How can we pray like Jesus in Luke 11?


The Sunday lectionary readings for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity in Year C continue through Luke’s gospel, and we now reach Luke 11.1–13 and Jesus’ teaching on prayer. In reading this, we need to be alert to the fact that both the lectionary divisions and the chapter divisions in our Bibles (which are not part of the NT text but were added by Archbishop Stephen Langton in the 13th century) can mislead us into thinking that each of these sections are isolated units, when in fact they include numerous connections with what has gone before. One interesting way to read these together is to take them as something of a manual of discipleship, comprising:


The section begins ‘And it happened that‘, in the AV ‘And it came to pass that…’ and in modern versions ‘One day…’, all translating the Greek phrase Καὶ ἐγένετο. This is, as we have previously seen, a general statement by Luke locating this at some unspecified point in the model journey that Jesus has embarked on as he heads to the climax of his ministry in Jerusalem. He is in a ‘certain place’ just as previously he had approached a ‘certain village’ (Luke 10.38). And as, in the previous episode, Mary had modelled discipleship by her attention to one thing, which is attending to her one Lord, Jesus now exemplifies this in also being focussed on the One in prayer.

But Jesus’ attention to his Father is not something that he hid from his disciples; instead he showed them and shared with them. It is striking here that the term ‘disciple’ is not one of mere status or association; Luke is clear that these people are those who are genuinely concerned to learn from Jesus, as the term indicates (mathetes related to the cognate manthano ‘to learn’). Following Jesus on the way also involves being ready to learn from him and change as a result.

It appears as though John’s distinctive ministry gathered around him a distinctive community, whose particular practices (including fasting ‘often’, Luke 5.33) set them apart from other groups in first-century Judaism, and Jesus’ disciples wanted similarly to be distinctive. It is striking that, for Luke, a key distinctive marker was that they should pray, and this becomes a notable theme in his second book. As I have previously noted:

Prayer is a dominant and recurrent theme, particularly in the first half of Acts. Prayer or praying is mentioned 33 times in Acts; the majority, 23 occurrences, come in the first half and only ten feature in the second half, of which only six of these actually describe people praying. (It is as if, having made his point in the first half, Luke stops worrying about reporting prayer in the second half!) Quite often, we are simply told that someone prayed, but we are not necessarily told what they prayed—the words they used—whereas in the gospels we are usually told what the words are.

Addressing God as ‘father’ was not unknown in Judaism, and it has its roots in the Old Testament in verses like

Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?’ (Deut 32.6) and

But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name’ (Is 63.16).

But it was not a central feature, and it is absent from the Jewish Kaddish and the Eighteen Benedictions, which do have other themes in common with the Lord’s prayer, such as the longing for God to establish his kingdom. This distinctive approach of Jesus was so notable that Paul continues to refer to it, even including Jesus’ own Aramaic words of address to God, in Romans 8.15:

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

The close association here between the address of God as Father and the work of the Holy Spirit has already been expressed in the previous chapter. Jesus, ‘full of joy through the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 10.21) addresses God as Father, and rejoices in God’s revelation of himself. Specifically, we can only know him as father through divine revelation; it is not something we can simply work out for ourselves.

Luke also explicitly connects the work of the Spirit with the coming of the kingdom of God. This has already been anticipated in the words of Simeon in Luke 2.25–32, where the Spirit has revealed to him the hope of the restoration of Israel in the person of Jesus. And it is picked up at the beginning of Acts, where the disciples question about the kingdom (Acts 1.6) is answered with the promise of the sending of the Spirit (Acts 1.8). Thus the themes of the fatherhood of God, the coming of the kingdom, and the work of the Spirit are inextricably linked. The Spirit brings the presence of the kingdom in which we are adopted as children of our heavenly Father.

If the fatherhood of God was a minor theme in Judaism, the question of the nature of fatherhood loomed large in the Roman imperial context of Luke’s audience. The father of the household’s primary quality was that of having absolute authority over the members of the household, including in some circumstances the power over life and death. It was the father who decided whether a new-born should be kept or abandoned to exposure. By contrast, Luke portrays God as a father who is full of compassion and mercy.


