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What did Jesus mean when he said, "Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

by Roland Clarke

Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” thus echoing Jesus words, “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me...will save it.” Emulating Jesus, Jim Elliot and his four teammates laid down their lives as martyrs so the Waodani people could hear and receive eternal life. Interestingly, the paradox of 'saving/losing' one's earthly life has wider application. As Solomon wrote, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Jesus also said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” A modern Kurdish proverb echoes this paradox, “What you give away you keep,” as well as Arabic proverbial wisdom, “If you do charity your house will always be rich.” So what is the outcome of living this way? Cherokee (& Persian) sages came up with an interesting proverb, “When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” (cf. Book of Ecclesiastes 7:1-5)

  • 8 November 2022
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 98
  • Comments: 0

Jonah's Story Was A Central Motif in Jesus's Preaching

“[L]et us consider which is harder, for a man after having been buried to rise again from the earth, or for a man in the belly of a whale…to escape corruption.” 

                                                St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 

                                                Catechetical Lecture 14.18 [1]

 Jonah   Ίωνας

       The Jewish Tanakh, or the Hebrew scriptures of the revelation library that is the Old Testament of the Bible, contains the full writings of all the writing prophets. This includes the entire book of Prophet Jonah (4 chapters). Jonah is also importantly referred to in the New Testament by Jesus himself, as recorded seven times in two of the four gospels: three times in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 12, once in verse 16:4, and three times in the Gospel of Luke chapter 11. In both gospels Jesus is asserting that he himself is greater than both Jonah and Solomon, and that is all the more reason why his audiences should repent. So much so that if they did not, then both the Queen of Sheba and the Ninevites will rise up at the time of the final divine judgment to condemn them. Very strong words. But where did Jesus get off claiming to be greater than both prophet Jonah and King Solomon? Where indeed? Clearly Jesus believed he was the greatest of the prophets, and more than a prophet, the one-and-only Messiah, and rightful King of Israel (even though he never sought political power). If he was not then it

  • 6 October 2022
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 284
  • Comments: 1

Why Zeinab got it wrong in her critical post of June 1


*This intro part of the article was posted verbatim in my Facebook page on the same day that this was posted here.


I am a 24-year resident of East Dearborn and have frequented Hemlock Park many times for many reasons. On June 1st a young woman named Zeinab Chami posted in Facebook the following criticisms about our exceptionally civil open-air event at Hemlock Park the night before, Memorial Day. I was present among several dozen Christians from probably 10-12 churches. That event featured a main speaker, Georges Houssney, who spoke for about 30 minutes, followed by Q&A. We also had a book table set up on the lawn stocked with religious books. Both the event and the books were intended for adults, but at the very start four children approached the book table and were observed by Zeinab. One of our partners also observed this and explained to them that there were no items for kids and that the entire event was intended for adults only. The children asked repeatedly but were told no unless they had a parent with them. When Zeinab approached, they left. However, Zeinab either did not observe that exchange or did not believe it because she immediately began making a scene that attracted a sizable crowd. In short, Zeinab accused us of 'preying on children' in the park by attracting them to our event, which was false. The next day she made the following post reiterating her false narrative. Since she and I are not Facebook friends, I only became aware of it because one of her friends tagged me. I would like to have responded in order to provide clarity and perspective, but I was not enabled to make comments, and so I was voiceless. When I became aware of Zeinab’s false and unflattering words, I immediately private-messaged her with these short messages: 

 

You sent June 1 at 12:38 PM

Zeinab, please activate my ability to comment so I can add clarity to this.

Main Point: Contrary to the spin, we do not want children at Hemlock. We have nothing for them. If they come we send them away. We wish they would stay away.

 

To her credit, Zeinab attempted to allow me to comment, as some of her friends suggested she do, but that never became possible because we did not become FB friends. In one comment she said she was patiently waiting for a comment from me, but I could not. There were many comments from her friends, most were very critical of me, but some were favorable.

 &am

  • 11 June 2021
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1925
  • Comments: 4

On Divine Unity and Diversity (Plural-Unity)


Now that Ramadan is over, it is time to reply again to Ozair's comments to my first piece on this subject from April 14th, two posts down. In that I accused Ozair of changing the subject, all the while accusing Ted of trying to. Again, for their debate Ozair insisted on the topic—it could only be the trinity, nothing else. But Ozair does not even understand it himself, which is apparently why he changed it to the incarnation of God. The doctrine of the trinity is really that simpleThere is one God who has one Essence with three persons. Period. It entails nothing necessarily about the nature of the man that was Jesus. Again, the way that the debate question was framed excludes any discussion about incarnation, so it does not concern the Arians, the Apollonians, or the Nestorians whose heresies were unrelated to the trinity. The matter of the trinity is confined to questions about Yahweh's nature, his plural-unity, not Jesus. (Also, since Allah has plural attributes in what sense is he 'absolute one' in the Islamic sense?) See Appendix 1 of my book, The Reason of Reason

Francis Schaeffer provides an eloquent discussion of divine plurality-within-unity in his excellent book, He is There And He Is Not Silentalthough he uses the word “diversity” instead of plurality. Here I want to offer a summary of his thinking on this subject starting with an overview of this short book should you like to read it (only 80 pages plus appendices). I highly recommend it. The main argument we are concerned with is Schaeffer’s conviction that only the existence of a tri-personal God, i.e. the trinity, can make sense of both diversity and unity in reality. This is also my conviction for which I will offer my own commentary. But allow me to come back to this specific point in the fifth paragraph after a bit more overview of the whole book should you like to read it. Or you can skim down.

  • 17 May 2021
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1596
  • Comments: 2

«.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُوا تَسلِيْمِي إلَى اليَهُودِ. لَكِنَّ مَملَكَتِي لَيْسَتْ مِنْ هُنا »

by Scott Cherry—

Unthinkable Humility. 

On the night of his last Passover meal Jesus performed one of the strangest and most uncommon acts for a figure of such epic prominence and power as the Messiah: He washed his disciples' feet. Yet it was entirely consistent with his M.O. which makes it believable. He lived it out thoroughly. It was yet one more demonstration that he came "not to be served but to serve...and to GIVE his life [not take]...as a ransom for many." That is mind-blowing to me. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

« مَملَكَتِي لا تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ.»  "My kingdom is not of this world."  It would seem that only an alien like Thor or Kal El "Superman" would say something like this. But it wasn't them. Besides, they are fictional. But the man who said this was real and had very strange ideas about himself. "What kind of a outrageous claim is that?" his audience wondered in disbelief. But there's more: «.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُ »

  • 23 April 2021
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1745
  • Comments: 0
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