The question of whether testimony of following Jesus Christ is genuine isn’t a new question birthed solely from a time on the planet when mass communications highlight celebrity lifestyles. The early church dealt with this question, and leaders often counseled prudence, care, pastoral sensitivity, and community accountability.
“Providence does not mean that we have no free will. God’s providence does not rule out human freedom. Providence is not opposed to cooperation with God. Providence does not mean we are off the hook or that we have no sense of responsibility when it comes to spiritual growth. Rather, we cooperate with God as we grow in our faith by practicing spiritual disciplines or the means of grace.”
He tells the sailors to toss him overboard, because he believes that his God is acting like all the other gods, punishing him and them in the process. After Jonah says, “hurl me into the sea,” something strange happens. The sailors start rowing to dry land. Though it’s easy to skip ahead and assume that they picked him up and tossed him right in – they didn’t. These outsider sailors are acting in a gracious way.
My sister, after years away from the faith, came home to Christ in the Lutheran church. The transition back into the church world, while…
Christians in the Wesleyan tradition love to talk about grace, and with good reason. God’s grace is another way of talking about God’s love,…
“Like divine sovereignty, predestination is not a Calvinist doctrine, it is a biblical doctrine. And indeed, as a theologian steeped in Scripture, Wesley not only affirmed the doctrine, he affirmed a very strong version of it…”
There’s no question but that the first line ought to be the first line – “Christ the Lord is risen today” – because all else follows from that premise. If you accept that fact (and God have mercy on you if you don’t), it’s easy to “raise your joys and triumphs high,” and to know as you do so that the “heavens and earth reply.”
Wesleyan teaching affirms that all aspects of salvation come by the gift of God’s grace. Because grace conveys power to us, though, it gives us the ability—the freedom—to join in the very work God is doing for us.
Wesleyan Accent is excited to welcome Ellsworth Kalas who will be contributing regular reflections on Wesleyan hymns. His first highlights Charles Wesley’s wonderful Advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.”
Familiarity sometimes breeds dullness. It’s true in the whole of life; it is especially true in the way we hear things and reflect on…