Category: Scripture

The Cry of Dereliction

‘And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’

Up to this point the narrative of the crucifixion has focused on the physical sufferings of Jesus: the flogging, the crown of thorns, and his immolation on the cross.  Six hours have now passed since the nails were driven home.  The crowd have jeered, darkness has covered the land, and now, suddenly, after a long silence, comes this anguished cry from the depths of the Saviour’s soul.

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Kirk Fudge on Gay Ordination

The Theological Commission appointed by the Church of Scotland in 2011to examine issues relating to the ordination of those living in openly homosexual relationships has now prepared its report, and one thing is sure: very few of those attending the forthcoming General Assembly are going to have the stamina to read it.  Ninety-four pages long, in double column, it takes almost as long to get to get to the point as it took the children of Israel to get to the Promised Land; and if it can’t quite be said that the commissioners spent all their time in the wilderness it can certainly be said that they spent most of it in unnecessary preliminaries and in irrelevant discussions of such matters as the Kirk’s place in the ‘holy, catholic church’.

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Why did Nehemiah use the High Pulpit?

I’ve just been reading Nehemiah Eight, a chapter which records a historic moment in the story of Israel.  The exiles have completed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, a mood of celebration sweeps through the people, and they gather as one to form a great concourse in a square near the heart of Jerusalem.  They have one clear intention: they want to hear the reading of the Book of the Law.  But the details that cluster round that central fact are fascinating.

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The Christian Experience of Suffering (3)

Some of the lessons are brought out even more clearly in the twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews.  The passage is too long to quote in full, and we shall confine ourselves to the leading feature of its teaching.

We learn in the first place that we must not expect to derive blessing automatically from suffering.  Affliction by itself, no matter how great its intensity, does not sanctify.  

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The Christian Experience of Suffering (2)

A second passage that deals with this subject is Romans 8:28: ‘We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’

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The Christian Experience of Suffering (1)

Anyone who in these days accommodates his teaching to the assumption that the Christian life is arduous is faced with the preliminary objection that he is fundamentally out of tune with the believer’s experience.  Many contemporary Christians would insist that they live lives of unmixed blessedness, without conflict, failure or pain.

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