On Thinking Like Christ, Part 2: Moving to the Dump

"Does it bother you when you’re rejected by people you care about? How much did it bother Jesus when he came to his own, and his own rejected him (Jn 1.11)? when a disciple of three years betrayed him with a kiss? when his own brothers didn’t believe in him (Jn 7.5)?" - Olinger

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Book Summary of Jesus the Dayspring: The Sunrise and the Visitation of Israel’s Messiah

Sheffield Phoenix New Testament Monographs, 43, 2021, 204 pp.

By David H. Wenkel, PhD

Messianic expectations in the first century were varied, but rarely did they include a figure associated with the sunrise or the direction of the east. However, in Luke’s gospel (1:78) the prophetic song (the ‘Benedictus’) of the priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, includes a title for Jesus that means the “dayspring,” “dawn,” or “rising sun” (“the sunrise shall visit us from on high” ESV).

Where did this title arise? How did some first century Jews come to this association of the sunrise with messianic expectations? This study argues that the best answer is that the Old Testament offered an antecedent theology and messianic vocabulary that contributed to this title and associated expectations.

The first chapter argues that the sunrise in the east functions as the direction from which God’s presence will arrive. In the book of Genesis, Old Testament scholars have recognized that there is an important directional theme in which God’s presence comes from the east. This nature of this arrival is ambiguous because it will bring his holy wrath as well as mercy. This chapter follows this directional theme of “hope from the east” in relation to the Genesis narratives of the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, and beyond. It explores how God’s presence is both gracious and terrifying, bringing mercy and justice in a post-Eden world.

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Christ Our Passover

Christians around the world will remember and celebrate the essence of the gospel this weekend — “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

We believe that the Apostle Paul’s inspired summary statement is true, and we are certain that these events actually happened in real history, providing the basis of our salvation.

Dr. Tim Sigler adds this succinct observation: “It is unmistakable that Jesus was crucified in connection with Passover.”1 As Paul states again, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7).2

When we delve deeply into the question of exactly when these events happened, however, and how they relate to the timing of Passover—details that are not included in the infallible text—we may be surprised to find the number of complications that lie between us and the answer.

Bible students have offered numerous explanations regarding the day on which Jesus died and the date on which that fell, among other issues. Of course, the year in which these events occurred will affect the dates—which tie to the relation between the events of Passion Week and the celebration of Passover.

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The Purposes of the Incarnation

(About this series).




The title of this meditation marks its limitation, and indicates its scope.

Here is no attempt at defense of the statement of the New Testament that “the Word was made flesh.” That is taken for granted as true.

Moreover, here is no attempt to explain the method of the Holy Mystery. That is recognized as Mystery: a fact revealed which is yet beyond human comprehension or explanation.

The scope is that of considering in broad outline the plain teaching of the New Testament as to the purposes of the Incarnation.

Its final limitation is that of its brevity. If, however, it serve to arouse a deeper sense of the wonder of the great central fact of our common Faith, and thus to inspire further meditation, its object will be gained.


The whole teaching of Holy Scripture places the Incarnation at the center of the methods of God with a sinning race.

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Why We’re Still Confronting the Same Christmas Heresy as St. Nick

"Saint Nicholas, a historical precursor figure for Santa Claus, is said to have attended the First Council of Nicea in A.D. 325... Additional legends assert Nicholas became so enraged by the comments of Arius, who taught Jesus was not equal to God the Father, he slapped Arius across the face." - Lifeway

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Most Americans, and Many Christians, Don’t Believe the Son of God Existed Before the Manger

"A new study from Lifeway Research finds close to 3 in 4 Americans believe Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. Even more say Jesus is the son of God the Father, but less than half believe Jesus existed prior to being born on that first Christmas." - CToday

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