Posts tagged "Holy Spirit"
Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville’s Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville’s Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

1. First off, an excellent essay on Apocalypticism over at The Chronicle looks at the psychology behind end-times expectations and fascinations. There’s something endearing about a professed “secularist” having both a real understanding of Christianity and a penchant for pointing out how secular humanists fall prey to the same end-of-history temptations as Christians do (read: William Miller, Family Radio):

I find it harder to mock false prophets, because of the very real fear (of death, nothingness, irrelevance) to which their prophecies speak, and because I’m not at all convinced that secular culture is above their form of self-flattery. We’re living through…

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A New Pentecost, or Maybe Just a Rhetorical Revival, According to Peanuts

A New Pentecost, or Maybe Just a Rhetorical Revival, According to Peanuts

We have written several pieces on Charles Schulz’s Peanuts here before, and in particular on Robert L. Short’s prophetic interpretation in his The Gospel According to Peanuts (1965) here, here, and here. Both Peanuts in general and Short’s book in particular have played meaningful roles in my life ever since my conversion to Christian faith. In fact, I recently reread Short’s very important (and Mockingbird-esque) first chapter, “The Church and the Arts.” I found that he gives us—as Thornton Wilder called it—some “new persuasive words  for defaced or degraded ones” about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit’s work in the arts and…

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Killer-Maker Spirit: From Steven Paulson’s Lutheran Theology

Killer-Maker Spirit: From Steven Paulson’s Lutheran Theology

From Steven Paulson’s mighty recent work on the Lutheran tradition, Chapter 9, “Freedom from Death” looks into the Lutheran doctrine of Spiritus Exstinctor et Creator–the simultaneous killing and reviving power of the Holy Spirit.

How does Christ free us from death? The same way he was freed–by the Holy Spirit. When and enemy ensnares us, that enemy must be put to death in order for us to be freed, and so the Holy Spirit must kill death. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Of course, the death of death sounds mythical or excruciatingly obscure, especially to…

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Simul Iustus et Schizophrenic: A Quick One from Clinical Theology

Simul Iustus et Schizophrenic: A Quick One from Clinical Theology

Dr. Frank Lake was that rarest of beasts: a clinical psychologist, a pastoral counselor, and a learned theologian. Not surprisingly, we consider him a hero. In his landmark Clinical Theology, a textbook for pastoral counselors and theologically serious therapists, he relates classic Protestant anthropology and Christology to the process of psychoanalysis, using real-world case studies (and the Bible) as his foundation. The following is a characteristically profound quote on the simultaneity of human weakness and divine strength, viewed through a clinical lens:

The nature of the help God gives through His Church is to make what cannot be removed, creatively bearable. Paul’s thorn of weakness in the flesh remained. Resting in the power of God,…

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Jupiter, Failed Stars and the Spiritual Condition

Jupiter, Failed Stars and the Spiritual Condition

We’re excited to present a little piece of interstellar theology from someone who actually knows something about it, Michael Belote of the excellent Reboot Christianity blog:

Earlier today, my wife mentioned hearing that Jupiter was a “failed” star. She asked me, perhaps unwisely, to elaborate. It’s actually a pretty interesting point, one which I think has a spiritual dimension that I will go into shortly. But you may have to sit through a little bit of science before I draw the spiritual connection.

So the existing theory about how stars form is as follows: in certain parts of the universe there are…

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When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of Simeon Zahl’s Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: The Holy Spirit Between Wittenberg and Azusa Street. He has some truly trenchant things to say about the work of the Holy Spirit and its relationship to preaching. For Simeon, the Holy Spirit can encounter us directly as “negative” experience in convicting us of our sinful nature and need for grace. This outlook changes the task of preaching, shifting the emphasis away from conviction of sin and towards giving people a framework to…

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God Phasing-out the Holy Spirit

This one was too good to pass up…

Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

A moderately interesting look at 4-hour phenomenon Tim Ferriss in the NY Times. One gets the sense that although there’s clearly some energy here – it’s hard not to respect someone who goes to such lengths – all the optimization and efficiency talk is actually code for self-justification (and a very inflated anthropology). It sounds as though Ferris has simply replaced his own identity-driven obsession with business with a similar one with self – which strikes this blogger as different versions of the same thing. Plus, does anyone else think that the urgency/anxiety about time is a tad contradictory? Meaning,…

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"I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

"I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

In recent years, nearly every personal newspaper, magazine, or internet piece has been written written by someone “who is working on a memoir,” “has just completed a memoir,” or “is thinking about writing a memoir.” While some of these pieces are very good, most are unmemorable, becoming indistinguishable from previous entries within moments after reading. Why so many memoirs?

