Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Well, I have a paper topic for my Religious Studies class. Since we are studying 9-11 as a religious event, I thought of something like, "9-11 Memorialization as a Function of Sacramental Awareness." "Sacramental Awareness" is defined as the extent to which ordinary things are seen as divine, or reflections of the divine Presence. The book that I lifted the concept from is called Living from the Center. The author is not a Christian, in my estimation (Orthodox confessional Christianity, see Apostles' Creed) but he's trained in theology, so his knowledge is useful for thinking theologically and sacramentally.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I read the whole chapter for context, friends, and we're gonna have even more fun next week in Colossians 1.
Today begins our study in the letter of Paul to the Colossians. I'm using the English Standard Version, or ESV. I'll simply post whatever questions I have about the text right here. I'm wanting to avoid quotation as much as possible, as not to run afoul of those publishing rules. So, here we go, Colossians 1:1-14.

What is an apostle? Does it have anything to do with "by the will of God" in verse 1?

What is a saint? And if it is any believer, how come it says, "saints and faithful brothers" in verse 2?

What is grace?

Why is Paul thanking God for their faith? Why doesn't he thank the Colossians? I know the "right" answer, but isn't that thought-provoking?

What does in mean to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

What is the gospel? Why can we trust in Jesus?

Why do we love one another?

Why does Paul describe the gospel like a plant with fruit?

How are grace and truth related?

What did Epaphras do? And why is he a "servant"?

Why is the Spirit mentioned? What is He doing?

When it says, "with the knowledge of his will" (v. 9) what kind of knowledge is it, and how much can we know?

What is spiritual wisdom and understanding? Why is it important? What is the purpose? Or the end?

Why must we ask God to help us live in a manner pleasing to Him?

The Scripture mentions endurance, patience, and that God would strengthen us with all power. That is, His power. Why is this written here?

What is our inheritance?

I can't quite put this in question form, but it must have been a lot of power to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness into Christ's kingdom.

What is redemption, and the forgiveness of sins?