Forgiveness does not mean that sin…

Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that sin is eliminated—it means that the threat sin poses to man’s relationship to God is eliminated. There is all the difference in the world between being sinless and being forgiven!

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 163

The most reliable knowledge of God available…

The incarnation makes God tangible. It helps us think about God. It is quite astonishing how the question, ‘Is Christ divine?’ is discussed as if we had an excellent idea about what God was like, while Christ himself remained something of an enigma. But exactly the opposite is so obviously the case! Christ confronts us through the gospel narratives and through experience, whereas we have no clear vision of God. As John’s gospel reminds us: ‘No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has made him known’ (John 1:18). God is Christlike—in other words, we learn to think of God as we see him in Christ. For the Christian, it is Christ who provides us with the basis of the most reliable knowledge of God available.

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 109

Jesus acts as God and for God…

We are thus in a position to take the crucial step which underlies all Christian thinking on the incarnation—that, as Jesus acts as God and for God in every context of importance, we should conclude that, for all intents and purposes, Jesus is God.

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 96

Simply concentrate on the evidence…

The ‘principle of analogy’ is basically a useful tool for historical research—but Troeltsch has turned it into a dogmatic view of reality. In other words, Troeltsch is saying that because we have no present-day analogues of something, it simply can’t have happened in the first place. A unique event is therefore excluded from the outset, because it doesn’t have any parallels today. What Troeltsch is saying is that the resurrection can’t have happened, because dead men don’t rise. In other words, resurrections don’t happen, so the resurrection of Jesus can’t have happened. Continue reading

How can we know Christ more…

How can we know Christ more profoundly? One of the ways that I have found most helpful is to allow others to tell me of how they encountered Christ and the impact which he has had on their lives.

Alister McGrath

Who is this man whom Christians…

Who is this man through whom the Christian church has always claimed that she has forgiveness of sins? Who is this man whom Christians have worshipped as if he were God? What is so special about this man’s death that Christians celebrate it where mourning might seem more appropriate?

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 27

Jesus is the window onto the nature…

It is impossible for the Christian to talk about God, salvation, or worship without bringing Jesus into the discussion, whether explicitly or implicitly. For New Testament writers, Jesus is a window onto the nature, character, and purposes of God. Jesus is the ground of salvation. Since the time of the New Testament onwards, Christians have worshipped Jesus as the risen Lord and Savior of the world.

Alister McGrath, quoted in “An Answer to the Hypocrisy Excuse” by Kenneth Samples; an article for Sample’s Critical Thinking class

The appalling cost of forgiveness…

The appalling cost of forgiveness to God is shown in the cross. God does not simply say, ‘Never mind,’ to the sinner, pretending that sin never happened or that it is of no significance. We wouldn’t accept that concept of forgiveness for ourselves, so why should we force it on God? True forgiveness involves facing and recognizing the great pain and distress caused by the offence—a process for which the cross is perhaps the most powerful illustration known. The love of God for his people is expressed, not in a soft and sentimental way, but in the context of the seriousness of God’s hatred for sin.

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 109