Success through the Eyes of Faith

Public Domain via Pixabay

My apologies for not blogging for the last four to five months! Major transitions have happened in my life. It has been pretty busy, not to mention stressful, these past months! I am no longer a campus minister serving at York University, a role I served in for the past 15 years. Since August 2016, I am serving as the Editor in Chief of The Banner, the official magazine of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Hence, a new chapter has begun in my life of following Jesus and serving his church and the world.

I wish to make it clear here that my transition was more about following Christ’s calling rather than finding greener pastures. This “career move” can easily be made to fit into the world’s narrative of success, as in constantly moving on to bigger and better. But I had always said that I go to (and stay) where I believe God is calling me. Success, in my understanding of Scripture, means, above all, faithfulness to Christ’s call, along with the missional kingdom fruitfulness (which includes, but not exclusive to the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23) born of that. Continue reading “Success through the Eyes of Faith”

BEYOND Evolution vs. Creation

On November 18, 2011, the York University student club in which I’m Chaplain and Director – Leadership, Culture and Christianity (LCC) – sponsored a special public lecture by Dr. Denis Lamoureux titled: Beyond Evolution vs. Creation. Lamoureux has earned PhDs in BOTH Evolutionary Biology and Christian Theology. He currently teaches at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta, Edmonton and has the distinction of holding Canada’s first tenured track position in Science and Religion. Lamoureux is a self-proclaimed Evangelical Christian and an Evolutionist. He calls his position, Evolutionary Creation. You can also read York’s student newspaper The Excalibur‘s coverage of the lecture. In this blog post, I want to give some of the major points in Lamoureux’s lecture and also a link to his complete lecture with audio and slides.

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Frameworks of Love and Symbols of Fear

The recent controversy at Calvin College over the issue of human origins in the publications of two of its professors causes me and a friend to think about how Christians disagree with one another. In a connected blog, Jason Postma, Youth Pastor at Bethel CRC in Newmarket, Ontario, explores how at the root of these debates is how “we use (and abuse) history and tradition in the formation of our identity” as Christians of a particular denomination, in this case, the Christian Reformed Church, to which, Calvin College is affiliated. Postma suggests that we remember the dynamic nature of tradition – that tradition is a living thing that requires “continual negotiation between imagination and preservation” – and the Scripture’s call to work towards Christian unity in our disagreements over interpretations and uses of Creeds and Confessions. He implores that we “always extend a hermeneutics of charity to those with whom we are in disagreement rather than point accusatory fingers and call each other heretics.” It is this “hermeneutics of charity” that I wish to explore further in this blog post.

Continue reading “Frameworks of Love and Symbols of Fear”

Biblical Maternal Images for God

Mother's_day_udit1 from Wikimedia Commons
Mother’s_day_udit1 from Wikimedia Commons

Mother’s Day makes me think about God’s maternal side. Christianity has been guilty of a patriarchal history that has been oppressive of women. Our conception of God as masculine, e.g. God as Father or King, certainly contributes to our slide into patriarchy. Although written in patriarchal contexts, the Bible itself does not refer to God exclusively in masculine metaphors. There are, albeit few, feminine metaphors used to describe God in the Bible. In this post, I want to highlight the maternal or motherly metaphors used.

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God and Unrequited Love

One of the top songs at the moment of writing is Bruno Mars‘ “Grenade”. It gets played on almost every radio station I turn to at some point of the day, everyday. Thankfully, I like the song. It has a catchy tune, fun to sing along and play along on the guitar, and it speaks of the near universal experience of unrequited love.

Erotic or romantic love is one of the most powerful human emotions as well as one of the most mysterious. There’s no exact science to calculate why we would be infatuated or enamoured with one person but not another. In reference to the song, for instance, we can legitimately ask, “If she was such a bad woman, how could you love her in the first place? Or even be willing to die for her?” But, alas, that’s the mystery of romantic love. Almost all of us, at some point in our lives, experienced an infatuation or a crush on someone who didn’t feel the same. It is this emotional chord that Bruno Mars’ song plucks – in rather overdramatic fashion – to great success.

Continue reading “God and Unrequited Love”