Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Jeremy R. Treat in The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 2014), p. 110:
"Having analyzed [the Gospel of] Mark's unfolding narrative, we have seen that within the various stages of the coming of the kingdom, the cross is the decisive moment. The kingship of Christ on the cross, the signs of the cross as an eschatological turning point, and the Isaianic background of the suffering of the servant as the hinge of the new exodus and reign of God all point to the cross as the decisive moment in Jesus' mission. Although it may sound reasonable to attribute victory to the resurrection and not to the cross, the Markan Jesus exposes such fallen reasoning as fallen human logic and proposes instead a divine paradoxical wisdom (Mark 8:33). For Mark, the cross is not a defeat but the divinely willed means for God to bring about his kingdom through his Messiah" (bold emphasis added).
Benjamin D. Espinoza and Beverly Johnson-Miller, "Catechesis, Development Theory, and a Fresh Vision for Christian Education" in the Christian Education Journal. Vol 11, No 1 (Spring 2014), p. 19:
"Although evidence exists that the contemporary church suffers from biblical and theological illiteracy (Prothero, 2007), the more alarming concern is perhaps the lingering Enlightenment influence of the recent modern era in which the Christian faith was reduced to objectified knowledge. It is important that in our efforts to restore meaningful and widespread theological engagement we do not fall into the trap of limiting Christian formation to rational argument. Doctrine emerges from our Scripture-informed communion with a holy God, and defines and guides this relationship with God."
Krish Kandiah, "An Explosion of Joy: What it means to be the apostolic church" in Christianity Today (June 2014), p. 48-49:
"Mission begins not with the church but with God himself. This idea is known as Missio Dei, which literally means 'the mission of God.' German theologian Jurgen Moltmann captured it well: 'It is not the church that has a mission...it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church.' South African missiologist David Bosch similarly said, 'Mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God.'"
Kandiah later continues:
"Fulfilling the apostolic mandate [i.e., continuing the mission of Jesus, that He has in turn sent His church to pursue, cf. John 20:21] is not something we can do on our own. Only by encountering the risen Christ and receiving the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit are we able to step beyond our own doors and carry out God's mission."
Click here to be taken to Christianity Today's website where you can search for the full article from which this excerpt was taken, or find other articles broadly relevant to evangelical Christianity that may be of interest to you.
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