Living My Way Into the Life of the Trinity

No truth is (perhaps) more complex than that of the Trinity, one God in three persons. But I am persuaded that no truth is more central to living well as a follower of Christ. The Trinity is not a debate, at least for me. It is revealed yet it is a stunning mystery. A professor, playing on an earlier line, … Read More

Reflections on Forgiveness and Forgiving (Tom Masters)

Reading the text and commentary for the Focolare Movement’s “Word of Life” for May, 2015, brought to my mind an experience from two years ago when I was in Rome to meet with the editorial staff of the publishing house Città Nuova.  On March 13, the very day that the meeting began, it happened that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who took … Read More

Who Needs a “Jubilee of Mercy”?

“Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.” Each one of us, many times during our lives, have raised our voices and cried, “Lord have mercy.” Mercy is the kind of forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. From a Christian perspective, it is the gift that God or another person … Read More

True Friendships (3)

The goal of life for every Christian should be the kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God. Tragically, we have settled for what Dallas Willard calls “the gospel of sin management,” a gospel which is something far less than the gospel of the kingdom. Very early in the church’s history a group of … Read More

Philomena – A Film That Reveals Gospel Grace and Forgiveness

I saw the new movie Philomena last week. I was unprepared for how much this film would move me to the depths of my spirit. It is my “sleeper” film for 2013! I noted this weekend, with great joy, that it was nominated for the Golden Globe as “Best Picture.” (There are only five nominees. The Academy now has ten … Read More

The Danger of Gossip

Which is worse, lying or gossiping? Have you ever bothered to ponder this question? I have asked it, more than once, but not thought about it deeply enough I confess. Seriously, think about this one for a moment. Mother Antonia Brenner, a precious Christian who passed away last week in Mexico, makes a clear and compelling case that gossip is … Read More

The Scapegoat Who Finally Removes All Our Sin – Part Two

The four Gospels describe in specific detail how Jesus died during the Passover Feast, not Yom Kippur. So how do we explain this (seeming) problem? I submit that the date on the Jewish calendar was Passover when he died but the events that transpired look exactly like the Old Testament Day of Atonement. Let me explain. Jesus is arrested and … Read More

The Scapegoat Who Finally Removes All Our Sin, Part One

I hear numerous objections to what I’ve proposed about how to understand the atoning sacrifice of Jesus in his death. I know these objections quite well since I personally made most of them for decades. The only problem with these objections, at least to me, is that they can be answered quite clearly by a better, richer and fuller understanding … Read More

The Depth & Extent of God’s Forgiveness Displayed in the Atonement – Part 2

Over the centuries theologians have developed numerous models for expressing the saving significance of Jesus’ death. We have sketched out several of these models, ever so simply I freely admit, in several blogs the past few weeks. I have concluded, along with Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, that: “No interpretation of the atonement can … Read More