The poetic form of the prayer still has the key structural elements of the longer version in Matt 6; the two petitions have the same pattern of four words as the three petitions in the longer version, and thus tie the honouring of God’s name with the coming of God’s kingdom. When we treat ‘Hallowed by your name’ as an extension of our address to God, we miss the point; ‘May your name be honoured’ functions as a parallel to ‘May your kingdom come, [may your will be done].’ We often pray it in this way:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name:
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven…

But we should pray it in this way:

Our Father in heaven:
Your name be hallowed,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven…

We detach the acknowledgement of God, make that something personal that we do; but the prayer that Jesus taught makes the acknowledgement of God’s name one of the three petitions, and does not separate it from the other two. We long that people should encounter the kingdom, and that God’s will be done in their lives—and that they should come to know and worship God themselves.

The sense of anticipation of the coming kingdom is something that has marked the early chapters of Luke, with numerous characters full of expectation of the new thing God is about to do amongst his people. They are not, however, portrayed as passive observers, but active participants getting themselves ready for this new thing. We should therefore see Luke as understanding that these first petitions require our action as well as our expectation; we honour God ourselves, and we participate in the work of the Spirit which marks the presence of the kingdom in our midst (Luke 11.20), just as we actively participate in the kingdom dynamic of the giving and receiving of forgiveness.

In Luke, ‘testing’ (πειρασμός) is associated consistently with opposition and the pressure that results from faithful discipleship; this prayer becomes especially pertinent in the opposition that is experienced throughout Acts.


Whereas in Matthew, Jesus’ teaching about the Lord’s Prayer finds its place in Jesus’ teaching about other aspects of personal discipline, Luke here links it with further teaching on asking God for things. The two stories that follow (asking a neighbour for bread, and a son’s request to his father) are clearly linked to the teaching on the Lord’s prayer—the first through the repetition of the term ‘bread’, the second through the link with the language of fatherhood, and both through the repetition of ‘asking’ as a virtual synonym for ‘prayer’.

Both episodes make use of the principle of ‘how much more’, the first implicitly, and the second explicitly. The motif of friendship (indicated by the fourfold repetition of the term ‘friend’ in the first story) is an idea not discussed in Judaism, but prominent in debate amongst pagan philosophers. Friends can be superior, inferior, or equal, but they are bound together by concepts of honour and obligation. Friends will, because of honour, reluctantly be obliged to assist a neighbour—how much more will our generous Father in heaven respond to our request. Luke’s depiction of the story is quite ordinary and practical, and assumes the realities of everyday life: three loaves is what is needed for a modest meal and has no symbolic significance; the friend mentions that he ‘and my children’ are asleep, reflecting the usual first-century situation of a family living together in a single room (compare Luke 8.16 ‘a light on a stand is seen by all who enter a house’); and the neighbour is close by in a context where these small, one-room houses are built cheek by jowl next to one another. Again, there is no particular symbolic significance to the egg and the scorpion, despite both speculation and postulations about textual revision; eggs are a common part of the diet, and scorpions common in that part of the world, as I once found when camping on a beach in the open air and discovered a small scorpion in my sleeping bag.

If the concern in first response to the disciples’ question is the ‘technology of prayer’ (‘what should we say?’), the concern in the second half shifts decisively the the character of God (‘to whom do we pray?’). What matters above all is understanding the nature of the one to whom we pray—a loving and concerned father, not a sleeping and indifferent god, one who is concerned with our needs, and is more than willing to pour out his Spirit upon us.


We are urged to pray, since Jesus is the model pray-er, our Father is a loving responder to our prayer, the Spirit is poured out to assist and empower us; because to be a disciple is to be one who follows and learns from Jesus’ example ‘on the way’, and because we long, like all other disciples, to see God’s kingdom come, both realised now in our world and in the future when Jesus returns.


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26 thoughts on “How can we pray like Jesus in Luke 11?”

  1. Thanks Ian. A helpful reminder of these verses on prayer.

    I know it’s a bit of a cliche but I find praying one of the hardest things in the Christian life. In part my underlying depressive disorder contributes to it. I use the Lord’s Prayer as a kind of structure to my own prayer. It has the effect of reminding me to structure my life around God’s priorities something that although good is not always welcome.

    Thy kingdom come… leads me into praying about evangelism and often feeling I should do more while also feeling I don’t have the emotional energy.

    Praying for the advent of the kingdom reminds me to pray for world leaders and Christians in distress through persecution. I find both of these emotionally demanding. It seems as if world leaders in so many places are opposed in principle to Christianity and the list of countries where Christian’s are suffering for their faith is growing. The effect can be enervating. I find I need to inject a strong reminder that God and Christ are ruling. In this world.