Neil Genzlinger’s recent NY Times Book Review The Problem with Memoirs laments the market saturation. While reviewing four memoirs (none of which I’ve read), he offers guidelines for deciding whether a memoir should be published:

Sure, the resulting list [of tens of thousands…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: A Little Bit of Pixie Dust

Mockingbird at the Movies: A Little Bit of Pixie Dust

My two-and-a-half year old daughter is really into Disney movies now. She has gone through phases of loving everything from Snow White to Ratatouille. Their catalog is extensive enough that we don’t have to repeat very often, though she often gets stuck in a rut, requesting the same film over and over again. The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast are her two favorites. Last night, though, we watched Peter Pan, and, as I sometimes am, I was struck by a theological chord in the first scenes.

When Peter tells the Darling children that they can…

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“Wake me up inside…” (part 6): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58) **final**

“Wake me up inside…” (part 6): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58) **final**

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) In a final turn, Barth deals with the dependence of the individual on community and the community on individuals; of the Christian on the Church and the Church on the Christian. For, “there cannot be one without the other”. The Holy Spirit assembles and sustains the Church, Christianity, not as a heap of individuals functioning autonomously, but as a collective of confessing persons proclaiming the same truths each cognizant of their individual calls; this is the delicate tension between the “objective ascription” and the “subjective appropriation” of salvation. “Salvation is ascribed to the individual in…

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“Wake me up inside…” (part 5c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

“Wake me up inside…” (part 5c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) *There are three forms to Sin. 1. Sin negates the first form of grace of God: that “God gives Himself to us, He makes Himself responsible for our cause, He takes it into His own hand”. Sin transgresses the great first commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your soul, mind, body, and strength. Sin negates that Jesus, very God, humbled Himself to become human in order to take humanity to Himself; thus, it negates Jesus’ High-priestly office; this is the sin of pride. 2. Sin negates the second form of the…

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Suffering and Revival in Haiti

Suffering and Revival in Haiti

A touching and deeply encouraging article from yesterday’s NY Times about the revival of charismatic Catholicism in Haiti (and among Haitian Americans), post-catastrophe. Doubles as something of a Thanksgiving devotion:

The quake, too, is reshaping Haitian religion. It has demanded new resilience — not only from Haitians and Haitian-Americans, who often lay claim to a legendary, divinely inspired endurance, but also from faith itself, suddenly more vulnerable to doubt, disillusion and competition. And it has pumped new life into Haitians’ version of charismatic Catholicism, which seeks direct contact with the Holy Spirit through uninhibited, even raucous prayer. This year, for…

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Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation

Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation

For some reason (i.e. the Holy Spirit) I felt like re-reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel this weekend. I guess I’ve been a little desperate and needy, and as is always said on this blog, “We need to hear the gospel again every day.” Few people have been able to write about the gospel like Manning, and I figured I’d share a paragraph that stood out. Enjoy!

“Justification by grace through faith” is the theologian’s learned phrase for what Chesterton once called “the furious longing of God.” He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has…

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“Wake me up inside…” (part 3c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

“Wake me up inside…” (part 3c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.2 cont.) * Thirdly, Hope: The tertiary form of the being of humanity in Jesus Christ is “the positing and equipping of man as the bearer of the divine promise”, which constitutes Christian hope. And it is Christian hope which is the teleological** determination for humanity and the Christian in Christ. Christian hope is more than Christian vocation (the traditional protestant/Lutheran understanding of the result of justification and sanctification), it is the moment that the person is given the promise of God in Jesus Christ. The person is called along side their justification and sanctification, and…

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