Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Best Way to Read the Scriptures

The best way to understand the Scriptures is in the context of what has been handed down in the Church from the beginning. The whole Church has been given the Holy Spirit, to teach us and lead us into all truth (John 14:26, John 16:13). This does not mean that each individual may come up with his own private interpretation with which to judge everyone else. It means precisely the opposite; we must learn to read and understand the Scriptures together, as one body, the body of Christ, the Church, being of one heart and mind.

The Church is not above the Scriptures, but the Church interprets the Scriptures. Without interpretation, the Scriptures yield no meaning to us. Even if we should say, “The Holy Spirit showed me this meaning,” it is an interpretation nonetheless. The Holy Spirit certainly reveals the meaning of Scripture to the Church, but to the whole Church, and not with contradictory interpretations to contradictory people. The Scriptures are multivalent, capable of many interpretations, but not mutually incongruous ones.

There are many new and varied interpretations that have arisen over the years, and they abound today. But where they are out of sync with how the Church has consistently understood Scripture from the beginning, they should be left to the side. They are independent voices that do not reflect the mind of the Church, the mind of the Holy Spirit who guides the Church. It is important, then, to pay careful attention to how the early Church understood the Scriptures. It is the safest and best way to proceed, and will help keep us from error.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Sin is the Soul Rejecting Itself

Sin is often thought of as the infraction of a law, the breaking of a commandment. But it is really the brokenness of a relationship. When Adam turned away from God to his own way, he turned away from the very source of his life and being — he turned away from his true self, toward non-being.

From the beginning, we are created in the image of God, to be like God. That is our true self, yet we continually resist it. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, in whom all the fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form, and in whom we are made complete and become partakers of the divine nature. This is the Incarnation, and it includes us all, for Jesus Christ is the image of God we were created to be. The good news of the gospel is that God is transforming us, conforming us to the image of Christ. In turning to Christ, through repentance and faith, we become reoriented to our true self, what God intended for us from the beginning.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Gospel of Deliverance

Christ did not come to save us from God
but to deliver us from the power of death
and the darkness of sin.

“Therefore, since the children share in blood and flesh, Christ also in like manner shared in these same things , in order that through death he could destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and could set free these who through fear of death were subject to slavery throughout all their lives.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17) 

Monday, July 1, 2024

Divine Being and Human Being

There is Divine Being
and there is Human Being.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is both,
and in Him we are all united,
with God and with each other.
This is the Incarnation
and this is the Gospel.

Christ Crucified and Risen is the Incarnate One.
The Incarnate One is Crucified and Risen.