104 results for tag: Brad Jersak


“Go and sin no more”? Brad Jersak

Reading John 8 through Genesis 2-3 and the Prodigal Sons Throughout Scripture, we see “sin” identified in a variety of ways, including moral failure, law-breaking, poor spiritual hygiene, character flaws, a fatal disease and a sinister slave-driver. And where sin (hamartia) is defined as “missing the mark,” Scripture implies the mark we’re aiming at may be morality, holiness, faith and faithfulness, love of God and each other, or the glory of God. [CLICK HERE for further background on hamartia] In my blog post, Sin? Missing what mark? I suggested another mark: our love union with God—or RE-union (reconciliation) with God. In ...

The Love that Raises Us from Slavery to Friendship with God – Brad Jersak

I recently stumbled upon an interesting quote by a certain George Calciu, which I'll cite and then follow up with an explanation of why it fascinates me: You have avoided choosing Jesus as your friend for too long... but Jesus has chosen you to hear his voice. He did so long ago: "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (John 15:16). The choice was made long ago, for Jesus has always loved you, young friend, but now you have responded to his call. In responding you are ordained to go and bear fruit that will remain. To be a prophet of Christ in the world ...

“Sin”? Missing What Mark? Brad Jersak

Periodically, I hear sin defined as “missing the mark,” as if this grand discovery will repair our misunderstandings about sin, the gospel or God himself. The imagery of a bulls-eye is recycled with each telling. And fair enough. But truly, nearly everyone accepts this definition, from Southern Baptists to Christian Orthodox, or divergent theologies ranging from the “hyper-grace” camp to hellfire fundamentalists. Some crucial clarifications are in order if “missing the mark” is to serve a Christ-centered perspective on sin. The first question can’t be, “What is sin?” but rather, “What is the mark?” Christians generally ...

Healing Weary Words: Sin, Repentance and Justification – Brad Jersak

Healing Weary Words: Sin, Repentance and Justification in the Context of the Incarnation We’re often told “sin” refers to “missing the mark” but then left to assume the mark has to do with moralistic perfection. Rather, the mark, goal or telos of human design and destiny is none other than love union with Trinity, with each other and with our world. To sin (every kind of sin) is to misuse our God-given freedom/energies to turn away from self-giving, other-welcoming love in favor of self-will. As it turns out, our forays into self-centeredness are also self-destructive—a turn from love and life into a wasting disease that would ...

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 different angle? The following is a thought experiment that may prove productive...

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, major denominations are now doubling down, dogmatizing it as a non-negotiable ...

Breakfast with Brad – T-bone Steak, the UK & How God is Named

In which, over leftover T-bone steak, Brad pitches an "Exploring the Beautiful Gospel" gathering (with Brian Zahnd) in Southhampton, UK (Oct. 26, 2018), then reflects on three ways in which God is named. See below for event details and the 3 ways God is named. CLICK HERE to attend "Exploring the Beautiful Gospel" with Brad Jersak and Brian Zahnd, Oct. 26. 3 ways God is named:  People name God after their experiences of God. Their names are descriptive of how they meet God in their encounters with God. God names himself directly or through angels, such as his self-revelation as Yahweh to Moses, or when his Son is named Emmanuel or ...

“The sprinkled blood that speaks a better word” – Brad Jersak

The cry of Abel's blood echoes through the pages of sacred scripture, as does the "better word" of the sprinkled blood of God's firstborn: Genesis 4 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden ...

Breakfast with Brad – Anniversary Casino Breaky & Stuff I’m Workin’ On

In which Brad and Eden enjoy a 32nd anniversary breakfast a Tulalip Casino and Brad shares his latest work. More photos below. My gambling is not with $$ at slot machines, but with the capacity of other to engage the big questions of theology. Correction: Brad mentions working on a chapter of "A More Christlike God," but he was actually referring to his sequel, "A More Christlike Way," due out spring of 2019. (more…)

CWR magazine August Issue is Live!

CLICK HERE to read now (PDF Format) Brad Jersak: Space for All at God's Table– pg. 3 Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: Everyone Belongs to God – pg. 6 Michael Peterson & Brad Jersak: Disconnection: A Likely Cause of Addictions – pg. 7 Laura Urista: Love Is – pg. 10 Greg Albrecht: People of the Way – pg. 12 Greg Albrecht: “Does God Give Ultimate Authority to Human Leaders?” -pg. 15 CLICK HERE for Flipping Page Format

Q & R: What do you make of Luke 13:23-28? – Brad Jersak

Question: I am wondering, in light of A More Christlike God, what your take is on Luke 13:23-28. It seems like an instance of a not very Christlike Christ! Response: In the future, I plan to write something in greater detail about these type of difficult texts, which are similar to some of Jesus parables in their dire rhetoric. In the case of Luke 13:23-28, a number of interpretive factors come into play and I'm still sorting through how to weight each of them for relevance. The passage goes this way: 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through ...

Q & R: “What is God teaching me?” – Brad Jersak

"What is God teaching me in this?" I hear this question frequently, most often through the trials and tragedies of life. When something goes wrong and life grinds our nose in the dust, we might wonder what lesson we're to learn. It's almost as if once you learn the lesson, you can move forward. Honestly, while the question is an expression of genuine humility, I think the question itself smuggles in extra painful assumptions that we would do well to discard. IF we think that God imparts wisdom through any circumstance, no problem. But if we view our painful circumstances and afflictions as a lesson sent by God, then God becomes the first cause ...