Jesus vs. Generic God

Preaching and teaching our particular God

Shortly after September 11, a preacher told me about seeing a couple interviewed on TV. In great grief, they had just lost their beloved adult daughter on that terrible Tuesday. The reporter, perhaps trying to find a way to wrap up the conversation, said, "Well, er, I guess you'll be going to your place of worship this weekend to receive some consolation."

The mother replied, "No. You see, our religion teaches that we ought to forgive our enemies. And we are just not ready for that right now."

Now there was a woman who knew something of the perils of worshiping a God whose name is Trinity, who has come to us as a Jew from Nazareth named Jesus.

When lecturing on preaching to fellow pastors, I have sometimes told them, "Some of your homiletical failures are not your fault. Many of your failed sermons are due to Jesus. You have some tough material with which to work!"

In debates on campus, in order to put a point on this issue of divine particularity, I have said, "Christians don't believe in ...

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