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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 Todd Forrest
Faculty, College of Theology

There are few things more enjoyable than a good Reese’s cup. The chocolate and peanut butter just make sense. Many things in our world just seem to fit together and make sense.

This seems to be, in a larger sense, the drive of mankind. How do I make sense out of this world? God planned for our world to make sense out of relationships. These relationships are both vertical (with God and man) and horizontal (with each other). This brings the richness of life that makes sense of the world. The simple words of Jesus, summing up all the commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)

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By Sammy Alfaro
Faculty, College of Theology 

The book of Job begins with a brief description of the man who will be the central character of the narrative. “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). From this short blurb on Job’s life, we learn a great deal about how he will respond when facing disaster. These italicized words are a window into Job’s worldview for through them we come to understand his basic mode of operation even when tested by suffering. Likewise, a tagline description of our own worldview should provide a quick sketch of how we might respond in the middle of the storm.

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By Anna Faith Smith
Associate Dean, College of Theology

Worldview is a strange topic in some ways. Human beings all have a worldview, but most often it is acquired and exercised with no intention or attention. Children are brought up under whatever circumstances their parents choose. They live where their parents choose. They go to the church their parents choose or do not go to church at all if that is their parent’s choice. They hear the political rhetoric their parents embrace. They have the number of siblings that are born into their family without their input. They learn from neighbors and teachers whom they did not choose. Despite these decisions that are made without their approval, the children’s worldview is being formed in that setting.

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By Jason Hiles
Dean, College of Theology 

I am pleased to announce the return of a popular series that has been on hiatus over the summer. Theology Thursday is back! Written by the dean and faculty of the College of Theology, this series is dedicated to faith and the Christian life. This year the series will focus on various aspects of the Christian worldview in order to provide insight into the ways Christians should think and live as they strive to follow Jesus day by day.

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By Jason Hiles
Dean, College of Theology 

Imagine a world in which everyone lives and loves as Jesus did. It would be absolutely incredible to inhabit a world in which people truly loved and cared for one another.

Unfortunately, that is simply not true of the world we live in. Much like people in our day, the crowds Jesus taught were fascinated by his ideas but few were moved to action by his teaching. Fewer still were willing to commit to his way of life. This came as no surprise to Christ because he knows what is in the human heart (John 2:25). Indeed, Jesus often concluded his teaching with an intriguing phrase that bears close examination: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

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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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