It has been my experience that most of the Christian life takes place in the wilderness, not the Promised Land. That is, it is much more common to be struggling (spiritually) in one form or another or to one degree or another than it is to be sitting back and relaxing. One of the reasons for this is that spiritual growth requires work and effort, which means there will likely be a lot of struggling and failing. Another, and often overlooked reason I think, is injustice. Times when God does not do what he has promised to do.
“The teachers that were hard, the ones that made things difficult and forced you to learn and improve, those are the ones that you will remember. Not the easy ones who tried to make things as easy as possible so that you felt good about yourself.”
Was there a day when the earth stopped spinning and the sun stood still? That seems to be what a certain passage in Joshua is saying, but is that really what is being described? Or does it mean something else?
“But she will be saved through childbearing…” [1Tim 2.15]. This verse can be difficult to understand. It not only sounds strange, but seems to contradict the rest of the New Testament (NT) when it comes to salvation. However, this is not the case. It is not as strange as it might sound and it does not contradict the rest of the NT on salvation.
One of the fundamental principles of Christianity is revelation. Not the book, but the action. Not only does God reveal himself to us, but he also reveals the true nature of things, including people. In Matthew’s gospel there are two back-to-back parables revealing the possible natures of people: righteous or wicked.
A perennial struggle in Christianity is the struggle between preserving the old and adapting to the new. On the one hand we have a faith that we must preserve and hand on to future generations, but on the other new discoveries and advances are constantly being made, especially in the areas of science and technology. How much of the old do we change or reformulate in light of the new? One of the fields that has been part of this debate is psychology.
Simply stated, spiritual gifts are “gifts” that the Holy Spirit gives to Christians for the building up, strengthening, and maintaining of the Church. For most Christians their conception is formed by various passages in the letters of the Apostle Paul (mainly 1 Corinthians 12.8-10, 28; Romans 12.6-8, and Ephesians 4.11), but the concept is actually much larger than these passages. In fact, we can even find examples of spiritual gifts in the Old Testament.
To call someone a heretic is to bring a very serious charge against them. The word is often thrown around amongst Christian groups seemingly without an understanding as to what they are actually saying about someone when they call them a “heretic.”
In part 1 We set out the basics concerning the Trinity, namely how the doctrine is articulated. In part 2 we are going to delve into the details of how this doctrine came to be articulated as such.