163 results for tag: Q & R


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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Is the Bible ‘the Word of God’? Q&R with Greg Albrecht

Question: Some people call the Bible “the Word of God.” Is it? What is the Bible exactly? Some say it is inspired, and then some even say it is infallible and inerrant.

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: “Do I need to be rebaptized?” Greg Albrecht

Greg Albrecht: President PTM Question: I was baptized when a baby in the Catholic Church.  I came to see that many of their teachings and practices left a lot to be desired (and I still feel that way).  So later, as an adult, I was baptized in the Worldwide Church of God.   I later came to see that many of their teachings and practices left a lot to be desired (and I still feel the same way).    Do I need to be baptized again? Response: No, you do not need to be baptized again.   If you wish to, that’s entirely up to you, but you are not obligated to.    If you ...

“If God loves everyone, what do I tell those who ignore him?” Greg Albrecht

Question Greg, I am afraid that I have given my brother the wrong idea about the gospel, and about God’s love. Years ago I told him I'm convinced God will save everyone in the end. I still believe that but maybe it's become for him easy to ignore pursuing a relationship with Jesus and the consequences of that. What do you suggest I do? Response Your question is superb because it goes to the heart of the gospel, at least as I perceive it. Here are some similar questions, observations and even objections to the gospel that are often voiced: 1) Why should I try hard if God is going to save me no matter what! 2) If what I do ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...