Theological Thoughts

Restoring the definition of religion

Evangelicals, and even some Protestants associate religion with some dangerous Vatican attempt to sneak meritorious works into the gospel. This misunderstanding also stems from the overwhelming abuse done in the name of religion. But this is not a reason to undermine the biblical definition.

“Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship,” some insist. In fact, many gospel presentations are framed around this very premise. But this is not how the Bible speaks of religion. James speaks that a Christian ought to exercise “pure religion.”  Berkhof defines religion as a conscious and voluntary relationship to God, which expresses itself in grateful worship and loving service.” Hence, Christianity is both a religion and a relationship.

Exegetical Notebook

One of the great papers we have to write in Greek Exegesis is an Exegetical Notebook. This notebook follows a litany of comprehensive questions regarding a particular pericope in Galatians. I have chosen Galatians 4:6-7: And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

In particular verse 7 offers several variant readings. Nevertheless, the NASB translates it correctly by using “through God” as opposed to the other reading possibilities. Perhaps I will discuss this in the future.

Dealing with Death

I attended the mass for my neighbor yesterday. As the priest read the words from Jesus’ account before the grave of his friend Lazarus, I was reminded that when the Almighty Lord of Glory saw his friends’ grave, He Wept (Luke 11:35). He wept as a human. They were true tears, tears of grief and sadness as sin conquered one more. But yet, the Christ who wept is the Christ who raises in glory and exaltation the dead at the last day (I Corinthians 15:50-58). All those who are His will come and death will be no more.

The Unbeliever and Self-Deception

self-deception and poverty of the soul

The unbeliever attempts to live in a world governed by none; a world where he is not held accountable or where his lifestyle does not need to submit to any standard. His oaths are breakable for he has no one higher by which to make an oath. He vows unto himself and expects no retribution.  But all things come under the authority of the Word made flesh. The unbeliever’s constant inability to do what is pleasing to God stems from his selfish desire to serve himself and hence he worships the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.The life of unbelief is a life of self-deception. They bring wrath upon themselves when they see themselves as unaccountable. They blaspheme God’s Name with unspoken words and transgress His laws with spoken acts. In this manner the unbeliever condemns himself knowingly for they suppress the revelation that gives life. Creation itself bears witness of God’s demands and His law clearly revealed brings guilt upon mankind.