For many Christians, the doctrine of Scripture takes priority over the actual content of Scripture. One consequence of this approach is to minimize the life and teaching of Jesus as the core of our theology.
In my essay, “The Doctrine of Scripture,” I reflect on the significance of making God’s revelation of Godself in Jesus central for our understanding of the Bible. I suggest that seeing Jesus as central to the Bible then provides an angle of perception for discerning other expressions of God’s self-revelation.
This essay is the sixth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.
Often, the Book of Revelation is presented as being about these weird visions of violence and vengeance–where God models retaliation and hatred for enemies.
My article, How does Revelation speak today? (published in The Mennonite, September 2, 2008), presents the book of Revelation as being a “revelation” of Jesus’ persevering love as the model for Christians–in contrast to views of Revelation that see it being about vengeance and violence.
Is a self-conscious doctrine of creation compatible with a belief that pacifism is a central Christian conviction? Is it possible to construct an Anabaptist doctrine of creation, given how dominated that arena of thought has been by Reformed views? In my essay on “The Doctrine of Creation,” I argue that indeed love and creation go together–along with an understanding of justice that sees the concerns of justice being the work to bring healing to brokenness in our world (“restorative justice”).
This essay is the fifth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.
In Revelation six, we get the first of several extended visions in the book that portray a series of plagues that wreak death and destruction on earth. Then, in Revelation seven we get another vision of the people of God (from all tribes and nations) worshiping God and the Lamb–these are the ones who trust in God instead of the Beast. I believe that these two visions portray important elements in life in the past and present, not only life in the future. John the Seer means for us to recognize that we must choose which vision more accurately presents the deepest reality. Should we worship (that is, live our lives in trust in the Lamb’s way of peace) or should we join with the forces of violence since they determine reality? In my sermon, “Trusting God in the Real World,” I juxtapose the two visions and argue that the vision of celebration should determine how we understand the world–and inspire us to practice justice- and peace-making in service to the victorious Lamb.