Emotions are really terrible things to live with. I find that especially true since I was brought up in a church environment that places such a high premium on the awareness of my personal guilt as a sign of my human depravity that stands against the will of a holy God. That’s why there is always that lingering feeling of guilt on my part whenever I would say that I am a Christian. This statement is quite interesting and at the same time hypocritical as far as I feel, ultimately because for the past couple of years I’ve found myself detached to whatever semblance my Evangelical Christian heritage has prescribed as becoming of a follower of Christ.
The Reformation is a religious movement that began in 1517 as a reaction to medieval Catholic doctrines and practices, which broke up the institutional unity of the church in Western Europe and established the third great branch of Christianity, called Protestantism, which can be distinguished for its emphasis on the absolute and sufficient authority of the Bible and on justification by faith alone.
Many factors such as feudalism, social, political, economic as well as religious life of several countries paved the way for the conditions that resulted in the Reformation. Furthermore, nationalistic fervour, rise of lay piety, theological awareness and humanism also contributed to the development of the Reformation which led to the renewal of morals, worship, liturgy, spirituality as well as study of Christian doctrines.
Several fundamental doctrines can be found in the four Solas that are stated in the Augsburg Confession of 1530 that was edited by Philipp Melanchthon, a professor at the University of Wittenberg and close friend of Martin Luther sums up the theological thrust of the Reformation movement.
I believe I was a high school sophomore when Joan Osborne’s song One of us became a chart topping hit. In the song the composer, Eric Bazilian, tries to deal with various aspects of belief in God by asking questions and inviting the listener to consider how they might relate to God. The song’s intro begins with a serious contemplative question that echoes the deepest yearnings that a lot of people had about what they would like to be set clear about God as the verse goes:
“If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory”
That verse somehow got stuck to my head from that point on, in spite of the irony that it was also during that time that I started to underwent my local church’s discipleship program. And it wasn’t until a few years following my graduation from college, after years of staying away from my community of faith that I came to realize that the answer to the question posed in the song’s verse is a unanimous: “yes,” because Scripture testifies that truth in the person of Jesus Christ.
“The brokenness of earth is the brokenness of God’s home.”
It has long been held that the environment is among the most pressing concerns of this generation. In this bygone age of technology and consumerism, ministry pertaining to the natural world of creation has taken a backseat in the teaching and preaching of Evangelical Christian churches in particular. While most Christians appreciate the beauty of nature, many don’t realize there is a strong Biblical basis for creation care, in fact many ethical values, fundamental to the development of a peaceful society, are particularly relevant to the ecological question.
In the Book of Genesis, where we find God’s first self-revelation to humanity (Gen.1-3), there is a recurring refrain: “And God saw that it was good.”  Mankind’s first home was Eden –paradise. The Earth was paradise, teaming with life, vegetation, and the wondrous landscape of skies, the land and the sea. Creation in God’s eyes was good, but at the same time entrusted it to the care of man and woman.
It wasn’t that long ago when I brought a friend from Adamson to a Sunday school class much like the one that we had now. It was the old Men’s class of Kuya Ponch Valenzuela, who also taught on this same chapter that we are studying now.
After learning that my friend was an athlete he began to speak about how the writers of the Bible especially the ones in the New Testament, used the language of sports and analogies of athletics in expounding spiritual realities. Much like the passage that we are studying now.
It is that lesson on this same chapter that we are studying now that he expounded on this chapter through the analogy of a race where we are all participant runners and all the saints mentioned in chapter 11, are there on the grandstand cheering us on in a race towards our end goal that is the crown of righteousness in Christ that has been promised to all believers in 2nd Timothy 4:8.
“Fides quarens intellectum”
The quote comes from a man named Anselm of Canterbury, an Italian Scholastic philosopher , theologian, and clergyman who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Often called the founder of scholasticism, and as the archbishop who openly opposed the Crusades. Greatly influenced by Augustine, Anselm sought ‘necessary reasons’ for religious beliefs, notably the famous ontological argument for the existence of God.
I believe that Anselm gives us an interesting perspective on the way we intuit the reality of God.
C. S. Lewis memorably portrayed the growing Christian’s experience of an ever-enlarging Christ in his Chronicles of Narnia. Lucy, caught up in her spiritual quest, saw the lion Aslan — Christ — shining white and huge in the moonlight. In a burst of emotion Lucy rushed to him, burying her face in the rich silkiness of his mane, whereupon the great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half-sitting and half-lying between his front paws. He bent forward and touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath was all around her.
“Our initial point is that God himself wills to reveal himself. He himself wills to attest his revelation. He himself — not we — has done this and wills to do it.“ 1
We will now study the subject of God revealing Himself to humanity—the doctrine of revelation. Revelation can be defined as “God’s supernatural disclosure to human beings of truth they would not otherwise know and are incapable of discovering on their own.” This communication may be either oral or written. Revelation is usually understood as God’s written communication to humankind.