Category Archives: theology
For those who are interested, following is my article on “The Interrogatory Method of Jesus.”
C.S. Lewis wrote:
“In both [England and America] an essential part of the ordination exam ought to be a passage from some recognized theological work set for translation into vulgar English—just like doing Latin prose. Failure on this exam should mean failure on the whole exam. It is absolutely disgraceful that we expect missionaries to the Bantus to learn Bantu but never ask whether our missionaries to the Americans or English can speak American or English. Any fool can write learned language. The vernacular is the real test. If you can’t turn your faith into it, then either you don’t understand it or you don’t believe it.” (Published in The Christian Century, 31 December 1958, pp. 1006-1007.)
“To conclude — you must translate every bit of your Theology into the vernacular. This is very troublesome and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also of the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one’s own meaning.” (C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock)
In this series we will be examining the BELIEFS of the Lord Jesus. By “beliefs” we do not mean His opinions, His perspectives, or His thoughts about this or that. The term “belief” can mean those concepts, but the word can also refer to one’s firm conviction based on evidence. The beliefs of Jesus, the Son of God, were declarations of reality, incontrovertible, not open to debate (although many challenged His beliefs at every point).
The first critical issue we must discuss is His BELIEF about Himself. How did He view Himself? If He were to take a “selfie,” what would He see?
Several Scriptures give us strong clues as to His perception, belief, declaration of His own identity! The text that immediately comes to my mind is Mark 10:45 which says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This incredible declaration by the Lord Jesus indicates that He knew the purpose for which He came. As the Second Person of the Trinity He “came” into the world He created. Why does He say He did not come to be served? The immediate context of this statement shows the request of James and John to sit at Christ’s right hand in His glory (v. 37). Jesus questions whether they realize the cost they will incur in being His fully committed followers (v. 38), then tells them that those places of honor aren’t His to give out. The other disciples become indignant with James and John (probably because they were going to ask Jesus the same favor), and Jesus tells them that the one who would be great must be the servant of all. Then the Lord Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The key to greatness in the Kingdom of God is servanthood. But Jesus goes on to say, “. . . and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus’ self-identity involved coming to “give His life as a ransom for many.” He came to die. He came to be the ransom price to buy us out of our sins.
1. How might you show your servanthood today as you live for Jesus?
2. Don’t you imagine that a kidnapped person for whom the ransom has just been paid would be overjoyed, relieved, elated that he or she was now free? Do you feel any of those emotions with your salvation?