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Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

“Believe Us Or Burn in Hell!”—Why Unity is not about Policing Others

“Believe Us Or Burn in Hell!”—Why Unity is not about Policing Others

The Apostle John tells us that before Jesus was arrested he prayed the following words, part of a longer prayer: “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. (…) so that they may be brought to complete unity.” What has come of Jesus’ prayer?

The unity Jesus prays for is connected to both the unity that he and the Father have and to the task that is set before the believers (“Then the world will know that you sent me”). In theological parlance this means that unity is connected with the Trinitarian nature of God (that is, God as a trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit) as well as the mission of God, the so-called missio Dei in the world.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

After Easter: Jesus As the End of God

After Easter: Jesus As the End of God

The death of Jesus Christ has been an occasion for theologians and philosophers to speculate about the end of God. With Jesus’ death on the cross, God died and this is the end of God’s story. Jesus is the end of God. But then there is Easter. It is part of the narrative of Jesus Christ and as such cannot be ignored. Resurrection belongs to this narrative. Death of God theologians have trouble integrating this into their theologies.

However, even on the basis of the resurrection we ought to conclude that Jesus signals and acts out God’s end. Here is how this works. In this short piece, I will first side with the theologians and philosophers who have concluded that religion has ran its course and that after its demise, can only signal God’s end. Then, I will argue, that when we abandon self-constructed God-talk we open ourselves to understand the true meaning of God’s end. In Jesus, we find the true meaning of this end.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

My Struggle With Evangelicalism: From Inerrant Word to Subjugated World

My Struggle With Evangelicalism: From Inerrant Word to Subjugated World

In my previous post, I discussed my experience in evangelicalism and focused on four things that were instrumental in pushing me out. These four were: the hunger for power, the lack of freedom to ask questions, the inability to deal with suffering an lament, and the know-it-all attitude that places evangelical thought on a pedestal. These four things describe the environment as it was and why I started to feel more and more uneasy. They eventually became objections too.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

A Worldly Theology for Worldly Christians

A Worldly Theology for Worldly Christians

Theologians think about a lot of things. They think about God, the world, and also the God-world relationship. They call this theology. We theologians have turned this word theology into a verb: “theologizing,” or “doing theology.” This is because theology is an activity. It is the act of shaping the imagination about how the world and God are related and what this means for humanity, not just theoretically, philosophically, or theologically, but especially: practically and ethically. Theology is, together with philosophy, music, and art, about how we imagine and embody time and space.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

My Experience in Evangelicalism: Four Things that Pushed Me Out

My Experience in Evangelicalism: Four Things that Pushed Me Out

Leaving Evangelicalism wasn’t easy and it didn’t come overnight either. I come from a family of extremely dedicated evangelicals. My parents even started an evangelical home church in the second half of the sixties, turning their back on an increasingly liberal Reformed Church as they dedicated themselves to Billy Graham and his Gospel. I’ve deeply respected my parents and their faith and still do. I even became an ardent supporter of my Dad’s Church, eventually making it to assistant-pastor. The point is, I was an evangelical. Evangelicalism was all I knew from my earliest youth.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

Christ as the Absence of God

Christ as the Absence of God

What I’m going to write here may sound controversial to some. But it is necessary that I do this. Before I plunge ahead, I think it is important to state that a Christian theology cannot talk about God’s absence in Christ without bookending the Christ-event with incarnation and resurrection. If one wants to be a Christian theologian one simply has to do so, standing on the promise of God’s presence (Immanuel) and living in the hope of the last things of which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a harbinger. Yet, a genuine Christian theology that does justice to the existential realities of humanity, must also acknowledge the ambiguity of both promise of presence and hope of renewal. I believe, good theology will pause where others have often refused to tarry; it will linger where others have refrained to do so out of fear of the unknown.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

How Bonhoeffer Can Be an Ally for Trump Voters

How Bonhoeffer Can Be an Ally for Trump Voters

How Bonhoeffer can be an ally for Trump-voting evangelicals:
x Learning true courage
x Learning to understand the times; DB did not struggle against loss of political influence
x Learning to put one’s life danger willingly for the good
x Transformed hearts leads to serving the other in humility
x Christ as the center means following Christ: not culture war, but change/subversion from below
x Eschewing the attempt to establish God’s kingdom on earth
x Not waiting for the apocalypse but affirming embodied reality and the otherness of the other
x objectification of God