If so, I feel like it's really problematic for our war-mongering, us vs. them culture. Can we hold on ...

Being Loved and Served and Passing It On

Friend and Partner Letter October 2021 In 1942 the United States was at war with Japan. Many citizens, and for that matter, our state and federal government, found it hard to distinguish between Japanese-American residents and citizens of the United States and the sovereign nation of Japan, who had launched the infamous surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. Something like 120,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated to internment camps located primarily in the midwestern, southern and western United States. Carole Doi was born as a third generation Japanese-American while her parents were interned in one of the many camps which were ...

Q&R with Brad: How do predictions of OT events also point to Christ?

QUESTION I'm onto your new book, A More Christlike Word. I am no longer stuck on all the Old Testament violence. My reaction is now, "How in the world did I not know ANY of this growing up in the church?" But when I got to page 65 in your book, I paused and thought back to my childhood and Christmas Eve services when we would read aloud from Genesis, Isaiah, and then the NT birth of Christ. My new understanding is that Isaiah was not literally predicting the birth of Christ, but then how do these passages point to Christ? Do they still deserve a place in a Christmas Eve worship service in that they "point" to the birth of Christ? Or are we ...