Monday, December 10, 2018

My Sermons Online

Redeemer Church, in Monroe

My sermons @ Redeemer can be listened to HERE.


More on Presence-Driven Churches and Multiple, Stacked Services


I've received a few comments on my post on stacking worship services together, like pancakes, one on top of the other. One person asked, "Are you saying the Holy Spirit cannot show up in multiple, stacked services?"

Here are a few thoughts. (And thank you for the question!)


First, I spell this out more in my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church


“Presence-driven” means: following the leading of the Holy Spirit. How can we place a time limit on that? God’s ways are not our ways. God is all-knowing, and all-loving. How could we finite creatures anticipate and program that? How could we anticipate what God is going to do when he directs our paths?


“Presence-driven” is more than the Holy Spirit “showing up.” This is the Holy Spirit directing and orchestrating things, telling us what to do. (That is, we hear from God. On this see Dallas Willard, Hearing God.) 

This is the Holy Spirit "manifesting." (See 1 Corinthians 14) We, the people, follow the Spirit as he directs our paths. The Spirit shepherds us. He leadeth us, even on Sunday mornings. 

With the manifestations, time will be needed. Manifestations of the Spirit are more than people having feelings. Yay for Spirit-given feelings! But the manifestations of the Spirit demand time, since they are about strengthening, comforting, and encouraging the gathered body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:1-3).

By “multiple, stacked services” I mean time-limited events. Service #1 needs to begin at 9 and end, say, at 10. This is so the 10:30 service can begin on time. The 10:30 service ends at 11:30. We need to get people out and in so the noon service can begin “on time.” This sort of thing. This is a chronos-orientation that conforms to the chronos-culture we live in.

Yes, the Holy Spirit desires to “show up” whenever Jesus-followers gather. This “showing up” means the Spirit is leading. How can we think we could click-track that? When the early church gathered, the people had no concern for chronos, right? American culture, to the contrary, runs and feeds off it. Timed services cater to the people.

Here's a possibility, though I doubt American Christians would go for it. When I was teaching in Singapore I preached at a church on a Sunday morning. They had two morning services, back to back. The first service was to end at 10. I was preaching at the 10:30 service. We arrived close to 10:30. Many people were standing in the lobby, outside the sanctuary. My host told me, "The first service is still going on. God is doing some very good things!" 

The second service didn't begin until after 11. That's how good service #1 was! I was glad the leaders were being led by our out-of-the-chronos-box Holy Spirit. 

If this happened all the time, and leaders were free from the pressure of time, great! I could see Sunday mornings where service #2 didn't even happen, or people at service #2 were invited into what the Spirit was still doing in service #1. Still, if this was common, if it was normal for the Holy Spirit to lead the services, I suspect the stacked-service method would either be in trouble, or leaders would succumb to the time pieces of the masses.

Preparing for the Invasion - #17 - Jesus Cast Out Demons

Sunday morning worship at Redeemer


(C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity referred to the Incarnation as "The Great Invasion.")

I had only been a Jesus-follower for a year when I had my first physical encounter with a demon. It happened this way.

I was working as Youth Leader at Tabor Lutheran Church in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois. One day the pastor invited me to a meeting. A few of our long-attending members had been exposed to the charismatic movement and were now speaking in tongues. They wanted to talk with church leadership about this. I was unfamiliar with charismatic phenomena, and brand new to the study of Scripture, so I just listened to the conversation.

The people shared their newfound spiritual experiences. Our leaders listened and responded. After a lot of dialogue, questions, and interaction we prayed. This is when it happened.

I can't remember who prayed out loud. I do remember that, as we were praying, I felt like my soul and body were being assaulted by something evil. I had never felt anything like this before. I didn't know how to interpret it. I do remember silently calling out, crying out, "Jesus! Help!"

After the meeting I called Linda. I was dating her at the time. As I shared what had just happened to me I was crying. "I am really weirding out on her," I thought. I did not know how to interpret this. Experientially, it was real. Something did just happen, something I had never experienced before.  I told her words I had never spoken in my life: "I think I was attacked by a demon." 
As I said this I thought, "This is crazy - I don't even know if I believe in demons!" (In retrospect I have arrived at an interpretation of that evening that satisfies me, which I do not feel led to share here.)

