What does it mean that Jesus was the Prince of Peace? What is meant by Peace, anyway? And what does it mean for how we are meant to live?
Although all sins in some ways are equal before God, there is something particularly evil and destructive about the dehumanizing effects of racism. Martin Luther King Jr. has by in large been secularized in popular culture as a nice man who wanted us all to get along, but this is an unfortunate caricature of a man whose core foundational trust … Read More
In this 4th installment of our Turning the Tables series, we examine how Jesus prophetically acts out a reinterpretation of a common Jewish racial understanding of the Kingdom of God. In both the interactions with the Roman centurion in Luke 7 as well as the woman (Canaanite descendant) in Matthew 15, Jesus reinterprets what it means to have faith in God and who the Kingdom is open to. The repercussions of this unequivocal ‘no’ to racism, and the hatred and de-humanization that accompany it, apply just as much to our 21st century culture in America as they did in 1st century Israel.
It is common to hear objections about the differences between the God of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New, but what about the views some hold that Jesus wasn’t actually non-violent? How do we handle the Scriptures that seem to imply He engaged in occasional violent acts? In this second message in our series, Turning the Tables, David Morrow shows how Jesus cursing a fig tree had nothing to do with violence, and everything to do with liberation from that which enslaves His people, both individually and collectively.
In our new Turning Over Tables series, we examine how central Jesus (as well as other new testament authors) placed our call to non-violence. In fact at one point in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus pre-conditions being considered a child of God to our love toward enemies and refusal to return evil for evil. Many throughout history have tried to twist scripture to fit certain personal or other non-Kingdom nationalistic agendas, but Jesus’ call to us is that His Kingdom is not of this world. What makes His followers distinct is our refusal to engage in violence no matter the “just” circumstance. Read More
The underlying theme behind our ‘Glimpses of Truth’ series is the idea that before we had the full revelation of God in Jesus, people only caught glimpses of him. He showed himself, but like the sun on a cloudy day, people’s view was obscured by their culture, so what they saw was not the full revelation but one marred by … Read More
How are other pastors and church leaders responding to Greg’s proposal for interpreting the violence of God in the Old Testament? In this sermon, we get to hear from the perspective of Bruxy Cavey, pastor of The Meeting House in Toronto, Canada. He summarizes his interpretation of Greg’s writings, and offers his take.
If we read the Old Testament assuming that it all is about the cross of Christ, then we can see how God stooped to the level of the cultural conditioning of the Old Testament authors to allow himself to be portrayed as violent. In addition, when we read carefully, we can actually see, within the passages of violence themselves, the nonviolent character of God breaking through.
God is a God who stoops down, out of love, in order to meet people where they are. He is a heavenly missionary who accommodates that which he is against in order to win people over to the truth. This metaphor of a heavenly missionary helps us understand what God was doing when we read about the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament often portrays God as either doing, commanding, or threatening violence. For many, this is a huge problem because these depictions contradict the way Jesus lived and commanded. What are we to do with this contradiction? In this sermon, Greg invites us to see that there is something else going in these portrayals of violence, and we can only see this something else when we understand what was going on when Jesus died on the cross.