Jesus seems to be at a point in his ministry where he’s drawing both positive and negative attention. So after this very public calling out, he takes the men “indoors” and tests their faith privately by asking, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
A recent study found that children raised in religious homes are actually somewhat less altruistic and have more punitive tendencies than others without a strong influence of religion in the home. Is this accurate?
Part of our problem with certainty—and with its opposite, uncertainty—may be the way we roughly parallel them with faith and doubt.
Christians often talk about the need to avoid reductionism, especially scientific naturalism. But what about the opposite extreme—isn’t it dangerous also to focus too little on science, and let ourselves be shaped too much by superstition or ‘traditional’ beliefs?
Paul is telling us as plainly as he knows how that being a Christian does not ask anything of us, because God has already demanded everything of Christ. There is no way we need to act, no things we need to do, no commitment we need to live up to. Why not?
It sounds simplistic, but we cannot love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves if we don’t believe we are valuable, worthy of love and belonging, from God and from others.