Jesus believed in demons. New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham writes: 

"Jesus’ exorcisms had the special value of dramatizing his power to overcome the forces of evil and to rescue those who were enslaved to them. He said: If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. (Luke 11:20) Though Jesus was by no means the only Jewish exorcist, so far as we know he was the only one to link his exorcisms with the new thing that God was doing: the coming of the kingdom. For this to have been at all plausible, he must have been an exceptionally successful exorcist, something which is also suggested by the fact that other exorcists apparently took to using Jesus’ name as the word of power with which they drove out demons. Jesus’ success as an exorcist provoked his enemies to find an alternative explanation for it. They said that Jesus was in league with the powers of evil and was himself possessed by the prince of the demons." (Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction, p. 40)

From the beginning of the Gospels to their very end, Jesus lived with a warfare worldview. The real battle for him, as the apostle Paul knew, was not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual principalities and powers. (Ephesians 6:12)

After my encounter with a demon I began to consider their actual existence. Now, many years later, I reason this way.

1. Textually, I find the stories of Jesus's demonic encounters to be historical.
2. Jesus-followers in non-Westernized cultures affirm the reality of satan and demons, and angels as well. I've been in these countries, and am friends with Asian and African scholars (including some Fulbright scholars) who embrace the reality of a supra-natural realm. (= beyond what is natural) Belief or disbelief in satan and demons (and angels) is a matter of worldview, not intelligence.
3. The worldview of Christian theism sees reality as more than merely physical. I embrace that worldview. I am not under the Enlightenment spell of metaphysical naturalism. I am not an anti-supernaturalist who denies the reality of miracles and non-physical realities.
4. In the Gospels Jesus encountered and cast out demons. Why wouldn't we do the same?

And defeat them, as Jesus did, in Jesus' name.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, 
but test the spirits to see whether 
they are from God, 
because many false prophets 
have gone out into the world. 
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 
but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus 
is not from God. 
This is the spirit of the antichrist, 
which you have heard is coming 
and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God 
and have overcome them, 
because the one who is in you 
is greater than the one who is in the world.
- 1 John 4:1-4

***
FOR FURTHER READING

Greg Boyd, God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict; and Satan & the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy.

Charles Kraft, Defeating Dark Angels: Breaking Demonic Oppressions in the Believer's Life. Note: See Kraft's Christianity with Power: Your Worldview and Experience of the Supernatural. Kraft is an anthropologist (formerly at Michigan State University) and missiologist at Fuller Theological Seminary. When I read Clark Pinnock's introduction to this book I knew I needed to read it. See esp. the chapter "Jesus Had a Worldview." It's scholarly and readable.

M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie. For me it was chilling to read this book, written by Peck the psychiatrist as he tells clinical stories of demon 
possession.

Does Satan Exist? Greg Boyd's "S.I.N. Hypothesis"

John Calvin on Demons


Richard Beck, Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted

I am not a philosophical naturalist or physicalist. Therefore, I do not believe reality is only physical. Once one admits there are non-physical elements of reality the door is open to logically believe in spiritual beings, such as angels and demons. To examine problems with philosophical naturalism see, e.g., texts such as: Naturalism, by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro; The Waning of Materialism, by Robert Koons (ed.) and George Bealer (ed.); and The Recalcitrant Imago Dei: Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism, by J.P. Moreland.



***
My two books are:


Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Praying to Be Free from Comparison


When we spend time comparing ourselves with other people this often produces the bitter twin fruits of self-obsession, which are: shame and pride. Shame is the feeling that I am no good, worth little or nothing, of no value. Pride is the feeling that I am more valuable than other people.

There is a "healthy pride." C.S. Lewis talks about it in his chapter "The Great Sin" in Mere Christianity. But self-obsessive pride and shame are punishers of the soul, rooted in comparing ourselves with others. Here are some things about comparison, sort of a phenomenology of comparison.


