Our Faith Begins…

lamentation

Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose that it must be at an end.

Our faith begins with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment, temptation, and doubt about everything that exists!  Our faith must be born where it is abandoned by all tangible reality; it must be born of nothingness, it must taste this nothingness and be given it to taste in a way that no philosophy of nihilism can imagine.”

H. J. Iwand quoted in Christian Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss” & Jurgen Moltmann’s “The Crucified God.”

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Luther on Psalm 51:3

Psalm 51:3  3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

“God is the God of the humble, the afflicted, and the poor who acknowledge that they are sinners and fear God in such a way that they hope still more in His mercy…  If, therefore, you acknowledge that you have sin, if you tremble, if you are troubled by a feeling of God’s wrath and by horror of God’s judgment and of hell, then have confidence.  You are the one with whom God wants to speak, to whom God wants to show His mercy, and whom God wants to save.”

LW Vol. 12 

 

Tullian Tchividjian on the Theology of the Cross

Really needed to hear the last part of this quote today, but I thought I’d quote it in context:

“In the church, one hallmark of a theology of glory is the unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of ongoing sin and lack of transformation in Christians.  A sign that you are operating with a theology of glory is when your faith feels like a fight against these realities instead of a resource for accepting them…

A theology of the cross, in contrast, understands the cross to be the ultimate statement of God’s involvement in this world on this side of heaven.  A theology of the cross accepts the difficult thing rather than immediately trying to change it or use it.  It looks directly into the pain, and ‘calls a thing what it is’ instead of calling evil good and good evil.  It identifies God as ‘hidden in [the] suffering.’  Luther actually took things one key step further.  He said that God was not only hidden in the suffering, but he was at work in our anxiety and doubt.  When you are at the end of your rope–when you no longer have hope within yourself–that is when you run to God for mercy.”

Tullian Tchividjian “Glorious Ruin

The Gospel in Suffering

“The good news of the gospel [for sufferers] is not an exhortation from above to ‘hang on at all costs,’ or ‘grin and bear it’ in the midst of hardship.  No, the good news is that God is hanging on to you, and in the end, when all is said and done, the power of God will triumph over every pain and loss.”

Tullian Tchividjian “Glorious Ruin

PS: Sorry couldn’t resist the Dawson’s Creek crying gif for this one…