In the last few months, I have been reading about the first Ecumenical Councils of the church in the 4th and 5th Centuries. It was at these councils that the nature of Jesus was clearly defined for all of Christendom. Many of the misunderstandings about Jesus that survive today were addressed by these councils.
Did God leave all mankind to die in sin and misery?
We like to think of ourselves as free moral agents with the ability to control our own destinies. We don’t want to have anyone tell us what we can or can’t do. We are taught that such freedom is our birthright and no-one should be able to take this away from us.
What is the misery of man’s fallen condition?
But those of us who are in Christ and have accepted his provision for us have had that guilt removed. We are no longer under condemnation (see Romans 8:1). We can begin to rise above the misery of this life and experience joy in our relationship with God.
Inward vs. Outward Focus
Churches can have an inward focus (all about nurturing the members) and/or an outward focus (all about reaching those outside the church). It is my belief that in a healthy church, these two should both be present. I have been to churches that were so focused on body life that they became ingrown and unfriendly to outsiders. […]
What is sinful about man’s fallen condition?
Malcolm Muggeridge has written, “The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.” One does not have to work very hard to find evidence that something is very broken in the world. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that there is something very broken inside of us.
What happened to man in the fall?
You might take issue with the idea of the fall of man as recorded in the book of Genesis. You might not attribute the state of man to sin, but you would have to work very hard to avoid the evidence that man is prone to misery.