Comparison rank-orders people on an honor-shame hierarchy with its various manifestations (like: good-bad; beautiful-ugly; worthy-worthless; useful-useless; favored-despised). 


There are many kinds of honor-shame hierarchies. Compared to other people you and I are either: 1) better than they are; 2) worse than they are; or 3) the same as they are, in terms of some specific attribute, quality, or talent. You're not as beautiful as some; you are more beautiful than others. A whole lot of people are smarter than you; you are a whole lot smarter than a lot of people. If you can read this, you are ahead of the world's 20% of adults who cannot read. If you scored 50% on the ACT, then half of our nation's teens are smarter than you in terms of the material tested on.

Compared to others, you either measure up or measure down. If you measure up, then you look down; if you measure down, then you are looking up. 


The honor-shame hierarchy creates "haves" and "have nots," relative to a person's position on whatever honor-shame hierarchy we are considering. "Pride" looks down on others; "shame" looks up at others. In my experience many people are "pride-shame" people who are both looking down and looking up. For them, life is a ride on a never-ending roller coaster of emotions that simultaneously please and punish.

Hierarchization is the kingdom-of-darkness norm. For example, while I was in India traveling and speaking I discovered, firsthand, the brutal, hierarchizing caste system. Upper caste people are perceived as better people, having been better in their previous life, deserving greater favor, and promoted upwards on the honor-shame hierarchy in their current life. 


I was in several lower caste villages. One village leader in central India told me, "The government does not think of us." All the people in his village were lower caste. Their low social status was manifested in their impoverished social conditions. Not only were they economically poor, they were socially scorned. This is the double whammy of an honor-shame culture that hierarchizes people. While this may sound primitive, it's alive and well today in America..

We see it in the Bible, in the story of the blind man sitting outside the Temple. Jesus and his disciples leave the Temple area and see him. Jesus' disciples reason that, either he or his parents sinned, the man's blindness being due to someone's sin. 


Here's the double whammy: 1) the man is blind and cannot work but only beg; and 2) the man is morally and religiously unclean - he's a sinner that deserves to be blind. He is low, very low, on the totem pole. He's at the bottom of the pecking order, the deserving recipient of scorn. 

Jesus, in another one of his jaw-dropping a-cultural moments, tells his disciples that neither this man nor his parents are responsible for his blindness. Imagine the blind man hearing Jesus say this. Can it be true? At the moment he's still blind, but the comparative hierarchizing world of pride and shame is dissolving before his ears at the words of Jesus.

I'll never forget entering a village located on the Deccan Plateau in central India. There were 300-400 people in this village. There was no electricity, no running water, and tiny mud-brick houses. The entire village came out to greet me as I arrived in an all-terrain vehicle. They placed garlands of flowers around my neck, two men held umbrellas over my head to shade me from the sun, and I heard the sound of drums coming toward me. Three men slinging drums on their hips led as the parade began, with me as the center of attention. 


We processed to a small building that housed meetings of the local church. The room was packed, with people overflowing out the door and peeking through the windows. I was introduced, then spoke to them. Here was I, the rich white man from America, an "upper caste" person in the midst of lower caste no-name, nothing-people. 

I opened my Bible and read Galatians 3:28 - "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." I told them that Jesus came to remove the human-made caste system. They are free from being rank-ordered according to some honor-shame thing. God doesn't compare them with other people. Instead, God came down and rescued them from the hierarchizing world that enchains their hearts. Now, they are free to look only to God, who loves them and has come to make his home in them. (John 14:23)


In comparison with God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving, our knowledge, power, and love are, relatively speaking, nothing. In that regard we are all the same. Comparison with one another is, therefore, logical nonsense. That God loves you and me should cause us to wonder and worship Him, rather than compete and compare with other finite people. 


The realization that the honor-shame hierarchy does not even apply in the kingdom of God releases us from striving to measure up to other people. Personally, this has been, and remains, good news for me.

Look to God.

