385 results for tag: Brad Jersak


Q&R with Brad: “What role do my prayers play?”

QUESTION Considering this newfound discovery that in Christ, there is "no separation," what do our prayers accomplish?  I mean, in the best way...if my friend is in pain, I genuinely care, and I talk to Jesus... But if He is always present, never withdraws, and always knowing, I find myself lost not knowing my role or effect. I pray still, and I suppose groaning makes sense in this instance -- not in a dramatic way, but feeling deeply, empathizing, caring deeply... But when a friend comes with dire need or urgency, I fail to feel, know or understand how my words (or ‘groans’ )have any effect or power to change anything when my Lord ...

Q&R: Why would a Christlike God kill the firstborn of Egypt? Brad Jersak

Question What do you make of the death of the firstborn in Egypt? If God is not a vengeful and retributive death-dealer, how do you read that story? Response The Egyptian firstborn who died in the tenth plague (Exodus 12) were ultimately victims of Pharaoh's willful defiance, and were specifically slaughtered by 'the destroyer.' The New Testament finally reveals that 'the destroyer' is not God nor even the agent of God (contra the original story) but the enemy of God who steals, kills and destroys (John 10:10)... the 'destroyer' is Abbadon who comes from the pit (Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12, Psalm 88:11, Proverbs 15:11; 27:20, Revelation ...

Q&R with Brad – Revelation Retribution?

Question Your book, A More Christlike God, really helped me see God in a new light. I used to be afraid of God and constantly thought he was judging me. Your book showed me that God is love exactly like Jesus. However, I wonder how you would handle some of the more violent and "judgy" passages in the book of Revelation, where Jesus is condemning and even threatening some of the churches. For example, in the message to Thyatira, Jesus (?) says, 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching, she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of ...

Brad Jersak, “A More Christlike Word” – Review by Cherith Fee Nordling

Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way (Whittaker House, 2021).Review by Cherith Fee Nordling For all of you who find the Bible heavy-lifting, either because you don’t know where to begin or because you’ve been given such a heavy interpretive, defensive load to bear on behalf of the good news about Jesus, rather than finding yourselves carried by Jesus, the incarnate Word himself, and his indescribably good gospel of love, from Genesis to Revelation, then this book is for you. It will invite you to move from simply reading verses through an unexamined lens to always listening for the ...

Q&R with Brad – “What’s this about the courts of heaven?”

Question A friend of mine is becoming very excited by "The Courts of Heaven" theories promoted by Robert Henderson. They’ve obviously been around for a while but I’d not come across them before. I’m not persuaded by it at all, but why do these ‘new truths’ seem to work? Response "Courts of heaven" teachers such as Robert Henderson use biblical imagery in order to express spiritual realities as they interpret them. The question, then, revolves around their interpretation of the imagery and how they apply the imagery in practice. Full disclosure: I will first nod to some of the biblical foundations, then push back at aspects of ...

CWR video – Angry, Retributive Images of God

Short video on the images of God.

What if God has your back? by Brad Jersak

"What will be will be, but God always has my back."   A friend of mine said that last night.    Thoughts and feelings burst through my mind and heart like fireworks.        "This feels deeply true to my heart of hearts."      "But is it true? What about affliction?"      "How is this different than denial of suffering?"       "How is this different from platitudes like 'everything always works out'?"   Because it doesn't always work out.Even good people go bankrupt, lose their jobs, their homes. Even good people get sick, ...

Q&R with Brad: “What was ‘this cup’ Christ drank?”

The Agony in the Garden, 1590-1600, El Greco Question I'm curious if you have written anything or have any references concerning the cup Jesus asked be passed from him in the garden of Gethsemane. Some say it is "the cup of God's wrath" whereas I recall learning it was the cup of human suffering. Would you kindly share with me a few words on this topic? Grace and peace. Response A very good and important question. Let's begin by reviewing the text in Matthew 26 (NKJV): 36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with ...

Q for Brad: “How did you defend penal substitutionary atonement?”

Question Dear Brad, You are on the record as having written an MA thesis under the title “The Nature of Christ’s Suffering and Substitution” in the 1980s. You changed your mind over the years and your books have been very clear about that. Would you still have a copy of that thesis? I would dearly like to see what you thought back in the 1980s and how you argued the case. Response Today, all that remains is my hard copy and probably the one in our college archives. The digital version was on 128k floppy drives that eventually suffered from digital drift and became a mush of characters. However, I can summarize ...

Q&R with Brad – How do we pray regarding natural disasters, like these fires?

Question How do you pray these days regarding natural disasters, like the fires we're seeing in the Northwest and in Turkey?  Is God in control? Is God controlling?  As you mentioned in A More Christlike God, God set the parameters for natural law to take place. So is there any point asking God to intervene and stop the fires? Does God do that?  Response First, let's remember that God doesn't DO control. BUT God's love is mediated into this world through willing human partners who invite God's participation. WE mediate God's goodness as image-bearers in this world. God enters our world by invitation, and our prayers ...

Q&R with Brad – “Is sex before marriage a sin?”

Question I have a question. Is sex before marriage a sin? It seems it is best to wait considering the risks. But, the Bible isn't clear on this. The word fornication comes from the Greek word, porneia which means whoredom, harlotry, idolatry, and selling off sexual purity, or marital unfaithfulness (adultery). However, what about in committed relationships where people are not married? Response This is such a poignant question in this sex-positive, post-"purity culture" era. It seems like a risky question to address ... almost a lose-lose as we straddle 21st-century reality and yet hope to stay anchored to some sort of sex ethic that ...

Q&R with Brad – “But God is holy…”

Poem by Franki (@frankiwritespoetry on Instagram) When yourperception of thelove and acceptance of Godis less than what ahuman beingwould offer a stranger, it'sprobablywrong. Reader's question But he's God. He's holy and I can't get past how that makes me view him as a judge of my behavior. He doesn't accept sin. And I "was born in sin". I don't want to see myself as sinful needing a savior from my evilness, but I feel the Bible tells me this story. If he accepts me, why do I need to do anything at all? Response This is such an important line of inquiry that it bears answering in stages. "But he's God." I don't see that "but" ...