According to the Scriptures (Blog #2)

Resurrection

On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.
Nicene Creed IV

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ – whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15.12–27a

Why is the resurrection of Christ so essential to Christian belief? As you write your post, keep in mind what Paul has to say about the resurrection, as well as what we have read and have discussed so far. Please, of course, include your own view on the importance of the Jesus’ resurrection.

If you are not a student of mine, you can view this entry for a brief explanation of what I’m doing here.

Thanks for the Theme

I just wanted to mention to everyone that this awesome WordPress theme I’m using was not created by me. It was done by Nao. She made it for a theme contest, and in my opinion she should have gotten first place. Anyway, I’ve already modified it and will probably keep tweaking it, but there it is!

‘rational apprehension of things temporal’ (EC Blog #2)

Justin Martyr

Is it important for Christians to be knowledgeable? If so, what would a knowledgeable Christian be like?

On the other hand, is it bad for Christians to have knowledge, beyond that of the Bible, church, etc.?

Either way, what’s the basis for your opinion? Can you bring any scriptures or thoughts from other thinkers to the table?

How does all this apply to you and your education that you’ve received over these last four years, and perhaps to the education you will be receiving after high school? To take it even further, what happens (as a Christian) if you don’t go to school any longer after you graduate?

If you are not a student of mine, you can view this entry for a brief explanation of what I’m doing here.

MXP ‘Most Extreme Paradox!!!’ (EC Blog#1)

Lamb of God

I think this is the coolest paragraph we’ve read so far (or at least one of the coolest):

Here is the extreme paradox. And here is the reason why the earliest Christian language is so filled with tension and energy, as it strives to express how blessing can come through one cursed (Gal 3:6–14), freedom through a slave (Gal 5:1), righteousness through one made sin (2 Cor 5:21), wealth through one made poor (2 Cor 8:9), wisdom through such obvious foolishness (1 Cor 1:25), strength through weakness (2 Cor 13:4), and life for all through one man’s death (Rom 5:12–21). This brings us joy, because if we experience blessing, freedom, righteousness, enrichment, wisdom, power, and life through means so contrary to anything humans could ever conceive, we know we are in the hands of God.
The Creed, page 167

What does paradox have to do with the Christian experience? Is it that important? Can you think of some passages from Scripture that might communicate this idea of something that doesn’t seem to make sense, but that’s just because we aren’t God? Has mystery played a prominent (or should I ask any?) role in your Christian experience thus far? Also, if paradox is a part of the Christian faith, how do we respond to it? Is it something scary or is it something else?

If you are not a student of mine, you can view this entry for a brief explanation of what I’m doing here.

Subscriptions, Redux

Happy carpI apologize, my readers, but I have upgraded my site’s software once again, and once again, I believe I have lost the list of people subscribed to email notifications. I still haven’t gotten the new system figured out yet, so sit tight and check back every once in awhile, and hopefully it’ll be up and running again with a way to register anew!

UPDATE: Email subscriptions are now back on! Just look in the side navbar and click on the “Email Subscriptions” link under “Links.” The page you go to will look blank, but the subscription form is there, I promise! Just scroll down to the bottom and type your addy in there.

Virgin or Not? (Blog #1)

If you are not a student of mine, you can view this entry for a brief explanation of what I’m doing here.

Virgin of the Inexhaustable Cup

For us and for our salvation he came
down from heaven, by the power of
the Holy Spirit he was born of the
Virgin Mary and became truly human.
Nicene Creed III

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Luke 1.26–38

In The Creed, page 157, Luke Timothy Johnson states, “The plain fact is that it is neither possible nor important to know the biology of Jesus’ conception and birth.” Judging by the precise nature of the wording of the Creed, we can guess that the Nicene theologians would disagree with Johnson’s assertion that the biology of Jesus’ conception and birth is not important. Why is the virgin birth important to the traditional teachings of the Church about Jesus? What are the ramifications of the two stances on this topic (“biblical” and “progressive,” as Johnson has called them) for the rest of our belief system? What do you think about Johnson’s stance on the virgin birth of Christ, especially in light of what we have already read?

Click on the comments link below to leave a comment.

To My Readers

I am going to be trying out something with my Senior Bible students in which we’ll be bringing our discussions onto the Internet. I’ll be posing a prompt of some sort that has to do with the reading (we’re currently reading excerpts from Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Creed), and my students will be required to make at least one post in response. If you would like to join in the discussion, please feel free. Please know, however, that they are high school students and are doing this because they have to, so go easy on ‘em!