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Archive for December, 2010

What is God’s Ultimate Purpose?

Guest post from Jim Hamilton, Part 1

Do you want to ponder a question that has roots that stretch so far back into eternity past that we will never come to the end of them? How about this: What is God’s ultimate purpose?

I would argue that God’s ultimate purpose is to display his glory and that his glory is seen most clearly when people understand and feel the way that God’s justice highlights mercy (cf. Rom 9:22-23).

We have to feel the weight of God’s almighty, everlasting, righteous wrath crushing us so that we will perceive the liberating relief of God’s mercy. When people understand the gospel, they perceive the glory of God’s justice and his mercy in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I contend that every single biblical author had God’s glory in salvation through judgment at the heart of his theology. If I am right about this, then the biblical authors have communicated what God’s ultimate purpose is, and the biblical authors are in agreement with each other.

Jim Hamilton is the author of the new release, God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment.

December 11, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,Life / Doctrine,Salvation,Scripture,Theology | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:23 am | 1 Comment »

“The Four Holy Gospels” Exhibit at the Dillon Gallery Now Open

We are pleased to announce the public opening of respected artist Makoto Fujimura’s The Four Holy Gospels premier exhibit at the Dillon Gallery in New York City. A private VIP event marked the official opening of the exhibit on December 8, 2010; the exhibit is now open to the public, and runs through January 9, 2011.

The Four Holy Gospels exhibit features five large-scale paintings, including the frontispiece, “Charis-Kairos (The Tears of Christ),” and four opening plates (one for each of the Gospels); plus eighty-nine initial letters (each painted, and many adorned with gold flecks and foil) specifically created for each chapter opening; as well as more than seventy individually-painted reflections and embellishments complementing the Gospels. This event marks the first time in nearly 400 years that an illuminated book of the four Gospels has been undertaken by a single artist.

The six-color, leather over board print edition of The Four Holy Gospels, published by Crossway in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the KJV Bible, will be available January 15, 2011. A cloth over board edition will be available as well.

December 10, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 4:03 pm | 0 Comments »

The Great Reversal

Guest Post by Tullian Tchividjian

In C.S. Lewis’s masterful children’s story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he tells of a country, Narnia, which is under the curse of the White Witch. This evil queen places a spell on the land so that it’s “always winter and never Christmas.” Under her control, the future of Narnia looks bleak until word gets out that “Aslan is on the move.” In the story, Aslan is a noble lion who represents Christ. He’s coming to set things straight. He’s coming to destroy the White Witch and thus reverse the curse on Narnia. The first sign of Aslan’s movement toward this cursed land is that the snow begins to melt–“spring is in the air.” The cold begins to fade as the sun rays peer through the dark clouds, promising the dawn of a new day. Everything in Narnia begins to change.

You’ll have to read the book to see how the story ends, but when I’m asked to describe the true meaning of Christmas, I like to say that the birth of Christ is the sure and certain sign that “God is on the move.” The arrival of Jesus two-thousand years ago ensured that God had begun the process of reversing the curse of sin and recreating all things.

In Jesus, God was moving in a new way and, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “winter began stirring backwards.”

All of Jesus’ ministry—the words he spoke, the miracles he performed—showed that there was a new order in town: God’s order. When Jesus healed the diseased, raised the dead, and forgave the desperate, he did so to show that with the arrival of God in the flesh came the restoration of the way God intended things to be. New life was given, health was restored; God was reversing the curse of death, disease, and discomfort. The incarnation of Christ began the “great reversal.”

Tim Keller observes that Christ’s miracles were not the suspension of the natural order but the restoration of the natural order. They were a reminder of what once was prior to the Fall and a preview of what will eventually be a universal reality once again—a world of peace and justice, without death, disease, or conflict.

To be sure, when Christ comes again, the process of reversing the curse of sin and recreating all things will be complete (1 Cor. 15:51-58). The peace on earth that the angels announced the night Christ was born will become a universal actuality. God’s cosmic rescue mission will be complete. The fraying fabric of our fallen world will be fully and perfectly rewoven. Everything and everyone “in Christ” will live in perfect harmony. Shalom will rule.

Isaiah pictures it this way:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

For those who have found forgiveness of sins in Christ, there will one day be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears, no more division, no more tension. The pardoned children of God will work and worship in a perfectly renewed earth without the interference of sin. We who believe the gospel will enjoy sinless hearts and minds along with disease-free bodies. All that causes us pain and discomfort will be destroyed, and we will live forever. We’ll finally be able “to enjoy what is most enjoyable with unbounded energy and passion forever.”

Christmas is the celebration of this process begun and the promise that it will one day be completed.

Guest post by Tullian Tchividjian, author of Surprised by Grace. Check out Tullian’s blog at On Earth as it is in Heaven.

| Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Holidays,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:36 am | 1 Comment »

Turning Bedtime into an Entertaining Lesson on Pride and Humility

Bedtime stories can be fun and full of Christian teaching. Fool Moon Rising is the perfect little tale to read to your little ones as it incorporates exciting illustrations, fun facts about the moon, and valuable lessons in humility. Kids will love the length (it can easily be read in one sitting), the comical and colorful illustrations, and the easy-to-understand message of turning pride into humility.

Preview the full book or download a sample PDF of Fool Moon Rising.

December 9, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:25 am | 0 Comments »

How Kids Can Learn Humility From The Moon

Kids are proud and exuberant little people. “Watch this!” is a favorite phrase for children as they seek praise for their latest accomplishment, be it propelling off the couch in a Superman cape or doing 50 skips on a jump rope.

Certainly, there’s a healthy dose of enthusiasm that’s good for children as they explore their abilities. But it’s important that as kids discover new capabilities and talents, they realize that all of their skills and energies come from God.

Kristi and T. Lively Fluhartys’ Fool Moon Rising tells the story of the moon and explains how his proud heart is made humble.

  • The moon begins with great pride in his ability light up the night, control the tides, and draw astronauts to visit him.
  • Eventually, his pride is checked when he realizes that he gets all of his light from the sun.
  • The moon begins to boast of the sun, his source of light and power, rather than boast of himself.

Fool Moon Rising is a fun and colorful way to teach kids that their talents come from God. It’s illustrative of how recognizing the greatness of God can turn pride into humility, making faithful followers want to boast of the Lord’s greatness rather than their own.

Learn more about Fool Moon Rising.

December 8, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment »