Reblog: The Bible Isn’t Perfect And It Says So Itself – Zach Hunt – Red Letter Christians

This is where faith comes in. Faith forces us to rely upon and put our trust in God. Without the need for faith, there is no real need for God, at least not this side of eternity. When Paul spoke of seeing through a mirror dimly, it was a statement of faith that even though his knowledge was only in part and wasn’t perfect, it was sufficient for his salvation, sufficient enough to see him through until Christ’s return. When we take the path of inerrancy the space for this sort of humble faith evaporates and is replaced with an arrogance that claims more certainty than even the Biblical writers themselves were willing to affirm.

Which means when we affirm inerrancy, we reject the need for faith.

When we affirm inerrancy, we ascribe perfection to the creation rather that to the Creator.

When we affirm inerrancy, we create an idol fashioned out of the same need for certainty and control that drove Adam and Eve to snatch divinity away from God.

Simply put, Biblical inerrancy isn’t Biblical.

via The Bible Isn’t Perfect And It Says So Itself – Zach Hunt – Red Letter Christians.

A few days ago Peter Enns asked his readers what the biggest obstacles to their faith were. My response to that was “the belief in biblical inerrancy”. I felt a little ashamed admitting it, because people tend to question your faith when you question the Bible (whose bright idea was that?) This article put into words what I couldn’t. Great read.

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Reblog: When we weep {And then there are no more tears} | acupofbliss

You see, one can choose to die of a broken heart or one can choose to be reborn out of the shattered pain. Choose to live again. Choose to beat in tempo with the ebb and flow of the stream of days.

Yet, when this type of transformation is made, it is not our heart that beats again, but rather HIS. You see, when the heart has felt so much grief, then it can’t just resurrect itself again. It’s lost its rhythm. It’s lost its timing. It’s forgotten the pulse of life, of hope, of joy.

I think that is when the Creator of the Universe leans down, wraps His arms around His child, and breathes once again into his mouth. Returns the air that was so cruelly sucked out. I believe He presses down on the panting heart and pulses with it until it can once again operate on its own. All the while, He holds and rocks. Rocks and holds. Whispers words of Love. Sings over His dying child until the child remembers his own song. The words of joy that lilt and skip over the mundane moments.

There are no words for how true and painful and beautiful this is. Thank you, Lauren. Read the whole post: When we weep {And then there are no more tears} | acupofbliss.

Weekend faith renewal: an honest minute

Imagine if honest minutes were mandatory. Where at least once every week or two, for a minute, you are completely and unflinchingly honest about your life as a believer instead of the friendly veneers we put on when we jostle knees in full pews or well-attended Bible Study groups.

Where we don’t put on our best clothes and take out our most expensive Bibles or tithe big.

How about now?

I’ll start. I’m setting the timer on my mobile for sixty seconds and stream-of-consciousnessing this baby.

Ready?

Here we go.

I’m a theology student and I keep telling people that but I don’t know what it means or if it even means anything because I have this suspicion that I’ve made a terrible mistake because how on earth can God use me for anything? I’m not the popular youth pastor

Well, that’s mine. What does yours say?

Repentance

Sunlight

We avoid so much of ourselves; is it any wonder we feel so alienated? You know, repentance is not wishing you hadn’t said something mean or done something wrong; that’s denial. Repentance isn’t just regret; that’s guilt. I get the sense that real repentance is acknowledging the depth of our inhumanity and feeling it out with the acceptance and love that God offers us so freely. Asking God for forgiveness at any time is really just taking steps to forgive ourselves, to pick it all up, to try again. All these scrapes and bangs ingrain God more deeply in our hearts until there is so much of him that we’re nothing but human.

It’s never done, though, not here. We like thinking in terms of goals. Goal #1: Be a good person! But repentance isn’t a goal, and it’s not a lifestyle; it’s just a life. It’s constantly coming back to the whole of who you are, and the whole of who God is, and the whole of who you are in God.

We’re so impatient, aren’t we? We want to get. This. Done. But it’s the doing that’s the learning curve and that’s the point: Earth is the lesson. It’s not the test, and it’s not the result. I know the metaphor of ‘testing’ is prevalent in Scripture and in Christian thinking. And it’s apt as far as metaphors go. But a test implies the possibility of failure, when Jesus has assured us that failure is impossible if you accept him.

