How the Wisdom of God Healed Man

“Seeing, then, that man fell through pride, He restored him through humility. We were ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent: we are set free by the foolishness of God. Moreover, just as the former was called wisdom, but was in reality the folly of those who despised God, so the latter is called foolishness, but is true wisdom in those who overcome the devil.”

Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius, Numidia in north Africa (354-430 AD) , On Christian Doctrine, Book 1, Chapter 14.

The Problem of Evil

Addressing the question, “How could a good God allow so much, evil, pain, and suffering – or does he simply not care?

“Having looked at the four commonly proposed solutions, I’d like to offer what I am convinced is a vastly better option: to live in the tension and accept that there is a God [he exists] – One who is good [he hates evil], who is great [he is all-powerful], and who nevertheless allows real evil in the world [things that are in rebellion to him and that at this moment are challenging him] for a season and for his greater purposes.

It’s also wise to admit to ourselves that we don’t have a simplistic solution that wraps this problem up in neat bow that makes everyone feel good. In fact, there’s nothing we can say to make people suddenly okay with the evil around them or the suffering in their lives. Because – let’s be honest – we’re not okay with it, either! That said, there are some practical thoughts we can offer to our friends to show them that Christianity offers the most satisfying answers to this problem.”

Mark Mittelberg, The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: With Answers (2010) Tyndale House 130, 138.

Reaching Your World with the Gospel: Three Commitments

“There are at least three commitments that every church should make.

“[1]…to support the church in other parts of the world…[with] theological training…prayer…finances…

[2]…to send out missionaries…Christians who are willing to go…totally committed to living for Christ…willing to die for Christ…

[3]…to realize that every Christian is a missionary…[in] your local community…helping to plant growing, vibrant missions-minded churches…re-evangelizing dying congregations…reaching out to internationals…speak[ing] about spiritual things with friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members…penetrating society in culture-transforming ways [as] Christian lawyers and doctors, singers and dancers, builders and bakers, students and teachers, buyers and sellers, journalists and politicians.”

Philip Graham Ryken, City On a Hill: Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century (2003) Moody Publishers 141-145.

 

Drawing People into Christ

“…the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952) Barbour and Company 168-169.

Man as the Image of Christ

“In Christ man sees what manhood was meant to be…men are the image of Christ so far as they are like Christ…this is how man, the image of God, who is already man, already the image of God, can become fully man, fully the image of God.”

Considering the New Testament appropriation of Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his image. In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Clines, Tynbul 19 (1968) 103 in Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17 (1990) Eerdmans 147.

 

The Hovering Spirit in Creation (Gen. 1:2)

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

On Genesis 1:2, the Spirit’s care of the earth at creation.

“‘…the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’ The verb [rahap] basically means ‘flutter fly’; it is used in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe an eagle stirring up the nest, fluttering over its young. In much the same way, the unformed, lifeless mass of the watery earth was under the care of the divine Spirit, who hovered over it, ensuring its future development.”

Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, p. 107. Continue reading