Archives for February 2007

It changes everything… (part 2)

The uniqueness of the resurrection

The Bible does not say that the resurrection of Jesus is an unusual event, or even a rare event. The resurrection of Jesus stands in history as an unique event, unmatched and unparalleled, before or since.

We do occasionally hear stories of people who have been raised from the dead, either by the miracle of modern science, or some other kind of miracle. Perhaps many of these stories are not true, but even if they were, this would not lessen the claim of Christ that his resurrection was unique. We could put it like this: there may have been many raisings from the dead, but there has only ever been one resurrection. (Of course, it’s a great exaggeration to say that ‘there have been many raisings from the dead’. But the Bible does give us a handful of occasions when it does happen, and it’s just possible it may even have occurred outside Scripture.)

How is the raising of someone like Lazarus different from the resurrection of Jesus Christ? When Lazarus was raised from the dead, his old life was returned to him. Miraculously his body had not decayed, but it was still his ordinary human, mortal, fallen body. Not so with Jesus. When he returned from the dead, he was different. He was still Jesus, but His body was no longer mortal; it was now immortal. He could enter locked rooms without need of doors or windows. He was not recognized by the travellers to Emmaus, yet he could still show his wounds to Thomas, and He could still eat fish with His friends.

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Articles in this series:

  1. It changes everything…
  2. It changes everything… (part 2) <-- This article

It changes everything…

Seven years ago a film was released about Jesus called The Miracle Maker. After seeing Jesus’ baptism, miracles, and parables, we’re taken to Gethsemane, Calvary and then the tomb. Once the tomb is shut, we see Mary Magdalene sitting on the floor, weeping inconsolably. As the camera pans away from her tear‑stained face, behind her is a man with his hand on her shoulder. Only his white robes and his sandals are visible, his face is yet to be revealed.

I’m sure you know who that man is. But when my wife watched that film in the cinema, there was at least one little girl who apparently did not know what was about to happen. As she watched the camera pull away from Mary, the man behind was revealed. The little girl could contain her excitement no longer: ‘Mum’, she shouted out for all the cinema to hear, ‘It’s him! He’s alive!’ That little girl discovered for the first time something that most of us have long forgotten. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is astonishing, and it changes everything.
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Articles in this series:

  1. It changes everything… <-- This article
  2. It changes everything… (part 2)

Reading is good for you!

How to run a church bookstallReading is good for you… and I don’t just mean reading blogs! But if you’re concerned about the spiritual well-being of other Christians, it’s important for you not just to read books, but to encourage other Christians to do the same. And one of the best ways of doing this is ensuring you have a bookstall at your church.

I believe every church should have a well-stocked bookstall for at least two reasons. The first is that God uses good books to change lives. Thousands of Christians can testify to that. Perhaps you’re one of them. The second reason is that the church is full of busy people. Too busy, sometimes, to drive into town and spend thirty minutes browsing through the hundreds of books in their local Christian bookshop, trying to find a book they hope will be helpful. Too busy for that – but no so busy they can’t spend five minutes after the morning service glancing through the thirty or so carefully selected books on their church bookstall.

Do you want to run a church bookstall? Here’s how you can do it.
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You are what you read

David Edelman decided to create a photo-mosaic of himself, using the bookcovers of all the books he owns (HT: Librarything). This was simply too good not to copy. Even better (given my recent resolution), thanks to LibraryThing, it took me less than five minutes.

So here is my version – not of myself, but of my favourite book (click for the full size):
Don't Waste Your Life

It’s generated using Librarything and AndreaMosaic.

Engadget as a great tutorial for AndreaMosaic. The explains how to use the software. But you’ll need all your book cover images first. Let me just show you the quickest way of getting your book cover images. [Read more…]