“It is impossible to separate works from faith – yea, just as impossible as to separate burning and shining from fire.”
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Millions of people around the world have wrestled with this very issue. With everything that hangs in the balance, it’s easy to see why so many take the question so seriously.
Apparently, even Adolf Hitler had come to a conclusion on the matter.
Four pastors were in the habit of meeting together to discuss their beliefs, doctrine, and overall theology. For whatever reason, it was always three pastors in agreement against the fourth. One morning, after the usual 3-to-1 “majority rules” discussion, the odd pastor out decided he would appeal to a higher authority.
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Today’s Christian scholars spend large amounts of time trying to convince people that Jesus is divine. The Church uses sermon series, books, events, websites, and a host of other resources to focus on that important debate.
But as strange as it may sound to modern Christians, one of the church’s first major struggles was to convince the world that Jesus was actually human!
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Is Hell a literal place, and if so, what’s it like? Is it dark? Is it a place of torment? Does it last forever? Everyone from theologians to thespians to thugs has a theory on Hell. But if we want to move from assumptions to answers, maybe we should turn to the One who is responsible for it.
And famed writer Dorothy Sayers knows exactly who that is.
Karl Barth was born in the 19th Century, worked during most of the 20th Century, and gave rise to a theology that is still shaping the doctrines of the 21st Century. The quality of his lofty work impressed pastors and popes alike, and made him one of the most important theologians in history.
But he could also compress Christianity into a simple sentence understood by young children.