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Living Faith is a Christian blog that interacts with a variety of biblical, theological and practical topics written by Grand Canyon University's College of Theology faculty and specially invited guests of the college. Our content provides practical and biblical advice from a Christian worldview for living our faith in the midst of an increasingly secularized world. In addition, our content wrestles with cultural topics and issues that challenge how we live out our faith as believers. For this reason, contributors to our Christian blog strive to write with compassion and apologetic concern to honor Christ and edify the church in every way possible.
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Category: Theology Thursday
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By Steve Sherman
Faculty, College of Theology

For many of us, especially if committed to serving well in God’s kingdom work, potential or actual obsession with our station (i.e. occupational position) is a constant temptation. Cornelius Plantinga encourages controlling our work parameters wisely: “No matter what our primary occupation, we can’t let it become a preoccupation” (2002, 139). Our personal and communal lives ought to substantially exceed workplace limitations. Vocation is much broader than work, although the former includes the latter.

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By Matt Hampton
Faculty, College of Theology

There are a few passages that help bring things into perspective for every Christian. Romans 8:28 says, “and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” While John 14:27 says, “My peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (afraid).”

These words bring great joy to my heart, as my mom used to sing them as she played the piano when I was a kid. These words sing loudly to me when I am in a troubled position in my life or in a time of struggle. It is amazing how God brings joy in the midst of struggles when we are brought back to His words.

I recently saw a blacksmith work on an iron rod. As he heated the iron I reflected on these passages from Romans and the book of John.

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By Chip Lamca
Faculty, College of Theology

I sat at lunch with a distinguished looking man in his early 60’s. He, the seasoned and respected pastor of a church in the north hills of Pittsburgh, and I, the ironically titled 23-year-old “Senior Pastor” of a church in the south hills of the same city. I listened with interest as he told me about his family and his church, lessons he had learned in both the easy and difficult ways. I was shocked when he told me about the next big thing in his ministry: he was going back to school.

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By Joshua Greever
Faculty, College of Theology

Roughly 2000 years ago, a Jewish man named Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem. On either side of him two criminals shared his fate – a fate reserved only for criminals of the worst kind.

The significance of that day, a day commonly known now as “Good Friday” throughout Christendom, has been debated over the centuries following. For the early Christian church, the death of Jesus was interpreted as a sacrifice for sin that brought people salvation. For others, however, Jesus was deemed a sorcerer and simply got what he deserved (see the Jewish Talmud).

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By Todd Forrest
Faculty, College of Theology

Over 44,000 suicides in America every year (afsp.org), reveal that people are afraid of both life and death. Life can be a struggle, life can have pain, but there is also much pleasure, happiness and comfort in our lives. From a Christian perspective, there is an old song that echoes, “Jesus is the joy of living, He’s the dearest friend I know.” This strikes at the core of life’s value, relationships. It is not what we have or achieve in life that gives life light and color, it is the people with whom we live it. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) The Christian life is not a list of rules for the “do’s” and “do nots” of life, it is sharing life with our Creator and living in this relationship daily. It is a source of hope, comfort and purpose no matter what life throws at us.

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By Jason Hiles
Dean, College of Theology

The human heart is prone to long for heroes capable of leading their people out of difficulty and into prosperity. Unfortunately, storybooks aside, heroes are far and few between. By the time Jesus was born, the people of Israel had begun to long for a real-life hero they referred to as the Messiah (or the Christ). Their longing was informed to some degree by their prophets who wrote of a Messiah who would one day proclaim liberty to the oppressed and free people in bondage (e.g. Isaiah 61:1). But their hopes were also fueled by the circumstances of their day, their personal longings and desires and the religious leaders among them who shaped understandings about God and his people. As a result, expectations for the Messiah were deeply skewed by the time of Jesus’ arrival, which meant that Jesus would need to clarify what God expected of this real-life hero.

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By Eric Hernando
Faculty, College of Theology

We all have relatives who embarrass us, people in our family tree whom we are ashamed to admit we are related. Most of us try to hide the skeletons in our family tree. However, a look at the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1 shows Matthew does not hide the imperfect ancestors of Jesus. Rather the Bible deliberately draws attention to them, all for the purpose of making a theological point.

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By Steve Sherman
Faculty, College of Theology

A Christocentric view of work must be Christ-centered, based on the example, teaching and will of the Master craftsman. Jesus models for us (both in word and deed) joyful and obedient response to God’s call to kingdom work – as a carpenter first, then throughout his ministry.

Jesus recognized that the Father was always at work alongside his own labor (John 5:17). Christ likened doing the Father’s will and completing the work he was sent to do to being his very sustenance (John 4:34).

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By Brett Berger
Faculty, College of Theology

Four weeks and two Theology Thursdays ago, Jason Hiles wrote a post on Jesus’ call to love our enemies. In it, he described the costly and almost incomprehensible implications of loving as Jesus has commanded.

Love is a word that rolls easy off the tongue. Very few object to it as an idea or even as a command to follow. In fact, even the secular spheres of our culture repeat with exhortations to love. (As I write, I am sitting in an eatery called Waffle Love with a painting on the wall that reads, “All you need is love.”)

Though “love” is oft repeated, I find very few take the time to consider what it is. It seems like a question too simple to ask. However, simple questions like this often expose just how incomplete our understanding is.

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By Jason Hiles
Dean, College of Theology

History has not always been kind to Jesus, at least in terms of understanding who he actually is and grasping his significance. Many have conceived of Jesus as a great moral teacher which, although true, ignores much of what he said and did. Interestingly, during Jesus’ ministry he was emphatic about the importance of coming to terms with who he truly is.

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By Matt Hampton
Faculty, College of Theology

My two-year-old daughter and I recently had a race. We decided that we would race from the car to the front door of the building. My daughter was so excited and was giggling and smiling as she was out ahead of me and running as fast as her two-year-old legs would let her. She kept looking back to see where I was at and she would look ahead and then back again at me.

I was caught up in the moment and before I realized it she went face first into a tall pillar that was in front of the building. She was so concerned about looking back at me that she did not realize what was right in front of her. I rushed to her rescue and grabbed her into my arms and held her tightly. I felt absolutely terrible but I comforted her and showed her how much daddy loves her.

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