Monday, 29 April 2013

Christianity and Eschatology

If Christianity be not altogether thoroughgoing eschatology, there remains in it no relationship whatever with Christ.” (Karl Barth in his commentary on Romans)

I agree with the statement though I think it sounds good in Christian books and commentaries but not so much in a Christian's life. Our Churches don't preach much about the second coming of Christ and doesn't teach on how to prepare for it. Sometimes I think Christ's coming is not anticipated. We are so lost in our day to day Christian life and building up our character charts that we forget that Christianity = Eschatology. Will we Christians be caught by surprise when Jesus returns? Every generation thinks that the message of second coming is not for them but for the coming generation. If Christianity is eschatology why isn't the church preparing for it? Why isn't it preached with urgency? Why isn't the church eager to meet the bridegroom?

This is like a scenario where the husband has left home for business and put his wife in-charge of the household, of his possessions and property and of his Children and servants too. The wife manages everything and waits eagerly for her husband's return. As days turn to months and months to years the wife got herself busy with day to day tasks and managing the household. She thinks of her husband from time to time but doesn't talk about him much. Their bedroom has now become her bedroom and his things are overshadowed by her things. One day when the husband returns I wonder if he will be able to recognize his own house, his own room or even his wife for instance. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Names of Christ

I have always been fascinated by the many different 'names' of Jesus used in the Scripture. Each of them adds a significant shade of meaning to the multi-faceted attributes of Christ - and helps us understand and know Him more. One cannot deny: There is power in the Name of Jesus!

In Isaiah 9:6, four important names of Jesus were revealed (i.e. Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace).

The name 'Wonderful Counsellor' might be the easiest to digest and identify with - since even non-believers would, most of the time, agree that Jesus' teaching is 'good', and He seems to be a 'wise teacher', Someone whom we can receive counsel.

However, for the second name, contrary to what the Muslims and Jehovah Witnesses claim (that Jesus is not God), the verse so-clearly declare that Jesus Christ is the 'Mighty God'! There is not doubt about it. He is God, and not just any God, but the mighty God.

The third name is the most intriguing to me. If I'm not wrong, I believe this is the only time in the Bible where Jesus is actually referred to as 'Father'. (The closest it got in the New Testament was when Jesus said that He and the Father are one - but never has Jesus held any title/name with the word 'Father' in it). A theological discussion at this point might be helpful (or not?) and it could go deep and/or off tangent, but I believe the reason Jesus was called 'Father' is exactly because He and the Father are one. This is in fact an astounding verse that shows the intimacy and intricacy of the Father-Son relationship in the community of the holy Trinity.

And last but not least, I think the fourth name is what many of us subconsciously tend to downplay when we exalt Jesus as the Mighty God. Just as the Lion of Judah, Jesus is also the Lamb of God. Hence, just as the Mighty God, He is also the Prince of Peace. We need to hold the names in tension of each other for a full worship of God (relishing God in both fear and love), and for a better comprehension of the operation of His will in our world today.

How about we learn to meditate upon one name of Christ each week?