    You get the idea. The list of peers who are unwell with serious illnesses that require prayer grows (I’m in my later 60’s).

    I’m thankful for the later sections that allow me to focus on personal weakness and divine provision… give us this day our day bread and deliver us from evil etc.

    I wonder if others struggle with prayer in these ways and have ways of managing the often raw realities that prayer throws up.

    Reply
    • John, it is a strange thing participating in the discussions at this website. I know I have *some* very different views to yours, but we are all still made by God, and God still longs for us to give ourselves in prayer, in life. I feel moved at your honesty here about well-being, I forgive me for daring to, but – however different I am – I want to say that I find you inspiring, and read you as gentle-spirited, and very devoted and loyal to God. And however many times we fail, I believe God loves that, treasures that, knows that.

      On prayer, I’m only one person speaking about it, and many would be wiser I expect. The flesh so often resists the call to prayer, and besides, it can seem quite a thing. Often, starting is the thing – we probably have our own ways.

      I find it best to start by meeting with God, in ‘gaze’. I know God’s there, I know God cares, I know God is so loving… so I gaze, and I know in faith that God gazes back, like an exchange of love and devotion. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you are sharing, in gaze, in presence, in tenderness with the eternal God-who-is-there.

      That’s how I start, in quietness and zero requests. ‘In quietness and trust’ as the Bible says. Or… ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

      Then I quietly recite the ‘Come let us worship and bow down and kneel before the Lord our God, our maker etc. I pray to enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and I pray to be thankful, for God is gracious, God’s mercy is everlasting, God’s love endures from generation to generation.’

      So I am verbalising the coming into worship, and acknowledging the good things of God. I reflect on God’s holiness. And, in convent tradition, I repeat ‘Come let us worship’.

      After that I repeat ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us’ three times, very slowly and reflectively. The first time I try to be mindful of a pitiful need. The second time I acknowledge my own need and moral poverty, knowing that I am dressed in rags. The third time I try to bring to mind some other person or group in pitiful need, and the needs of the world. I often focus in this section on the community my daughter serves in Uganda. But it can be local.

      Only after this lead in, I may start to make prayer requests to God.

      But to me, quietness of spirit, between God an myself, is what I seek and find most helpful. The knowledge of God’s love.

      We all have different temperaments and ways of prayer I expect, so I’m only offering the above as one kind of method to move from ‘flesh resistance’ to ‘confidence in God to make requests’. I try hard not to pray long lists. Again and again, I return to the ‘gaze’ because then I get ‘trust’ that God really hears what I say.

      Not developing it further, but the ‘gaze’ is part of my contemplative tradition. This tradition reassures, when we don’t feel much… that actually, even if we feel like we’re peering through a cloud between God and us, yet actually, over time that trains us in love and trust: “I can’t see you, but I believe you are there and I love you, and more importantly, I know you give deep love, even in my own ‘unknowing’. It builds a kind of love relationship of trust, I think.

      Honestly, at it’s heart – as Jesus shows us in this passage – prayer is usually best framed in quietness and trust, and in simplicity.

      Just to say, I admire your givenness to God, and the grace of God I see in you, which is almost a sort of humility, and certainly a kindness. I give thanks to God for you, and your clear devotion over time, and anything I say probably trails off because I seem problematic, but the rest is God’s anyway. I pray you always know that tender love of God, sometimes carrying you, always knowing and caring about you. No reply sought or needed.

      Reply
      • Susannah, thank you for a full and thoughtful response to my question. Yes we are widely apart in some very important things yet you express points I do need to build into prayer. I fear my learning – the cross from theory to practice in some of these areas is not what it should be. But there, at the end of the previous sentence lies part of my problem – I express so much in terms of ‘oughts’.

        We imagine a little who we are speaking to. My mental image of you, in temperament at least is Cate MacGregor, the Australian cricketer and transgender. That is intended as a compliment.

        Reply
        • John,
          I share many of your thoughts about prayer. I find the the Anglican Book of |Common Prayer helpful sometimes in expressing how I pray. Its language is succinct, to the point and says what needs to be said.

          Reply
    • Sometimes I find that words are not necessary to pray. Just an acknowledgment that God reads and knows the intents and desires of the heart.

      It’s all too easy to lapse in to a ‘shopping list’.

