Sunday, April 13, 2014

"...Radically Unlimited Liberality..."

Karl Barth
Sixth Sunday of Lent

"Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child. And so everyone who loves knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God." 

First Letter of John chapter 4 verses 7 - 10

Lent is about humbling one's self and taking on the nature of Christ. Each Sunday during this time I am letting wise Christians speak on these subjects. This week we have the thoughts of the great Protestant theologian Karl Barth on Christian love.
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What we have here -- in Christian love -- is a movement in which a man turns away from himself. In the continuation love turns wholly to another, to one who is wholly different from the loving subject. Christian love turns to the other purely for the sake of the other. It does not desire it for itself. In Christian love the loving subject gives to the other, the object of love, that which it has, which is its own, which belongs to it. It does so with a radically unlimited liberality.

Karl Barth
Church Dogmatics, Vol. 4 Part 2, p. 733

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"...Faith comes not through pondering..."

Fifth Sunday of Lent

"Come near to God and he will come near to you. You are sinners, so clean sin out of your lives. You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. Make your thinking pure." 

Letter of James chapter 4 verse 8, ERV


Lent is about humbling one's self and taking on the nature of Christ. Each Sunday during this time I will let wise Christians speak on these subjects. In this post the Orthodox writer Tito Colliander describes how to begin the Christian journey.


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It is for us to begin. If we take one step towards the Lord, he takes ten towards us -- he who saw the prodigal son while he was at a distance, and had compassion and ran and embraced him... Faith comes not through pondering but through action. Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is. To let in fresh air we have to open a window; to get tanned we must go out into the sunshine. Achieving faith is no different; we never reach a goal by just sitting in comfort and waiting, say the holy Fathers. Let the prodigal son be our example. He arose and came.

Tito Colliander, 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"...We are not our own"

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Then Jesus said to his followers, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me

(Gospel of Matthew chapter 16 verse 24)


Lent is about humbling one's self and taking on the nature of Christ. Each Sunday during this time I will let wise Christians speak on these subjects. Today our guest blogger will be John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who spells out in his pragmatic way what Jesus' challenge to "stop thinking about yourself" really means.

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This [scripture] implies:

1. A thorough conviction that we are not our own, that we are not the proprietors of ourselves or anything we enjoy, that we have no right to dispose of our goods, bodies, souls, or any of the actions or passions of them.

2. A solemn resolution to act suitably to this conviction: Not to live to ourselves, not to pursue our own desires, not to please ourselves, nor to suffer our own will to be any principle of action to us.