Confessing Christ Bloggers
Author: gfackre Created: 5/11/2008 4:31 PM
Christian Doctrine and Contemporary Issues

By gfackre on 10/6/2008 7:37 PM


“He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” The Apostles’ Creed links “the return of Christ” and “the final judgment,” a conjunction with far-reaching implications. We treat these two stained glass windows portraying two “Last Things” in their creedal unity.

As noted earlier, the when, where and how of the matter are not the core theological assertions of the Great Story we are tracing, although some commentary has treated them as such with intricate speculative scenarios, premillennial and postmillennial, pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib and the like with their timetables, maps and charts. The Storyline we are following has to do, rather, with the “that” and “what” of the End and its aspects.

That there shall be a coming again? Yes. The End of the Story will entail, as the creed says, our meeting with Jesus Christ in the transfigured world promised by the Storytelling Spirit. The “again” is usually interpreted as the “second coming” of C ...
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By gfackre on 8/18/2008 10:31 AM

Christian talk about things to come begins with the One who has already arrived. Assertions about the future are grounded in decisive past events in the history of Jesus Christ. On this point, secular futurology and biblical eschatology are of the same mind. Both base their projections on discernible trajectories from within history--either a "thirteen multifold trend" or the singular Easter happenings. Both the futurist and the believer know the difference between hope and fantasy, the former being rooted in anticipatory signs and the latter devoid of such credentials. "The third day he rose again from the dead....I believe in the resurrection of the body...."

Embodiment
As with the risen Jesus, so with us, the consummation of the divine purpose is a full-blooded end. Jesus' resurrection was no ectoplastic appearance or oblong blur. The New Testament accounts are of encounter with an embodied Christ. "Reach out your hand and put it in my side....(Joh ...
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By gfackre on 8/8/2008 7:35 AM

"Last Things" have to do with four classical teachings about the final chapter of the Christian Story--the resurrection of the body/the dead, the return of Christ, the final judgment and everlasting life. As yet to be, we follow Paul's counsel to treat them as seen through a "glass darkly" rather than through a picture window clearly. For all the mystery that surrounds them, and our modesty in speaking about them, they are truth claims, the "assurance of things hoped for." And in our modern and postmodern world of skepticism about such, Christian teaching about the End is deeply counter-cultural with vast implications for how we live in the Now as we look toward the Not Yet. Read More »

By gfackre on 7/30/2008 8:18 AM

While being saved from suffering is to the fore today as our culture's question, what about the other matter of salvation which Cruden tracks through Scripture? That question is posed by Karl Menninger in his famous book, WHATEVER BECAME OF SIN? At the heart of the Christian Story , God answers that question raised by Chapter 2 of the biblical narrative--our No! to God and one another. The response? The historic 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church puts it this way: salvation from sin comes "by grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work...." Read More »

By gfackre on 7/5/2008 5:00 PM


Salvation in Scripture has two meanings. So Cruden's concordance. We are saved by the grace of God from "trouble and danger" and from "sin and its consequences." In our era the questions people ask around the issue of hope have to do with the former. Archbishop Tutu's book title captures our problem: "Hope and Suffering." Jesus Christ is the Hope of the world in his salvation from suffering in the framework of an Already and Not Yet spoken about here, but also in a previous blog on "theodicy.". Here is a crucial Word that needs to be heard in our time.

But what of hope and sin? To be continued.
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By gfackre on 6/19/2008 9:27 AM

The Pentecostal birth of the church can be understood as the coming to be of the Christian community of Hope. The indicators of its presence are the four signs of the Holy Spirit given in Acts 2-4--kerygma, leitourgia, diakonia, koinonia in both their inreach and outreach. Worth considering are their relation to the four creedal attributes of the church--apostolicity, catholicity, sanctity and unity. Read More »

By gfackre on 6/9/2008 8:39 AM

At the center of the Story, is the incarnation of Hope. That Word became flesh and lived among us- as example, teacher, healer. And more, dying for us, rising and ascending to rule the world, a reign seen by the eyes of faith. Here we have in our history "this hope, sure and steadfast anchor" Read More »

By gfackre on 5/29/2008 9:03 AM

Christiand hope rises out of the biblical Story of Hope, a narrative that runs from creation to consummation, with its center in Jesus Christ. In this blog we begin with the author, the triune God, and touch on the first three chapters' movement toward the Center and the End. Read More »

By gfackre on 5/22/2008 8:58 AM



We look here at the different ways the word "hope" works. In the Christian Story, it functions as a noun within an Already-Not Yet framework, one to be further explored.
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By gfackre on 5/15/2008 8:35 AM

This is the second blog on hope, probing why our times are returning to this concern and away from the fatalism of other eras. Suffering is seen as a pressing question in our time and thus the relevance of hope. The wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr., Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Menninger and Charles Taylor are referenced. Read More »

   
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