You are sons and daughters of God.
You are loved because of this relationship, not because of any intrinsic abilities you have, which are nothing in comparison to God.
Be free from spending time comparing yourself to other people.
Set your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith.

Pray to be free from comparison.


***
My two books are:


Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Preparing for the Invasion - #16 - Miracles Were Performed Through Jesus

Sunset over Lake Michigan


(C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, referred to the Incarnation as "The Great Invasion.")


"For general purposes used here, 
a 'miracle' may be defined as an extraordinary event with an unusual supernatural cause."

I have witnessed miracles. Here's one that happened with us at Redeemer, which Craig Keener records in his book Miracles, and Lee Strobel share in The Case for Miracles

Craig writes:

"In March 2006, after a spiritual retreat in Branson, Missouri, Carl [Cocherell] was checking the oil in his car when he stepped down and felt a sharp crack. Although he was a Vietnam veteran, he says that he had never felt such pain, and he fainted. X-rays in the emergency room in the Branson hospital revealed such a serious break of the ankle that after setting the break the orthopedist ordered him to stay overnight. During that night, though, Carl recounts that he experienced a voice from the Lord assuring him that his foot was not broken. After putting Carl's foot in a cast and warning that he would need months of therapy, the doctor referred him to his family physician.

Carl's wife drove them back to Michigan, and the next day his family doctor sent him to the hospital for some more X-rays. After receiving the X-rays, his doctor called him into the office and explained that there were no breaks, or even tissue indicating where the break had been. "You never had a broken ankle," the doctor explained. 


Carl pointed out the X-rays from Missouri. "That is a broken ankle," the doctor admitted. But now there was no sign that he had even had one, so the doctor removed the cast right away. 

Apart from the ankle being blue for a couple of days, Carl had no problem with it. At church that Sunday, where he used no crutches or other support, he testified how God healed him. Carl provided me with the radiology reports from before and after the healing supporting his claim."
- Keener, Miracles, 440

I'll add that Carl is especially sensitive to his feet, since he is a long-distance runner who has run the Boston Marathon. And, I have the radiology reports sitting next to me in my office at home.

Jesus performed miracles. "Scholars often note that miracles characterized Jesus's historical activity no less than his teaching and prophetic activities did. So central are miracle reports to the Gospels that one could remove them only if one regarded the Gospels as preserving barely any genuine information about Jesus. Indeed, it is estimated that more than 31 percent of the verses in Mark's Gospel involve miracles in some way, or some 40 percent of his narrative! Very few critics would deny the presence of any miracles in the earliest material about Jesus." (Ib., 23-24)

Western culture, influenced by David Hume's arguments and the Enlightenment, dismisses the possibility of miracles. Thomas Jefferson, architect of the "American Jesus," insisted that miracles "were an affront to the demands of reason and the laws of nature, and Jesus had performed not a one." (Stephen Prothero, American Jesus, p. 23). 


One of the innumerable strong points in Keener's book is a thorough debunking of Hume's argument against the possibility of miracles, thus clearing the way for their possibility and, in examples such as mine, their actuality. Miracles were performed through the Real Jesus. They were central, Kingdom-confirming signs and wonders. In my 47+ years as a Jesus-follower I have seen a number of miracles, which I have recorded in my journals, spoken publicly about, and written about.

Today, remember that all things are possible with God, as you connect with Christ. 


***
My two books are:


Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Tolstoy on Victimization and Self-Pity

Sadly, Nortel Lanes burned to the ground this week
- a great loss for our Monroe community.

All of us have been victimized. Someone has done something hurtful to us that we did not bring about or deserve. We've all had that experience, probably more than once. And, surely, we have victimized others. We have punished someone wrongly, with our words and actions.

There are true victims.

There are also people who hold on to their victimization. It becomes a badge of their identity. They are a victim. Call this a spirit of victimization. They don't get over it, and they won't get over it. Victimization has become an illness.