You cannot fail being a child of God because you already are a child of God. Repentance is overcoming the belief that you’re not.

Know what I’m sayin’?

Reblog: The Gods Are Bored: Church of the Holy Yard Sale

When you throw a yard sale on your lawn, you’re inviting the approval or disdain of hoards of strangers. You are a missionary of your stuff, trying to convince others that what you have is of value. If no one buys what you’ve strewn on your grass, you feel devalued. Worse yet, if someone tries to bargain down your already-low price by noting deficiencies in items, you want to load everything up, take it back inside, and hug it. At least I do.

People are rather like this about their praise and worship. It really hurts when someone belittles you for what you believe and what you value. Likewise, you can’t always understand the driving passion some people feel for the process of yard sale shopping. It floats their boat, but not yours. Sound familiar?

Now you’re saying, “Anne, I can’t believe you’re comparing the lowest kind of silly shopping with something as lofty as worship.” Well, sorry. I am. It’s in our nature to have a set of values (our stuff) which we want to share with others. It’s in our nature to study other peoples’ values (their stuff) and glean gems from them. It’s in our nature to be deeply hurt if people malign our values. Our stuff = ourselves. Which is why many religions inveigh against having a lot of material stuff lying about.

Read the whole post: The Gods Are Bored: Church of the Holy Yard Sale.

Four degrees of love

What are the four degrees of love? First, we love ourselves for our own sake; since we are unspiritual and of the flesh we cannot have an interest in anything that does not relate to ourselves. When we begin to see that we cannot subsist by ourselves, we begin to seek God for our own sakes. This is the second degree of love; we love God, but only for our own interests. But if we begin to worship and come to God again and again by meditating, by reading, by prayer, and by obedience, little by little God becomes known to us through experience. We enter into the sweet familiarity with God, and by tasting how sweet the Lord is we pass into the third degree of love so that now we love God, not for our own sake, but for himself.

Blessed are we who experience the fourth degree of love wherein we love ourselves for God’s sake.

–Bernard of Clairvaux

Doubt

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; apathy is. So you wrestle with God if you have to. Just never give up on the fight.

Faith Renewal Saturday

Without peeking, recite John 3:16.

You could, couldn’t you? If not word for word, then certainly you could convey the gist of it. It’s the summary par excellence and we know it well.

Maybe too well.

Imagine you’ve never clapped eyes on John 3:16.  You don’t know what it says or what it means. You don’t know Jesus or Christianity. You’ve never cracked open a Bible. You don’t know any church’s dogma or your family’s religious traditions or what your friends believe.

Now read it.

Even more inspirational quotes

Loving yourself and loving others

Cliques say you are enough because of what you do. Community says you are enough. —@karenhammons

When you’re not trying to fit in, you’re free to stand out. —@Chr1stlike

Never remain close to people who won’t be happy to see you succeed. —@ms_shony

Liking me isn’t your job. It’s mine. –Christie Inge

If we don’t accept ourselves, we will find it hard, if not impossible, to accept others. —@JoyceMeyer

Don’t worry what others are thinking about you. They aren’t! —@RickWarren

Praying

Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him. —@RickWarren

God speaks to YOU all the time. But remember to be quiet so you can hear Him… —@PassionNetwork

Better to pray awkwardly than not at all. —@PassionNetwork

God is sometimes quiet but remember, the teacher is always quiet during a test. —@PassionNetwork

Living for God

‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done’ is equivalent. Wherever God’s will is done, his Kingdom has come. —@RickWarren

Never give up on God because He will never give up on you. —@PassionNetwork

“It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the heart. —@AnnNortje

Every sin, at its root, is the failure to trust God’s love and wisdom. We think we know better. —@RickWarren

God knows the best things take time. Trust Him with the timing of the big things for your life. —@PassionNetwork

Are you waiting on God to work? Perhaps He’s waiting on you to trust? —@PassionNetwork

When we don’t deal with things, they end up dealing with us. —@JoyceMeyer

God isn’t as concerned with what you DO with your life as he is with what you BECOME while you do it. —@RickWarren

Reblog: Two thoughts on conversion

for some, conversion is like a birth certificate whilst for others it is like a driver’s license. For the first, the ultimate question is “what do I need to do to get to heaven?” For the second, the question is “how do I love God?” For the first, the concern is a moment. For the second, the concern is a life.

From here.