Jesus Posts

Cross Vision

Greg Boyd spent the last ten years working on a book that reconciles the violence of God in the Old Testament with Jesus in the New Testament. As you might imagine, that is no small challenge to tackle. Earlier this year he released a scholarly version called Crucifixion of the Warrior God. At nearly 1500 pages, you might want to consider whether you can afford to neglect your family and friends long enough to read through it. But I’ve got good news for you! Greg will soon be releasing a popular (and dramatically shorter) version of the book in August called Cross Vision (at just 260 pages).

Greg has been a personal mentor to me over the last few years, and I had the opportunity to read early copies of both books. I even had the privilege of writing an endorsement for the version coming out in August. Of my list of my twelve favorite theology books of all time, four of them are written by Greg (see: Top 12 Theology Books). If you’ve never read one of his books, you simply have no idea what you’re missing. Cross Vision will be one I buy for many people to read over the years. I literally cannot hype this book enough.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book to give you a feel for it. These are from the early manuscript I read so there may be some discrepancies from the final version.

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Jesus Isn’t Just for Christians

Photo Credit: Sébastien Thibault

We’ve been in a month-long series at Central on peace and I taught the third installment of it last weekend (see: Eating with Enemies). The response I’ve seen so far is overwhelmingly positive. Many people have told me this has been some of the most eye-opening conversations about faith they’ve ever had.

But as should be expected, not everyone agrees on this discussion. In reading through the pushback we’ve received, I’ve noticed that most of the comments focus on Muslims. Essentially, the argument is that they are so bad they should be exempt from enemy love. One person even compared it to us telling people to love the Ku Klux Klan.

I have a few thoughts on this. First, what was happening in Rome when Jesus and His disciples taught and modeled how to love enemies rivals anything the Muslim world has produced then or now. The early church lived in a culture that tortured and killed Christians for the amusement of the majority, so it’s hard to see how we might find exceptions today. There are great expressions of Islam in the world today and there are horrific versions of it too (as is true of almost any group of people).

Loving enemies doesn’t validate their actions, it validates our faith in Jesus. In addition, Jesus gave us no qualifying terms on who this enemy love applies to and who it doesn’t. There are no conditions which must be met before we act. Therefore, love everyone. (more…)

Top 20 Quotes from Bart Tarman

Top 20 Quotes from Bart Tarman

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I spent last week in Colorado with a group of guys connected with Carl Medearis. Some were pastors and some were business leaders but all wanted to talk more about Jesus. Carl is an author and has a way of connecting people to Jesus. He models how to engage Muslims through a conversation in community rather than opposition. During this gathering we had the opportunity to hear from a pastor named Bart Tarman who they affectionately refer to as “Yoda.”

Below you’ll see my 20 favorite ideas shared throughout our time together from ideas Bart shared. Normally I save my ’20 quotes’ posts for conferences, but this week brought a ton for me to think about so I decided to include it. This list is my best attempt at capturing some of the incredible insights I received from this week in hopes it can be a blessing to you as well. These are in order of our conversations, not in rank.

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Bells Rung Simultaneously

Hebrew ThoughtI’ve been reading through a book called Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek. Not likely to become a best-seller anytime soon but this book is loaded with interesting perspective. This is particularly interesting for a Christian since the Old Testament is written in Hebrew and the New Testament is written in Greek. One of the passages that stood out to me comes from John 1. The first three verses begin by explaining Jesus.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

In the Hebrew thought “word” is “deed.” As the book unpacks it: “‘Word’ and ‘deed’ are thus not two different meanings… but the ‘deed’ is the consequence of the basic meaning…”

In the Greek thought “word” is “meaning.” As the book unpacks it: “The deepest level of meaning in the term ‘word’ is thus nothing which has to do with the function of speaking… but the meaning, the ordered and reasonable content.”

If we consider both the Hebrew and Greek understanding of this idea we find that Jesus is literally the deed of God and the ultimate meaning of God’s intent. Words have meaning, and this one especially so. This word shows us God Himself. I love that it doesn’t matter what language or culture you pick between the two. Both expressions show us that in Jesus we see the fullness of God.

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Why Jesus Had a Beard

Why Jesus Had a Beard

In case you’ve ever wondered why Jesus had a beard, the above illustration explains.

Source: Red Jaw Cartoons

Jesus According to Matthew

Jesus According to Matthew

This is part of a series of posts on the Biblical view of Jesus. Click here to see them all.

Like I previously did looking at the Gospel of Mark, here is another look at what we see about Jesus from different books of the Bible. It’s fascinating to see what conclusions and observations we can make when we isolate each author’s perspective and retelling of Jesus.

Below are the verses I listed and the observations about Jesus we see in them. A few caveats to consider: 1) these are all taken from the NRSV English translation and not from the original Greek, 2) this is my list after reading through it and there may be inaccuracies or other verses I missed, 3) some are actual titles while others are aspects or behaviors of Jesus.

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