No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known (John 1:18 RSV)
The great theologian Athanasius once declared, "The Logos is the logic of the universe." He meant that Jesus is the explanation of everything!
1. Only Jesus, as God, can reveal God. Jesus said the same: "No one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son reveals him" (Matthew 11:27). Our critics deny that there could ever be a 'logic', an explanation to all existence, residing in Christ. Let them only look!
2. Only Jesus as The Word can interpret life. Jacques Derrida insisted that all quests to understand the essence of things have failed. John weepingly agrees, in Revelation 5, v 1-4... but for the joyful disclosure that Jesus in his saving death unlocks the scroll of life and its meaning.
3. Only Jesus as the Light can overcome darkness. Once we accept him as the original 'true light' (v. 9), we can recognise that evil is not eternal, but an intruder, representing - as Augustine put it - a 'defection' from original goodness, and therefore destined to ultimate destruction by Christ, the light from which all else is borrowed. This gives us courage!
4. Only Jesus as the Child can introduce glory. Here we think not of the power-mad Caesars, but of the sheer wonder of the eternal God coming as a child to share our existence (v.14), there to live, serve and suffer in the 'glory' that would be Christ's cross.
No other attempts at an 'explanation' have ever satisfactorily succeeded.
Monday, 29 December 2014
BY RICHARD BEWES
WAS THE 2008 GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE CONFERENCE a landmark in the story of the church world-wide? If you can measure an event by its ‘buzz,’ by its unity and harmony, by its ability to draw together world leaders representing over 35 million anglican worshippers, then you could perhaps argue that GAFCON in Jerusalem
The Holy City; centre of the universe (Picture: Richard Bewes)
Can all the King’s horses and all the King’s men put Humpty-Dumpty together again?It is anybody’s guess. But, short of a world-wide religious revival to evoke the selfless and co-operativequalities inherent in men, I can see no other way in which the disruptive and destructive forces threatening to tear modern materialistic society apart can be withstood (‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, Collins)
Ruth Bell Graham 1920-2007
A PERSONAL REFLECTION BY RICHARD BEWES
"YOU’RE LOOKING VERY PRETTY, RUTH." As I left the room where the bedridden Ruth and her evangelist husband Billy Graham had given me tea, in their home at Montreat, I was not to know that these would be the last words I would ever speak face to face to one of the twentieth century’s most captivating people.
“When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am to bring before the House – a subject in which the interests , not of this country, nor of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and of posterity are involved, I mean not to accuse any one, but to take the shame upon myself, in common indeed with the whole parliament of Great Britain, for having suffered this horrid trade to be carried on under their authority. We are all guilty – we ought to plead guilty, and not to exculpate ourselves by throwing the blame on others.”
“Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils, but if God is with you, who can be against you? O be not weary in well-doing. Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall vanish away before it.” (Feb 24, 1791)