A spirit of victimization exudes self-pity. Tolstoy, in The Death of Ivan Ilych, describes the sickness of self-pity in exquisite detail: 

"What tormented Ivan Ilych most was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying but was simply ill, and he only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good would result… The awful, terrible act of his dying was, he could see, reduced by those about him to the level of a casual, unpleasant, and almost indecorous incident (as if someone entered a drawing room defusing an unpleasant odor) and this was done by that very decorum which he had served all his life long. He saw that no one felt for him, because no one even wished to grasp his position… [W]hat most tormented Ivan Ilych was that no one pitied him as he wished to be pitied. At certain moments after prolonged suffering he wished most of all (though he would have been ashamed to confess it) for someone to pity him as a sick child is pitied. He longed to be petted and comforted."” (Emphasis mine.)

In Luke 9:23 Jesus tells us, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Self-denial is necessary to take up the cross and follow Jesus. It needs to be happening every day.

Self-denial involves deconstruction of negative aspects of the self. These are things like self-love, self-hatred, and self-pity. All are forms of self-obsession. The more self-obsession, the less following of Jesus there will be. Following Jesus is in inverse proportion to self-obsession.


Self-pity is one of the more punishing forms of self-obsession. Self-pity cannot coexist with spiritual renewal and transformation. 


In one of my seminary classes I was talking about holding “pity parties,” when a pastor named Samuel from Ghana asked, “What do you mean by “pity party?”” I said, “Samuel, the next time I host one for myself I’ll invite you.” Unfortunately, I could write an essay on How To Host Your Next Pity Party.


To be self-pitying is to live life as a victim. While it’s true that sometimes we are victims, there is a spirit of victimization (self-deprivation) that is to be distinguished from the real thing. It looks like this: "Poor me! They are not treating me right - and after all I've done for them!" Such is the self-pitying, angry person. 



In this regard Henri Nouwen asks, "What else is anger but the response to the sense of being deprived? Much of my own anger comes from the fact that my self feels deprived."


When one chooses to express this anger by hosting a pity party, the self-obsession has begun.

Preparing for the Invasion - #15 - Jesus Mentored 12 Disciples

(C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, called the Incarnation "The Great Invasion.")

Anyone remember the game "Trivial Pursuit?" Christians came out with their own version, called "Bible Trivia." I played both these games. I was not good at either. For at least two reasons. 

First, I tend to be slow. When asked a question, I often ruminate on it. The dial in my brain gets set to 'slow cook', and my chin tilts slightly downward while being held in my hand. I am....    thinking....  about this....  question.


Secondly, I am not very good at remembering and memorizing Bible facts. Like:

Q: "Which of the two dreamers in prison with Joseph was executed?"

A: The "chief baker." (Gen. 40:22)

Fortunately, my status as a child of God does not depend on answering these kind of questions.

I've had difficulties naming Jesus' 12 disciples. I never took the time to memorize them. I do know that Jesus called twelve to follow him, told them to leave everything for the sake of his kingdom mission, and that none of them had graduate degrees.

I also know - and this is what really interests me - that Jesus "discipled" them, mentored them, to do the things he was doing. This is more important to understand than what their names were. New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham explains:

"By accompanying Jesus at all times, they were to learn from him how to continue his own mission: to heal and to exorcize, to bring the good news of the kingdom to the destitute and the outcasts." (Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction, p. 51)


(Pastors - instead of trying to attract people and grow a big church, mentor some disciples. Twelve would be enough.)

These twelve no-name Jesus-followers began to do what Jesus did. Jesus equipped them and gave them authority. He taught them to testify, proclaim, and demonstrate. He taught them to tell and show, show and tell.



When Jesus had called the Twelve together, 
he gave them power and authority 
to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 
and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God 
and to heal the sick... 
So they set out and went from village to village, 
proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. 
(Luke 9:1-2, 6) 

I may not remember the names of "the Twelve." I do remember what Jesus mentored them to do. This so impressed me that at Redeemer we changed our mission statement to read:


THE MISSION OF REDEEMER FELLOWSHIP CHURCH IS TO:
HEAL THE SICK
DELIVER THE OPPRESSED
RAISE THE DEAD
and
PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM

Jesus and his followers came to proclaim the good news, drive out demons, and heal people everywhere.


