The New Man–Thomas Merton

The most paradoxical and at the same time the most unique and characteristic claim made by Christianity is that in the Resurrection of Christ the Lord from the dead, man has completely conquered death, and that “in Christ” the dead will rise again to enjoy eternal life, in spiritualized and transfigured bodies and in a totally new creation. This new life in the Kingdom of God is to be not merely a passively received inheritance but in some sense the fruit of our agony and labor, love and prayers in union with the Holy Spirit. Such a fantastic and humanly impossible belief has generally been left in the background by the liberal Christianity of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but anyone who reads the New Testament objectively must admit that this is the Doctrine of the first Christians. Indeed, Christianity without this fabulous eschatalogical claim is only a moral system without too much spiritual consistency. Unless all Christianity is centered in the victorious, living, and ever present reality of Jesus Christ, the Man-God and conqueror of death, it loses its distinctive character and there is no longer any justification for a Christian missionary apostolate. In point of fact, such an apostolate without the resurrection of the dead, has tended to be purely and simply an apostolate for western cultural and economic “progress,” and not a true preaching of the Gospel.

Merton, Thomas (1999-11-29). The New Man (Kindle Locations 45-54). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

In the Beginning — Center for Action and Contemplation

Christ Since the Beginning In the Beginning Monday, February 18, 2019 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there… Continue Reading In the Beginning

Source: In the Beginning — Center for Action and Contemplation

The Beautiful Gospel of WHEAT (Not TULIP, DAISY, or ROSES) | Chuck McKnight

It’s time for a new acronym—a counter-narrative to the Calvinistic gospel of TULIP, as well as to the Arminian DAISY and the Molinist ROSES.

Source: The Beautiful Gospel of WHEAT (Not TULIP, DAISY, or ROSES) | Chuck McKnight

W—Wounded children

God does not view us as depraved creatures. We are God’s children, and he views us as any good parent would their children. God’s desire is not to punish us for sin, but to heal the wounds our sin causes.

H—Human solidarity

We are not merely individuals. Humanity stands or falls together as a whole. By becoming human, Jesus entered into solidarity with the whole human race. With his death, all of humanity died, and with his resurrection, all of humanity gained new life.

E—Exhaustive reconciliation

God has never needed to be reconciled to us. It is we who have turned away from him, and God’s desire is to reconcile all of creation to himself and to each other. He has done, is doing, and will continue to do everything possible to bring about our reconciliation.

A—Absolute grace

God’s grace is not coercive or manipulative, and it does not override our free will. It is, however, constantly poured out in full measure on all of creation. Though every individual receives God’s grace, some choose to resist, placing themselves at odds with the intended state of humanity.

T—Transformative love

Salvation is neither an irreversible decision nor a status that can be lost. Rather, salvation is a process with some steps taken forward and some taken backward. In as much as we simply submit to God’s love, we are continually transformed into his image.

Chuck McKnight