Category Archives: Christology

Not to Be Pitied

I was thinking about the Cross the other day, and the incredible severity of what Jesus went through. Of course, there is the physical pain that He endured — the scourging, the blows with a rod, and the slow, agonizing death of crucifixion. There is the interpersonal aspect, from being betrayed to being abandoned and denied. To top it all off, there is the spiritual trauma, both of bearing the world’s sins and of the terrifying interruption of the divine fellowship of the Trinity. No one in the history of creation has endured the kind of suffering that Jesus did.

When we see this — really see it — it is jarring. It can and should deeply impact our emotions. But there is one response it should not elicit in us: pity. Read the rest of this entry »


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The Myth of Jesus-less Justice

I have been thinking a lot lately about issues of justice. I know I’m definitely not alone in this. Of course, those tracking with IHOP-KC are aware of the justice initiatives that have called us, as a community, to really pray into, serve into, and seek the Lord’s heart regarding justice.

But it seems that even the secular media has been caught up in a heightened cry for justice on the earth. I cannot remember a time in my life where I have seen more news articles, grassroots movements, and celebrity endorsements of justice issues. From ending human trafficking, to eradicating poverty, to protecting the environment, our culture is getting more and more sold on the idea that we ought to do something about all the systemic wrongs in the world.

At one level, there’s not much to argue with in that mindset. Who wouldn’t want to care for the poor and outcast? Who wouldn’t want to feed the hungry? Who wouldn’t want to see all people treated as full human beings, worthy of respect? Wasn’t Jesus Himself pretty into those things? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 6, 2010 in Christology, justice


One Person

In the past few days, I’ve been fascinated to think of Jesus as one Person. At first, that sounds like a pretty inane thing to be fascinated by. After all, everyone else I know is only one person apiece, and that doesn’t strike me as the least bit exciting. However, I’ve been thinking about this as it pertains to Jesus’ incarnation.

In Christology, it can be said that there are four main pillars of truth concerning who Jesus is and what His nature is like. They are:

  1. Jesus is fully God
  2. Jesus is fully Man
  3. Jesus has two distinct natures
  4. Jesus is one, unconfused Person

(In fact, if you’ve been reading this blog for a super long time — and have an exceptional memory — you might notice that we’ve discussed these points before.)

So what is the significance of Jesus being one Person? Why put so much emphasis on something that seems so self-evident? Read the rest of this entry »


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Consider Him Who Endured

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3, emphasis added)

“Consider Him… lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” I love this verse. Perhaps it isn’t terrifically obvious at first glance how this works. After all, I don’t think anyone walked out of a showing of The Passion of the Christ pumping their fists, ready to take on the world. At least for me, thinking about blood, torture, and humiliation doesn’t generally fire me up for action. So how does considering Jesus’ endurance of suffering give our hearts strength?

There are lots of  potential answers to that question. In fact, there are lots of right answers to that question. But one in particular has been striking my heart lately — and here’s a hint: It’s not about inducing a guilt trip. Read the rest of this entry »


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It’s not the thing itself that’s small…

“…It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

This is one of those verses that I’ve done way too much skimming through. I’ve read it before; in fact, I’ve read it many times. I’ve heard it preached. I could probably almost quote it. And yet, it was only a few days ago that it really struck me.

Israel is a pretty small slice of the globe. If you look at an atlas, it can be easy to see why, “Well, of course it’s too small a thing for Him to be a light to them alone. There’s so much more planet to think about.” But have you considered what it takes to “restore the preserved ones of Israel”?

Read the rest of this entry »


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Zechariah 9:9 – A King Worth Rejoicing For

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)

You’ll probably recognize this as the prophecy fulfilled in Jesus’ Triumphal Entry. The tepmtation that sits before us, the highly educated Greek-thinkers, is to look at this verse and file it away under “A” for apologetics. We might note that it’s cool that Jesus fulfilled the whole riding on a donkey thing, and then just keep going. I think that’s generally what I’ve done with it in the past. But this is a tremendously rich verse that has been tugging on my heart for several days now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Bible, Christology, Zechariah


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Word of Life Meeting 15

Well, there were only two of us today, but we had a good time. We’re discussing chapter 10, which is about Jesus’ death. Most of what we discussed today was about Jesus’ humility, and the purpose of His suffering.

Jesus’ humility is absoutely stunning. I don’t care how much thought you’ve given it in the past; there’s always more room to go back and marvel again. He is eternal God. He needed nothing; He was completely happy and self-sufficient within the Trinity. Yet He wanted to express His love to humanity, so He created us. He emotionally invested Himself in us. He gave us free will, knowing we would do hurtful things to Him with it, and He did it anyway. He didn’t shut His heart to us. That’s humble.

Not only did He create us out of love and humility, He then became one of us. Read the rest of this entry »


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For Future Reference: “May Have” Does not Equal “Most Realistic”

Seen on Fox News; Paul Verhoeven, the director of “Basic Instinct” and “The Terminator”, is publishing a biography about Jesus which he claims is the most realistic one ever released. In fact, he titles it Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait. 

One major premise of the book is that the “Virgin Mary may have been a rape victim” under the oppression of Roman rule, and that’s how Jesus was born. Note the “may have.” Perhaps. Maybe. Hypothetically speaking. In unproven theory.

Tell me how this is the most realistic portrayal of Jesus ever published? “May have”? Someone took a guess?

I suppose I can understand why an unbelieving person would find it necessary to edit out Jesus’ supernatural birth. After all, accepting Him to be virgin-born also requires accepting Him as God, which is unthinkable to many people. I suppose I can understand why Verhoeven’s assertion would be considered “more realistic” if you view life through a paradigm which does not allow for miracles of any kind. People have been attacking Jesus’ birth narrative for centuries; this idea is really not that surprising. Read the rest of this entry »


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Word of Life Meeting 11

Today’s meeting was so much fun! We were discussing the end of chapter 6, still on the topic of Jesus being fully God and fully Man.

This is a statement that can quickly put our little Western mindsets on tilt. We want so badly to make it make sense and to line up with our limited ability to understand. However, I love Oden’s comment that only things that are dead can be dissected. Jesus is quite alive (praise the Lord), so trying to scrutinize Him with our logical methods is an exercise in futility.

History has more than proved this to be the case. Even church fathers, who approach Christology with a heart of faith, struggle to find language to discuss it. Classic theology is full of admittedly flawed analogies and painstakingly worded creeds to try and clarify exactly what it is we do and do not know. Read the rest of this entry »


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Word of Life Meeting 10

Today, we met and discussed the theandric union, the idea that Jesus is fully God and fully man. While we have discussed this topic before in several different forms, this chapter focuses exlusively on Jesus as both God and Man at once. It puts a great deal of emphasis on Jesus’ “two distinct natures” being included in “one unconfused Person” (remember these are two of the four pillars of Christology). Read the rest of this entry »


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