***
My two books are:



Friday, December 07, 2018

ARISE AND THRIVE! Women's Conference @ Redeemer - March 14-16, 2019


Churches Drunk on Earthly Power

Wildflower by our kitchen window.

 Richard Foster wrote a book called The Challenge of the Disciplined Life: Christian Reflections on Money, Sex, and Power. Tim Keller wrote Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters. John Piper wrote Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and PowerThe Big Three temptations in life are, arguably, money, sex, and power.

To quest after money, sex, and power is to desire the "world," as understood in Romans 12:1-2. Church leaders have done this, led their churches to follow, and in so doing have lost their way. Hence, the Consumer Church. The Entertainment Church. The Metricized Church. People-pleasing. Happy. The worship of Numbers.

I'm now reading The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus' Path of Power in a Church that has Abandoned It, by Jamin Coggin and Kyle Strobel. As the title indicates, their focus is on churches that have succumbed to earthly power, and how to walk in the power of Jesus.

When I began to read I found this book was delivering more than I expected. For example:

"In a culture drunk on power and in need of an intervention, the church has too often become an enabler. In many places, churches openly affirm the way from below. Instead of being told how desperately I am in need of God, I am repeatedly told how much God needs me. Instead of being exhorted to pick up my cross and follow Christ, I am told that Jesus wants to be my partner in the plan I have to rid my life of all struggles and challenges. We hear gospels of moralism, centering on my power to become a better person, and we hear sermons offering up God as merely another resource along my journey for successful and happy living. Sermons become pep talks amid a quest for power and significance. Instead of worship being an invitation to come before God in humble awe and reverence, worship becomes an experience meant to lift us above the travails of everyday life and give us a sense of transcendence. Instead of hearing God’s vision of redeeming all things in Christ by the power of his Holy Spirit, we hear of the pastor’s vision to grow an even bigger church that does bigger things so that he can be powerful and we can be powerful with him."  (pp. 14-15)


***
My two books are:



Preparing for the Invasion - #14 - The Method of Jesus


Playing backgammon in Jerusalem

(In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis referred to the Incarnation as "The Great Invasion.")

Several years ago, at Redeemer, we preached through the four Gospels chronologically. This took almost seven years! Then, we preached through the Pauline Epistles, 1 and 2 Peter, the book of James, Hebrews, and (for over one year) the book of Revelation.  

Verse by verse, bit by bit, brick by brick, we have been laying a foundation for our people, building a Jesus-literate house to live and move in.

Whenever I preach I expect God to do something. It wasn't always this way for me. I wasn't taught this. Now I expect the proclamation of God's Word to be accompanied by demonstrations of his love and power. 

Proclaim and demonstrate.  

If Jesus had a method, that was it. Jesus' words had authority. Jesus' actions validated that authority. (I do believe that God's Spirit does things in the hearts and minds of people as his Word is simply proclaimed. But it is instructive to note that, as Jesus' words had illocutionary power, Jesus also acted in demonstrations of power. Kind of like "tell and show.")

New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham writes: 

Jesus "saw the kingdom arriving in the sorts of things he was doing: bringing God’s healing and forgiveness into the lives of people he met, reaching out to those who were pushed to the margins of God’s people, gathering a community in which service would replace status. These are the sorts of things that happen when God rules."  (Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction, p. 38. Emphasis mine. This is a beautiful little book on the Real Jesus. Tolle lege!!!)

George Ladd writes: 

“Jesus’s ministry and announcement of the Good News of the Kingdom were characterized by healing, and most notably by the casting out of demons. He proclaimed the Good News of the Kingdom of God, and He demonstrated the Good News of the Kingdom of God by delivering men from the bondage of Satan.” (Ladd, Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in the Kingdom of God47. Emphasis mine.)

Pick up your Bible and read. Expect Jesus to demonstrate his love and power in your life today. 


***
See also Gordon Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study.

***
My two books are: