Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Historian in me...

...REALLY liked this:

As a historian I think I can prove that Jesus died and that he thought his death was atoning. I think I can establish that the tomb was empty and that resurrection is the best explanation for the empty tomb. But one thing the historical method cannot prove is that Jesus died for our sins and was raised for our justification. At some point, historical methods run out of steam and energy. Historical Jesus studies cannot get us to the point where the Holy Spirit and the church can take us. I know that once I was blind and that I can now see. I know that historical methods did not give me sight. They can't. Faith cannot be completely based on what the historian can prove. The quest for the real Jesus, through long and painful paths, has proven that much.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gone to the Dark Side

I am now officially a Crusaders supporter.  It is fair to say I would support ANY of the other NZ teams in the Super 14 before the Crusaders.  But after this weekend's results the inevitable surrender of hope has now become reality.

The Blues remain an enigma in 2010.  On the positive side, there have been more positives in 2009, but like it or not 8th with a 50% winning record is not gonna give Pat Lam any confidence in a repeat season as coach.

The Chiefs flattered to deceive with their best opening run only to blow it with a devastating losing streak. 

The Hurricances and Highlanders have not been in it.

The only positive?  We always lose the World Cup when we have a good season in the year before.  So lets pray for miserable Super 14 form to translate in a terrible AB year followed by a World Cup win.

Friday, April 09, 2010


Kristen's grandfather died this week and she has flown to be with her family.  Grandpa Mo' was the rock at the foundation of this family: an uncomplicated, faith-filled man with a real gift for making a person feel welcome and cared for.

I remember my first meeting - Christmas 2002 - Kristen and I had been "dating" for a week when we arrived for the Christmas feast.  As we got ready to eat Grandpa said, "I call upon my future, future son in law...[pause] Chris to say grace..."  For a moment there everyone held their breath in expectation that he was not only going to ask me to say grace but that he was prophesying right then that we would be getting married.  From that point on the phrase "future, future" has always reduced us to laughter.

Rhys was fascinated by his great grandfather and they would play with Grandpa's hat - Rhys has always loved snatching hats!  Rhys drew a picture before Kristen left for her to take.  It was a picture of Grandpa.  He came into the bedroom asking, "How many fingers did Great Grandpa have missing - I thought 3?"  He lost 2 fingers in an accident some years ago.  Having gained the information he then returned with his amended picture and a proud reveal, "I added another finger in!"

Grandpa was a great pray-er.  He prayed for his grandchildren all the time.  He along with his wife Jeanne may just be the single-most dedicated pray-ers in the history of cession|community's launch and growth.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Resurrection: History & Music

The historian in me liked this:

"Historical investigation, I propose, brings us to the point where we must say that the tomb previously housing a thoroughly dead Jesus was empty, and that his followers saw and met someone they were convinced was this same Jesus, bodily alive though in a new, transformed fashion. The empty tomb on the one hand and the convincing appearances of Jesus on the other are the two conclusions the historian must draw. I do not think that history can force us to draw any particular further deductions beyond these two phenomena; the conclusion the disciples drew is there for the taking, but it is open to us, as it was to them, to remain cautious. Thomas waited a week before believing what he had been told. On Matthew’s mountain, some had their doubts.

However, the elegance and simplicity of explaining the two outstanding phenomena, the empty tomb and the visions, by means of one another, ought to be obvious. Were it not for the astounding, and world-view-challenging, claim that is thereby made, I think everyone would long since have concluded that this was the correct historical result. If some other account explained the rise of Christianity as naturally, completely and satisfyingly as does the early Christians’ belief, while leaving normal worldviews intact, it would be accepted without demur.

That, I believe, is the result of the investigation I have conducted. There are many other things to say about Jesus’ resurrection. But, as far as I am concerned, the historian may and must say that all other explanations for why Christianity arose, and why it took the shape it did, are far less convincing as historical explanations than the one the early Christians themselves offer: that Jesus really did rise from the dead on Easter morning, leaving an empty tomb behind him. The origins of Christianity, the reason why this new movement came into being and took the unexpected form it did, and particularly the strange mutations it produced within the Jewish hope for resurrection and the Jewish hope for a Messiah, are best explained by saying that something happened, two or three days after Jesus’ death, for which the accounts in the four gospels are the least inadequate expression we have."

The musician in me liked this:

First, that there's a key we're playing in: that's the key of the gospel of the kingdom or dream of God. Second, that there's a rhythm we're working with: that's the rhythm of Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, and indwelling. Third, that there's a band leader who calls the tune and sets the rhythm: that's the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Fourth, that there's a chart, the Bible, that gives us some basic chords and notes and melodies to learn by heart and play from the heart. Fifth, that the chart makes room to improvise - that each of us has the freedom, opportunity, and even responsibility to let loose and make our unique solo contribution, always being sensitive to what the other musicians are doing and to the integrity of our song. Sixth, that there are dynamics to be respected - you don't play too loud, you don't solo too often or too long. And seventh, that there is a goal - to get people up off their seats and dancing with joy to the music of God, so they're caught up in the glorious dance, something bigger than any of us, something that enfolds all of us in God's song of celebration and love.