“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

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The War Against the Intellect: God’s Creation Diminished

One of the battles I face as a Pentecostal who has a God given passion for academia is the battle between faith and reason. The older I get the more I hope that this war would end, but with every step in the right direction that I face I am reminded that  perfect peace is not attainable this side of Heaven.

I am all about the emotive expressions that are found within the Pentecostal tradition, and I am a firm believer in the miracles and supernatural; I would even label myself a Continuationist (one who believes that the spiritual gifts of God are still present even today). But must we disregard our intellect for our expression? I see a wide spread motion within Pentecostalism, that places our intellect as inferior to other aspects of our interaction with God. And it is sad to see, given that the philosophy which pushes the idea that intellect is subservient to one’s experience, does not find it’s origin Scripture.

This idea which places a false dichotomy (a false war) between faith and reason, has an ill effect on the life of a Christian and Christianity as a whole. While there are many consequences that can be named, here are but a few:

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Who am I?

Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? All questions that every individual has asked themselves multiple times throughout crucial developmental stages in life. At least from my perspective, those questions are pushed by society into our faces; it is as if we MUST know the answers or at least pretend as I we know who we are. What a great detriment that becomes to the minds of people in this nation. Focus shifts from preparing oneself and becomes ingrained in expressing oneself—a self that is lacking, a self that is handicapped and lame—and that is a place in which I have found myself in. Without realizing it, I was trying to be something/someone before I was ready. I felt the pressure to act, before I felt the stability of preparation. And one day it hit me… I discovered a way out. Care to find out how?