Monday, 26 November 2012

Weekly Wrap (25/11)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Here is the second Alive in Christ Weekly Wrap. I hope you enjoy reading the articles and engaging with the content below!

Church of England & Women Bishops - Trevin Wax from the Gospel Coalition shares his thoughts on the recent decision by the Church of England to not ordain Women as Bishops.

The True Story of Thanksgiving - John Piper writes about how Christians should view Thanksgiving in light of the undervalued virtue known as "gratitude."

Selflessness Leads to Spiritual Maturity - Ed Stetzer provides some interesting research about service in the Church.

"We have lost the Gay Marriage Battle" - An interesting article from America discussing - you guessed it - the issue of the Church and Gay Marriage.

Does the Bible Separate Baptism and Salvation? - Josh Stahley from the Gospel Coalition explores what the Bible has to say about Baptism and Salvation.

Thought for the day...

“Prayers of gratitude remind us of just how much we receive at his hands.”
— Robert Harris

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Weekly Wrap (18/11)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

One of my aims on Alive in Christ is to promote thought and discussion about relevant Christian theology, political issues and events that are currently occurring in society or in the broader church. One of the ways that I intend to do this is to provide a weekly link to interesting articles that I have come across from elsewhere in the blogosphere - after all, there is a plethora of good, thought provoking content out there that is well worth reading that I do not necessarily have time to write a response to on this blog. Note that not all the articles that I include in my Weekly Wraps necessarily reflect my personal opinions and beliefs - the articles offered here are intended to challenge and encourage you as you engage on a deeper level with the Christian faith.

I hope that you enjoy the first - of hopefully many - Alive in Christ Weekly Wraps. Enjoy!

A Possible Compromise on the Gay Marriage Controversy - This older article by Tony Campolo is an interesting take on the whole Gay Marriage issue and is well worth a read.

What makes Jesus Angry? - Yes, Jesus did get angry on a number of occasions. Yet He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). This article by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola unpacks the surprising things that made Jesus tick.

Loving the Loners - One Apartment at a Time - In order to love one's neighbours one must first know who they are. This is a great article highlighting the great opportunity we have to develop real and influential relationships with our neighbours.

Smilingly Leading You to Hell - Tim Challies takes a very frank look at the niceness of Joel Osteen. Seriously.

Monergism Free eBooks - Looking for some classic Christian literature? Best of all, the books are free...


Thought for the day...

“God wants us to make Jesus Christ the central figure in our church - not just say that we do, but actually do it.”
—  A.W. Tozer

Welcome to Alive in Christ

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Welcome to my blog Alive in Christ! I decided to
create this blog to provide a place where Christians can be encouraged, challenged and grown through engaging with and discussing the issues of the Christian faith in a safe and friendly environment. I plan to regularly update this site to include content such as scripture expositions, book reviews, thoughts from classic and modern Christian literature, weekly wraps of other people's interesting blog posts, as well as contributing articles of my own on theological and social issues.

So you might be wondering, why did I decide to call my blog Alive in Christ? Well, I personally love the book of Romans. I appreciate the clear writing style and the amazing way in which the writer presents the gospel message to his audience. In particular, I love the passage from Romans 6:1-14 which reads:

6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

This passage sums up what I am passionate about. I am passionate about seeing people become free to live the new life in Christ Jesus - a life that is not mastered by sin but a life that is free from the burden of the law and truly alive through the grace of Jesus Christ. I am passionate about seeing Christians reach out to God to take hold of the abundant life that He longs for them to experience with Him. I am passionate about seeing people truly "...dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). I am passionate about seeing all people develop relationship with Jesus Christ.

So it is fitting that this blog be entitled Alive in Christ. I pray that as you engage with and enjoy the content on this blog, that you would find yourself becoming more and more alive in Christ as you deepen your relationship with Him. Be sure to comment and share your thoughts on the various articles on this blog; by doing so you will not only be able to better articulate your own thoughts and opinions on various issues, but you will also contribute to the learning and faith development of others.


Joel Hawting