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Theology

#200WOL: Should Reformed People Even Do Evangelism?

To start us off, we're tackling an issue that seems to be problematic for many Christian young adults in 2014: how do I balance sharing my faith versus showing my faith through actions? To add a wrinkle to the question, we're taking it in a smaller slice - how to Calvinist or Reformed people, with their solid doctrine of election and their commitment to social justice, balance this out - especially in the politically-correct atmosphere of 21st century North America?

Do Justice and Faith Go Together?

Despite the variety of ways in which CRC members in Canada understand justice, there is a strong consensus that doing justice is an important – even essential – part of Christian faith. This suggests that it should be fairly easy to find points of agreement with fellow congregation members regarding how we understand justice and how justice is related to faith. These significant points of connection on the basics are reassuring when we talk about justice, and certainly provide a solid common foundation for further discussions about what justice means and how we pursue justice together.

Should We Feel Guilty?

My colleague Shannon Jammal-Hollemans recently made a powerful statement, saying Christians tend to focus on the Fall at the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, rather than focusing on the Tree of Life. I believe this cuts to the core of the “burden” of injustice, shedding light on the frustrating, paradoxical occurrence of disempowered Jesus followers.

On the benefits of fear

Fear, my dear Schimmel, is our friend. Few things stop the transition of theology to praxis quite as effectively as fear. I suppose we could consider pride its cousin, for they work together wonderfully for us. 

On Relationships with Outsiders

Author's note: The following is part of a satirical series modeled on the Screwtape Letters. The writer of these letters is training an underling in the art of keeping justice out of discipleship, and, eventually, the life of the church.

My dear Schimmel, I've spent a great deal of time teaching you the danger of relationship with "the other". Yet it is so important to our work I will instruct you again. You've been working on Jason, haven't you? I see you've kept him fairly isolated, but I think he may still be at risk.

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The Bridge Between Us

It would be easy to administer rectifying justice to strangers and keep a closed heart, go back home to where it is safe, and keep God at a distance. But once we are in relationship, we will be able to see the gifts in the other person and able to accept the blessings they have to offer.

Scholarships for 2014 Justice Conference

This winter, World Renew and the OSJ are able to offer up to 20 scholarships towards the registration cost of The Justice Conference, happening in Los Angeles, Friday evening February 21 through February 22. If you would like to apply for a scholarship to attend this conference let us know by filling out this application by January 20.

Preaching Two Kinds of Justice

two

Defend immigrants and welcome strangers are prominent Biblical calls. Yet, a 2010 Pew Forum survey reports that 88% of white Evangelicals’ views on immigration are primarily influenced by concerns other than Christian faith. Only 16% of white evangelicals had heard about immigration from their pastor or other clergy.  

The Difficult Work of “With”

two pairs of empty shoes

Sara Miles wrote a piece for the Episcopal Café entitled “The Most Important Word in the Bible.” That word, claims Miles, is “with.” “With” is central to God’s Trinitarian nature and relationship to us. It is also central to our calling as followers of Christ. It is the most important word in the Bible. But “with” is a difficult role for us to live out.

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Justice in Psalm 146

irrigation trenches

The words of Micah are among the best known in the Hebrew Bible. Justice has always been a central theme in Jewish thought and practice and the word ‘justice’ appears more than 200 times in the Old Testament. It is the subject of justice that I want to focus on. I am going to begin with a brief excursion into agriculture – canal irrigation technology in particular. That there is a connection with justice will hopefully become evident quite soon.

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