What does it mean that Scripture is “inspired” and what are its implications?*
“God is in control. He doesn’t need people, but He uses us. He did not invade Amos’ brain. Rather, He used Amos’ background and experiences to communicate to His people.”
Read Abbie’s Response→
“Theology, if its texts are truly inspired by this absent divinity, is not guided by a firm Archimedean point, but paradoxically, by a greater question mark; theology, guided by inspiration, is less firm than its secular contemporaries.”
Read Justin’s Response→
“If being fully human does not take away from being fully divine in the case of Christ, then why can we not have the same mysterious hypostatic union with Scripture?”
Read Alvin’s Response→
*Note: This is not an ‘apologetics’ post on whether Scripture is inspired or not, but rather what inspiration means.
Wandering Through Hebrews 5:7 - Jesus’ Loud Cries and Tears
So also Christ did not glorify in himself in becoming a high priest… In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Hebrews 5:5a and 7, NRSV
The book of Hebrews emphasizes Jesus’ humanity more than any other book in the New Testament. The alternating divine/human language about Christ can be perplexing at times, since the author weaves back and forth between the two in the same breath. The epistle (and thus, Christianity) poses a perplexing paradox:
Why does God have to be human to save humanity?
Wandering Through Hebrews 3:1-6: We Are God’s House
Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all God’s house.” Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.
This passage forces me to do a double take: The last phrase (“we are his house…”) feels like an invitation to re-read the passage but with a personal flavor. When “God’s house” is used, it is not an abstract conception of the people of God, but a rendering of ourselves within the letter of Hebrews.
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34)
Good Friday is the day Christians declare that “God is dead… We have killed him – you and I! We are all his murderers.” The Saturday following is the observance that Jesus lay in the tomb. For Christians, we await the resurrection that comes Sunday. The Apostles, however, were not offered an immediate explanation: the crucifixion was met with confusion and desperation. Behind our explanations of Christ’s death, we must not forget the tragedy of the divine separation of the Son from the Father. We need to take this tragedy — this divine separation — more seriously.
What if we read Christ’s death in Mark’s gospel with us keeping the relationship of the Trinity in mind? I argue that this should be a foundational reading to truly grasp the weight of Christianity.
Before I dive into this topic, I’d like to echo the sentiments of G.K. Chesterton:
“I approach a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss; and I apologize in advance if any of my phrases fall wrong or seem irreverent“. But in my tip-toeing around sacred ground, I want to ask: How seriously do we take “the cry from the cross: The cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God”?
Another post of mine on The Unitive for Holy Saturday!
Wandering Through Hebrews 2:14 - Devil, Death and Christ
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, [Christ] likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
- Hebrews 2:14-15, NRSV
The Devil and Death
I do not want to linger on the controversial identity of the “devil” (as either fallen angel or being from chaos), but within this discussion it will suffice to say that the devil is an agent against God - an Antichrist, for lack of a better term. It then becomes interesting that the author of Hebrews notes that “the power of death” belongs to the devil. Within some theological frameworks, God “gives and takes away” — in other words, God has the power of life and death. How, then, does the devil have the power of death? The issue is sometimes resolved by stating that the devil cannot act without permission by God. To restate: The devil can only exercise the power of death when God permits the devil to do so.
But is this how the biblical narrative functions in the New Testament?
Is God at war with God’s permissive activity of the devil and God’s activity through Christ over humanity?