I have been a night owl as of late, working on progressing my education, career, and personal development; and then also having a 7 month old that ruins any normal idea of a sleep cycle. While combing through things I have written in the past, I ran into something I wrote within like 5 hours of my wife having our first child.
Check it out, let me know what your thoughts are! Continue reading “Tabula Rasa”
“Christianity looks like that—Christianity looks like love absorbing sin and death, trusting God for resurrection. Seen in the light of the Easter dawn, the cross is revealed to be the lost Tree of Life. In the middle of a world dominated by death, the Tree of Life is rediscovered in the form of a Roman cross. The cross is the act of radical forgiveness that gives sin, violence, and retribution a place to die in the body of Jesus. The world that was born when Adam and Eve in their shame began to blame, the world where violent Cain killed innocent Abel, the world of pride and power that tramples the meek and weak—at the cross that world sinned its sins into Jesus Christ. And what happens? Jesus forgives. Why? Because God is like that. In the defining moment of the cross Jesus defines what God is really like. God is love—co-suffering, all-forgiving, sin-absorbing, never-ending love. God is not like Caiaphas sacrificing a scapegoat. God is not like Pilate enacting justice by violence. God is like Jesus, absorbing and forgiving sin.”
Water to Wine by Brian Zahnd
“I once heard an Italian winemaker say that to produce good wine the grapes must struggle, they must suffer. The taste of good wine is the taste of struggle and suffering mellowed into beauty. There’s a deep truth there that applies to far more than winemaking—it also applies to the formation of the soul. All the great biographies of the Bible involve suffering. The great souls grown in the Lord’s vineyard all know what it is to suffer. American Christianity, on the other hand, is conditioned to avoid suffering at all cost. But what a cost it is! Grape juice Christianity is what is produced by the purveyors of the motivational-seminar, you-can-have-it-all, success-in-life, pop-psychology Christianity. It’s a children’s drink. It comes with a straw and is served in a little cardboard box. I don’t want to drink that anymore. I don’t want to serve that anymore. I want the vintage wine. The kind of faith marked by mystery, grace, and authenticity. The kind of Christianity that has the capacity to endlessly fascinate is not produced apart from struggle and suffering. It’s the pain of struggle and suffering that confers character and complexity to our faith.”
Brian Zahnd. A Farewell to Mars. Kindle Edition. June 2014. https://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Mars-Evangelical-Pastors-Biblical-ebook/dp/B00I65455C?ie=UTF8&tag=christianbooksfree-20
Hey all! Yet another book for free from Brian Zahnd for Kindle.
The topic of this one hitting home, as a Christian living in America. It is without a shadow of a doubt that this countries rulers, and people as a whole, are fixated on violence; and the people of God are sucked into the culture’s perception of justified violence. War is taught as necessary, and violent actions as natural to humanity and just.
If I am to be honest, I too, feel inclined to identify as falling into the group that is too easily persuaded that violence is necessary at times. But is that consistent theology? Is violence on any level what we are called to do?
Join me in the quest to find the answer to this question. Download this book for FREE, and let it be just the beginning of a journey to discovering a biblical stance on the matter.
Go download it, read it, and let’s talk about it together!
Brian Zahnd, Water to Wine: Some of My Story. Kindle Edition (Spello Press, January 11, 2016).
From time to time I come across books that seem real interesting to read, and sometimes they are a sweet deal. A few months ago I came across “Water to Wine: Some of My Story” by Brian Zahnd, but had a lot on my plate, so I put it on my list of books to buy in the future; and today I ran into this amazing deal! On Amazon it is currently free for Kindle only, for a limited amount of time.
I have yet to read it, and will be writing a review once I have finished it. Go download it, read it, and let’s talk about it together!
The book has a 5-star rating, as of now, with 98% of its reviews grading at 5 stars and 2% at 4-stars.
Here is the summary/description provided by Amazon:
Why would the pastor of a large and successful church risk everything in a quest to find a richer, deeper, fuller Christianity? In Water To Wine Brian Zahnd tells his story of disenchantment with pop Christianity and his search for a more substantive faith.
“I was halfway to ninety—midway through life—and I had reached a full-blown crisis. Call it garden variety mid-life crisis if you want, but it was something more. You might say it was a theological crisis, though that makes it sound too cerebral. The unease I felt came from a deeper place than a mental file labeled “theology.” I was wrestling with the uneasy feeling that the faith I had built my life around was somehow deficient. Not wrong, but lacking. It seemed watery, weak. In my most honest moments I couldn’t help but notice that the faith I knew seemed to lack the kind of robust authenticity that made Jesus so fascinating. And I had always been utterly fascinated by Jesus. What I knew was that the Jesus I believed in warranted a better Christianity than what I was familiar with. I was in Cana and the wine had run out. I needed Jesus to perform a miracle.” –Water To Wine
First of all I want to say thank you to al of you who read these posts. I have come a long way, and have had a lot of changes come about; I am sure there will be more opportunities to grow. As many of you will notice, there is a “new” blog on your newsfeed. This page was formerly “Chariskaiirene”, and I have decided to change it up a bit and find a “brand; in other words, I want as much of the site as possible to reflect the goal of it all.
Seeing as the hope is to publish material that has the air of a coffeehouse conversation, but that tackles all sorts of subjects pertaining theology, church life and all things Jesus, I have decided on “Coffee Bar Theology” as a perfect match.
I can’t wait to see where this site goes, and the fun that will be had along the way. Sign up for notifications on new posts, comment on posts you feel the need or desire to engage, and share with your friends and family and keep the conversation going!
Grab a buddy, a coffee, and a chair; let’s talk!