procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


this is one of the many emotive pictures we were shown this morning, in a primer to the third WaSaBI, this one entitled the cross and eschatology.
i guess, in the same way as you need to understand the absence of something to grasp its true value (try this with oxygen sometime), our presenter wanted us to understand the hopelessness of this world, in order to fully grasp the hope we have in Christ.

after discussing despair, we grappled with 4 views of hope, the marxist, western hedonist, postmodern, and finally the Christian (ours and God's).

i found it a real encouragment looking at the manifold terms the new testament uses to express hope:
  • hope
  • expectation
  • God's purpose for the world
  • heaven
  • inheritance
  • last day
  • eternal life
  • plan
  • predestination
  • jesus
just reading through this list, thinking about the images each word or phrase speaks of the hope we have is quite powerful.

slightly off-kilter, but i have been finding more and more of late (perhaps it is sydney? or just my eyes being open a little wider?), the idea of the cross seems very much an after-thought:
the gospel, so i hear, and so the bible tells me, is the resurrection.
therefore the cross in some ways is simply the means to an end. that end being the inreaching, and eventual victory, of the resurrection age into this sin-bound age.
yes, the cross was the only way for our sins to be dealt with, but even the payment of sin is again simply a means to an end, the resurrection.

although this is perhaps a discussion for another time, for a WaSaBI on eschatolohy and the cross, the cross hardly got a leg in!

personally, the framework used to discuss all 4 views of hope, was very helpful, not to mention challenging.
diagramatically this means, the starting point, the present, and the end-point(=eschaton=hope)

so if one of our starting points is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our present is that we are resurrection living, and our end-point is our resurrection bodies, this begs the question: Do we treat one another differently to how we did beforehand? Does the present reality of our partaking NOW in the resurrection show us to be different to the days gone by?
similarly, if the starting point is the sabbath-rest, the end-point is meeting God face to face, then our present reality needs must be fellowship together in the spirit - no longer seeing one another, nor our true selves, as through a glass darkly.

as i hope you can tell, this was another great WaSaBI. top work rob.

the next WSBI will be held on 22nd april - this is a call out for any articles on atonement, of a suitable level to hand out to comers prior to the reading group WSBI. links to any articles would be greatly appreciated - or you can email them to doug at-symbol wildstreet dot org dot au (yes, the reading group is because i'm running it, failing volunteers, and due to preaching commitments am unable to write a talk - though feel free to volunteer your services to wild street bible institute!)

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Blogger samgirl said...

Sounds great! I'm sorry I missed it!

are you saying that the gospel is the resurrection as opposed to cross and resurrection? (Jesus death and resurrection together??)


9:55 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

yep. at least, that's the word on the streets.
Romans 1:1-4
[...] Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord [...]

now, you obviously can't have the resurrection without the death, Romans 4:25 explains:
[...] who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

but 1 Corinthians 15 makes it fairly clear that the resurrection of Christ is central, fundamental, and that if not so, we in fact are most to be pitied. and then verse 20-22:
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

2:55 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Surely the opening verses of 1 Cor 15 tie the death, burial (!) and resurrection of Jesus together as of "first importance" to the gospel of salvation:

"15 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures ..."

2:32 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

reading through Acts 1-4, i get the overwhelming sense of the primacy of the resurrection.

especially Peter's pentecost sermon, but particularly the explanation of their message in 4:33,
And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

3:21 pm  

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