One of the most significant lessons of my staff career came at an unexpected and, in hindsight, embarrassing moment. But because of what InterVarsity believes and how we apply it, it led to one of the sweetest moments any staff worker can experience.
When my three year old has an imaginary friend, it’s cute, even encouraged. But when adult Christians live out their faith as though Jesus was just an invisible, childhood fantasy, it’s disturbing. Unfortunately, there’s an element of the “imaginary Jesus” in each of us who walk in faith.
The next time someone begins a discussion of the Bible and homosexuality by asserting that it is a minor issue in Scripture, coming up in only seven disputed cases, refuse that starting point by insisting that it concerns every evocation of marriage or of human creation as male and female in the entirety of Scripture.
There’s an important moment in the first chapter of Acts where, forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus ascends (fancy word for, “Jesus goes to heaven”) and leaves his disciples staring into the sky. This “ascension” is kind of a big deal… but why should we care?
In Mark’s gospel he starts by saying he is writing a good story about Jesus, the Christ, God’s son. Right away we meet Jesus claiming that the good news in this story is that God’s Kingdom is here. But it gets even more interesting. It seems that Mark is telling a story about a Kingdom in search of a King.
It’s February. Christmas is behind us and Easter is coming. But have you ever noticed that the Apostles’ Creed says nothing about what happens in between “born of the Virgin Mary…” and “suffered under Pontius Pilate…” There is only a comma. That’s it. But what about the Gospels? Isn’t what happened between Jesus’ birth and death important?
We have entered what I call “the comma period” of the Apostles’ Creed.
There are two things orthodox Christians need to do simultaneously. We must learn to live with the mystery of holding two seemingly opposing truths in tension to become people who are “both/and” rather than “either/or.” Then, at other times, we must be willing to hold on to a truth with fervor and not dilute it by looking for some middle ground. These two convictions can be written in the form of two propositions.
The doctrinal statement of InterVarsity highlights the authority and centrality of Scripture in our movement. It states that we believe in “The unique divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible.” This affirmation of the foundational character of Scripture for belief and practice does not discount the importance of Christian tradition in rightly understanding Scripture.
Incarnation is a hot word these days. It is used to describe ministry among the poor, the outcast, and the disenfranchised with an emphasis on the word “among” rather than “to”. To come alongside, to become one with, to share life with those who for so long have been ministered “to” from a safe distance is an expression of living out the Kingdom of God now even as we await the true return of the king.
No, Jesus came to do something much greater. Many people today describe Jesus’ ministry and mission in terms of healing. They would say, “Jesus has healed us, and sends us into the world to bring healing.”
The blog is an avenue for staff and student leaders to hear from the visionary leaders of Collegiate Ministries about theological formation, discipleship, chapter planting, chapter growth, and other key ministry themes for campus work.