Thought much about the ascension of Jesus lately? Well if you haven't (or if you have), you would be encouraged and drawn to Christ to read Justin Buzzard's interview with Gerritt Scott Dawson, author of Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ's Continuing Incarnation. I'm looking forward to picking up this book and giving it a good read. Here's a sample from Justin's interview with Dawson (HT: Eucatastrophe):
"The gospel has always created the scandal of particularity. It offends our sense of autonomy and spiritual quest and even American egalitarianism to recognize that in this one particular man, Jesus, the eternal Son of God stood among us. Thus, God is like Jesus, and not another way. Jesus is Lord of all and I am not lord of my own life anymore.
"Now if you want to get away from the claiming, demanding pressure of that truth, you’ve got to get rid of the particularity of Jesus. You need to spiritualize the resurrection and the ascension. Let resurrection be about a principle of new life, the continuing influence of Jesus, but not something as scandalous as one dead man who got up.
"The ascension takes the scandal even further. Jesus held onto our humanity. He has taken it into heaven. The future of our humanity is bound up in what he has done with us. Where he goes is where we are meant to go. What he becomes is what we will become. All my soul quests, all my spirituality, all my wanting a god on my own terms gets blown away by the God-Man who is in heaven, still in my skin, still insisting that he is the one with whom we all have to deal.
"So, we sprititualize the ascension. We make it about how the idea of Jesus got made heavenly. But that is disastrous for us! Losing the ascension cuts us off from the present work of Christ as our priest and intercessor. It cuts us off from the power of our hope—that one day our feeble bodies will be like his glorious body. It cuts us off from the downward pressure of the imminent return of Jesus—the same Jesus who ascended will return as judge and king. When I forget that, I can lose hope in the future or I can think that my actions have no ultimate consequences, or that what we do in this world or to this earth is not really important."
In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, DG re-posts Piper's 21 Ways to Comfort Those Who Are Suffering.
Suzanne Hadley at Boundless The Line rethinks what it means to "guard your heart" in relationships. She says, "When we make the focus guarding our hearts against sin, not people, we risk being hurt. But when you consider the many ways God can be glorified in righteous vulnerability, it is a risk worth taking." (for more, see Lindy Keffer's "Guarding Your Heart... From What?")
The Unashamed Workman has a list of helpful questions for probing our hearts and removing the log from our own eyes.
Eric Simmons at New Attitude offers motivation: Here is something that should motivate you: Every time you pursue God, he is there with his presence, waiting for you.
A Steward of Secret Things asks if there might not be "An African Spurgeon?" in our midst. I don't know, but I'm going to check out some of Conrad Mbewe's preaching!