Once again, Tom Wright brings wisdom and reason to a hot topic. Toward the end, he addresses the Enlightenment arrogance of those who say, “We know more about homosexuality” or “We have evolved from the ignorance of the ancient world”. While Wright does not come down on one side or the other in this video, he brings up a lot of points that people refuse to consider in this debate (or rather argument). Chief among the issues worth considering is Wright’s point about differentiation in creation.
That the disciple of Jesus taught his resurrection was a revolutionary concept. Here is Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham and one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our day, explaining why the resurrection must be true.
“The only way you can explain why christianity began and why it took the very precise shape it was is – let’s say cautiously first – they really did believe he was bodily raised from the dead…the only way you can explain the rise of the early Christian belief that Jesus was raised is if there really was an empty tomb, and they really did meet jesus alive again in a transformed body.”
Those who know me also know about my on-again-off-again obsession with writing a book about David and the rise of Israel during the twilight of the Late Bronze Age and the birth of the Early Iron Age. One day, I will find the time and energy to write that book; but in the meantime, where is a series of expositional articles I wrote on the Book of Ruth, which serves as an introduction to the rise of David.
During the message today, I mentioned a model of Herod’s temple that was built by a British pensioner. The man’s name is Alex Garrard, and he spent the last thirty years constructing his model – which stretches 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. Sadly, Mr. Garrard passed away in 2010, and the model is no longer displayed for the public.
You can read the Telegraph article about Garrard and his hobby. I have to say that while the Holyland Model is pretty cool (I saw it in 1997), the scale of Garrard’s model makes it pale in comparison. The Holyland Model is 1:50 scale, and Garrard’s is 1:100, but Garrard’s is much more focused on the temple complex itself.
Here are some pictures of Garrard’s amazing model. They help us get a grasp of the massive complex begun by Herod the Great in 19BCE and completed in 62CE. The entire thing was destroyed in 70CE by the soon-to-be-emperor Titus.
Friday, March 22
Paul’s last words to the church encourage us that the battle we are engaged in it is not just physical. The prince of the power of the air that he mentioned in chapter 2 arrays a lot of enemies against the work of the church. Paul lists a lot of important tools to defend ourselves against the attacks of the spiritual powers, but notice with most important one is in verse 18. The most important 12 that you have on your journey is going to be prayer; and not just individual prayer, but prayer together as the church. A single soldier doesn’t want a war on his own, no matter how many Rambo movies they make. Wars are won by teams working together. And that’s with the churches. A team.
Thursday, March 21
This is a long passage, and it has a lot in it; but notice that Paul brings up the word walk again. It is our walk in love, not your walk in love. It is a shared walk – a shared journey. And how does Paul describe this journey? He puts it into practical terms. He talks about our families. He talks about our marriages. He talks about the relationship of masters and slaves. These are all different environments where we the church have an opportunity to walk in love. How can we bring a journey of love into each of these relationships?
Wednesday, March 20
This is the third time that Paul refers to the walk. This time, it is the walk of the Gentiles, and we are warned against it. Who are the Gentiles? They are the nations and the people who are separated from God.
Being a Gentile has nothing to do with your ethnicity. It has nothing to do with not being Jewish. It has everything to do with your relationship to God through Jesus Christ. The Gentiles are those who refuse Christ. The chosen are those who follow him.
Paul divides the world into two groups of people – people headed toward Jesus and people headed away from it. Which way are you heading? Even as a believer you can be headed the wrong direction.