Bonhoeffer on The Beatitudes

 

From the book Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Dallas Roark, a summation of Bonhoeffer’s views on The Beatitudes:

(The poor in spirit are those who have accepted the loss of all things including their own selves for His sake.

() Those who mourn are those who do without what the world calls peace and prosperity. Mourning means to refuse to be in harmony with the standards of the world.

() The meek are those who give up claims to their own rights for the will of Christ.

() Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness  are those renouncing all claims to personal achievement, who wait for God’s reign of righteousness.

() The merciful, having given up claims to their own dignity, become men for others, helping the needy, sick, outcasts–all those who need any kind of ministry. Continue reading Bonhoeffer on The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Christianity – very near as old as creation”

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Reading to you these words, I may address you in the language of the holy angels to the shepherds that were watching their flocks by night, ‘Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy.’ For this is the first promise that was made of a Saviour to the apostate race of Adam. We generally look for Christ only in the New Testament. But Christianity, in one sense, is very near as old as the creation. Continue reading “Christianity – very near as old as creation”

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

Whatever happened to good manners?

Vancouver SkyTrain

Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons License.

I’ve hesitated to write this as I know it will read as a good old whinge. But I just can’t help myself.

I just returned from seven weeks in Vancouver, Canada. (No, I’m not going to comment on the fact that Melbourne outdid Vancouver once again for being recognised as the “most liveable city in the world”.)

But I have to say, if good manners and politeness factored into this evaluation, I don’t think Melbourne would stand a chance.

So, upon what do I base this assertion?

Just imagine for a moment; you are standing at an intersection waiting for a break
in the flow of traffic so you can cross safely. 
There are no traffic lights to control the vehicle traffic. There are no pedestrian markings on the road to indicate a cross-walk. To your surprise, a driver three lanes over stops his car and waives you across. You do so reluctantly because you see oncoming traffic in other lanes. But lane by lane, all the traffic stops – it’s safe to cross.

Wow! It’s like the parting of the Red Sea. I felt like Moses! (). And Continue reading Whatever happened to good manners?

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Some Proven Weapons in the Fight for Holiness

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This post is an exerpt from DESIRING GOD written by John Piper.

“When Paul says to put to death the deeds of the body “by the Spirit”
(), I take him to mean that we should use the one weapon in the Spirit’s armor that is used to kill. Namely, the sword. Which is the word of God. ().

So when the body is about to be led into a sinful action by some fear or craving, we are to take the sword of the Spirit and kill that fear and that craving. In my experience that means mainly severing the root of sin’s promise by the power of a superior promise.    Continue reading Some Proven Weapons in the Fight for Holiness

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

Attitudes and hostility to Christian faith

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Check the detailed infographic above of Australian views. Australia is probably similar in religious attitudes to most European countries, and Canada.

There are similar figures available for Europe from the Eurobarometer and Gallup Polls – unfortunately these do not measure animosity/hostility as such, though this may overlap considerably with the percent of non-theists in their research results.

The USA is numerically very different, but George Barna Research recently reported that over the last decade, as a Continue reading Attitudes and hostility to Christian faith

BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE – be careful who you point your finger at

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Our Pastor’s tenure with us is coming to a close. As we approach his last month, I’ve reflected upon his many contributions to the spiritual growth of our church. In my opinion, I believe his primary contribution has to do with his zeal for the gospel and challenging us to be more gospel-focused.

By this I mean, he has made it a high priority that we actively pursue and create opportunities to tell others about Jesus. He has taken the focus off us and redirected it to the proclamation of the good news about Jesus to those not now part of our church – to friends, working colleagues, neighbours, and family members who are outside the family of God.

Continue reading BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE – be careful who you point your finger at

What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

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Excerpted from the Focus on the Family broadcast “Friendship or Flirtation: Danger Signs for Couples” featuring the Rev. Dave Carder.

19 Dangerous Behaviors

  1. Saving topics of conversation for your “special friend.”
  2. Sharing spousal difficulties with your friend (e.g., “My husband (or wife) never … “).
  3. Allowing the friend to share their relationship difficulties with you (e.g., “My boy/girlfriend always … “).
  4. Anticipating seeing this person more than your spouse.
  5. Comparing the friend and your spouse (“If only my spouse was nicer to me like s/he is … “). Continue reading What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

Evangelism

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Last night a group of 20 people met in our home to talk about evangelism. This wasn’t just a talk-fest – we were considering the best strategy for our church to proclaim the gospel to people who didn’t know Jesus.

We came up with a few simple definitions of ‘evangelism’. The two that I liked are; evangelism is explaining the gospel to non-Christians in a language they can understand, and evangelism is introducing people to Jesus. Simple!

We discussed the idea that while the Bible teaches that some believers are given the spiritual gift of evangelism, this does not mean those who do not have this gift are Continue reading Evangelism

Are They Crazy?

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During the past couple of weeks, two news reports from the scientific community have me wondering.

The first and most shocking comes from a position paper published by two science “ethicists” here in Australia, stating that “newborn babies ‘aren’t people’ and it is therefore acceptable to kill them”. Authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, both from the University of Melbourne, suggest that “after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where the law allows abortion, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” Continue reading Are They Crazy?