Click here to download: Heaven and Earth
We were joking around, thinking of a cover for my new book, Heaven & Earth. Maybe darkish blue
sky, with stars. Maybe Abraham slitting the throat of a lamb, to renew the creation. That is the
pagan view of how the creation is restored, that has bedevilled our societies since Cain. Jesus came
to show that the atonement, that which brings forth the new heavens and new earth, isn’t taking
life, but restoring it. He came to expose our violence and put an end to it by renewing our hearts and
relationships. He shows us the “scandal of the victim,” that the victim scapegoat heals us by
revealing the truth about ourselves, not by satiating God’s anger. Restoring the victim, “the least of
these,” foolishness to Roman violence, a scandal to first century Jewish power (reversing the tables,
showing that the strong should suffer for the weak), but the power of God for our salvation. A God
who looks like Jesus, not like Zeus.
Click here to download: Reflections on Revelation
The doomsday message that is so popular, and has been for so long, certainly appeals to many aspects in our human nature. Using Revelation as a speculative source book, for identifying the rogue nations and leaders of our time, is perfect fodder for our baser instincts of nationalism, self-preservation and scapegoating. You can go through almost any tragic event of our recent past, like major wars and revolutions, and you will find that parties on all sides claimed the moral high ground, while using the Revelation to identity others as the antichrist, to excuse their cruel, murderous behaviour towards “the guilty.” People are so vulnerable to be manipulated in this way. We can witness this in our own day, in so many different conflicts around the world. The scriptures, which are meant to produce good fruit of love and care, are so frequently turned to darker, selfish purposes.
Click here to download: Reflections in Romans
Romans isn’t primarily a letter about our personal justification. Rather, Romans is a letter
about God moving mankind from a life of accusation to a life of love and care for others.
Accusation has filled our heart since the fall, in which we accuse ourselves and also our
neighbour, bringing division, with personal and social destruction. The law has brought us
into a downward slide into this captivity of separation from God and conflict.
God has embarked on a salvation plan, in which in his love he takes our sin and forgives it.
He then calls us to do the same for our neighbour...