Charis

GRACE: Grace In The Garden by Preston Sprinkle

February 28, 2019

From: Charis If Genesis 1 emphasizes the transcendence of God, then Genesis 2 (specifically, 2:4-25) highlights the intimacy of God. Transcendence and intimacy.  We need both. The two chapters reveal different aspects of God’s character.  God is far beyond us, (Genesis 1), yet very near, (Genesis 2).  God is our King, (Genesis 1), but also our Friend, (Genesis 2).  God is infinitely powerful, (Genesis 1), yet intimately personal, (Genesis 2).  Genesis 1 shows off God’s raw power.  Genesis 2 showcases God’s Earthy affection.  Here’s how. First, notice the different names for God in Genesis 1–2.  Throughout Genesis 1, the English word “God” translates the Hebrew term Elohim.  Thirty-five times, in fact, Moses writes [...]

GRACE: Cracked Mirrors by Preston Sprinkle

February 21, 2019

From: Charis After God showcases his transcendent power by speaking one hundred billion galaxies into existence, he says that the crown of his creation – the most majestic display of beauty and wisdom and power – is you. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God bless them.  And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the Earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28) You and I reflect God.  When we look at people, or when they look at us, we see a reflection of the God of Genesis 1.  We are created in his image.  And [...]

GRACE: Creator by Preston Sprinkle

February 14, 2019

From: Charis Transcendence Genesis 1–2 explodes out of the gate with an awe-inspiring account of creation.  God fashions the sky, forges the Earth, forms Adam and Eve, and breathes cosmic firestorms into existence.  Both chapters ripple with action and drip with intimacy.  Most of all, Genesis 1–2 pulls back the curtain and reveals the main subject of the Bible.  These chapters are fundamentally about God. God is preeminent.  God is ultimate.  God is the main subject of Genesis 1–2 because God is the main subject of the entire Bible.  I love how Rick Warren began his bestselling book, The Purpose Drive Life.  “It’s not about you,” Rich said.  “It all starts with God.”  And Moses, the author of Genesis, agrees.  [...]

GRACE: You Can’t Make God Love You by Preston Sprinkle

February 7, 2019

From: Charis There are many Christians in the church trying to make God love them.  They spend their lives doing, serving, witnessing, fasting, judging, performing, and feeling the unbearable weight of condemnation when they fail at these things.  They are Charis-less Christians who atone for their sin by grinding out good works from a checklist.  Such was the life of my friend Brad Sarian. Brad was, in his own words, a modern-day Pharisee.  He grew up in the church, read the Bible, prayed every day, shunned the very appearance of evil, and had near-perfect church attendance.  When his Christian schoolteacher asked the class on Monday how many went to church, Brad shot up his hand like clockwork.  “Yes, ma’am, I went to church [...]

GRACE: Unleashed by Preston Sprinkle

January 31, 2019

From: Charis But grace has no leash.  It’s untamed, unbound, and runs wild and free.  Was Dahmer’s conversion genuine?  If we go on evidence rather than skin-deep religiosity, then, yes.  But the church’s response to Dahmer’s conversion is telling.  The doubt hurled at Dahmer’s conversion gives off the foul odor of spoiled grace that’s been sitting in church too long.  Many Christians believe that rebels like Dahmer are unworthy of the fatted calf; they’re appalled at the thought of our Father running after them.  We’ve got to have some sort of balance – grace and justice.  We need to keep grace under control.  When it snaps our leash and runs loose, we get nervous. In many ways, the word grace has lost its [...]

GRACE: Jesus Loves Cannibals by Preston Sprinkle

January 17, 2019

From: Charis God’s scandalous grace invaded Portage, Wisconsin, with unwelcomed splendor in April 1994.  It sailed past several churches and seminaries and targeted a criminal serving multiple life sentences in the Columbia Correctional Institution.  It’s not uncommon for thieves and murderers in prison to encounter God’s grace, but this day was different.  The villain who attracted God’s love was a man who had killed, had sex with, dismembered, and eaten portions of (in that order) seventeen young men.  Reviled as the epitome of human depravity – is human a fitting term? – Jeffrey Dahmer turned heads and stomachs with his imaginative acts of necrophilia and cannibalism. His vile behavior elicited a nauseating response when [...]

GRACE: Charis, Preface by Preston Sprinkle

January 10, 2019

From: Charis Seriously?  Another book on grace? Trust me, this one will be different.  I promise you. This book stems from half a dozen years of teaching the Old Testament in a college setting.  You might think this would produce a book about judgment, perhaps a book on hell, but no way.  The Old Testament is all about grace.  I tell my students that the reason we don’t offer a course on grace is because we already offer several courses on the Old Testament.  A class on grace would be redundant, superfluous, a swift kick to an already dead horse. The Old Testament is a kaleidoscope of grace.  And this book will admire its beauty.  Genesis, Exodus, even Judges and Kings – they’re all greedy to be read by tired Christians [...]