      Reply
  2. Jesus, ‘full of joy through the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 10.21) addresses God as Father, and rejoices in God’s revelation of himself.
    Unfortunately, the text has been altered by some uninspired Trinitarian. The better reading (as in the KJV) is “In that [same] hour Jesus rejoiced in [his] spirit, and said …”. The relevant Greek, πνεύματι, has no explicit ‘in the’, nor ‘Holy’.

    Why is it better? Not only because it has better attestation, but because Jesus is here rejoicing in his own spirit – he did not need the Holy Spirit in order to rejoice. He himself was rejoicing. Contrast ἐν τῷ πνεύματι in Luke 4:1, where it is the (Holy) Spirit of God who leads him.

    Reply
  3. 1 A great article.

    2 Hello John – a great booklet on prayer is, Enjoy your Prayer Life, by Michael Reeves although the title itself may be a challenge.
    Like Ian’s article the focus is on God and our relationship with him, not as Chris points out, coming with a shopping list.

    3 While pointing out that prayer is the chief exercise of faith (Calvin!) which indicts us with a response of, how faithless I am and reveals how much we want communion with him and how much we really depend on God, how much we actually love God, but not about our security as an unrejectable child of God.

    4 But everything, the world, the flesh conspires against prayer. And as a sinner, we are naturally inclined against prayer. We are all simmers.
    And we know that the friend of sinners is Jesus.

    5 But prayer and scripture are often put together.
    Our church midweek groups are looking at Paul’s prayers in scripture, as does DA Carson in his book *A Call to Spiritual Reformation- Priorities from Paul and his prayers*

    6 Praying like Jesus. Reeves again;
    “Jesus prayers are not just significant because he is praying on earth as the model human.
    No, he is showing who, eternally, he is…The Son always depends on his Father; that is who he eternally is. For him everything flows from his communion with his Father.
    And so for eternity he has enjoyed communion with him and prayed to him.

    “…So then the Son is the first pray-er. And the salvation he brings is a sharing of his own communion with his Father.

    “Prayer is learning to enjoy what Jesus has always enjoyed.”

    7 Praying to God as Father, Luke 11
    “The first name Jesus would have pray-ers know is the name Father… It transforms prayer…it is as incense, a pleasing aroma to him…
    Praying is enjoying and pleading for friendship and friendly assistance of God Luke 11:5.
    And to persevere…. (Why?)…the God of fellowship wants fellowship with us…

    “If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.” (JI Packer)

    “…prayer is appreciation of what you *have been given*/

    8 “It may be that your heart is cold, your love is weak, and your prayers are shabby, but what matters is that, united to Christ and in him, you are a cherished son- and your Father delights to hear you.
    “Of course, with any other god we’d have to come in the strength of our own fervour; with this god we come in his.

    “We pray as it were through Jesus’ mouth (Calvin). The Father has always longed to hear the prayers of his dear Son – and we pray in his name.
    “The Son gives us his name to pray in so that we pray *as him.*

    9 “That relationship between the Father and Son is what we have been brought in to enjoy – and in prayer that is what we do.

    10 “So, once again prayer is exercising faith – believing God’s almost incredible promise that we can come to him, even though our coldness and guilt screams otherwise.

    11 “Of course, we have a personal relationship with the Son and the Spirit. But normal Christian prayer is something richer and juicier: we join in with the fellowship of God as Father, Son and Spirit are already enjoying it. We are brought into that communion.

    Reeves goes on to briefly consider the Spirit in prayer, including making us Christ-like as we pray and to help us in prayer.
    ……….

    12 ” When you default to thinking of prayer as an abstract activity, a *thing to do* the tendancy is to focus on prayer as an activity. Instead focus on the one to whom you are praying.

    13 We may “need a new sight of the glory of Christ to reawaken faith. Might it be that, deep down, you you struggle to believe this truly if the Lord’s world? Have a think, but reflect and be encouraged by one of the Psalms.
    Psalm 145: 14-18

    14 Communal prayer; the Spirit is a Spirit of fellowship… “the Christian life in a nutshell.”
    Michael Reeves -Enjoying your prayer life.

    Reply
  4. Geoff

    Thank you for fully addressing my question. I will read it over a few times. It;s some years since I read Carson’s book on spiritual reformation. I thoroughly enjoyed it though how much I have built into my life is a different matter. I do have a kind of ‘to do’ approach to prayer. Thanks again for a strenuous effort.

    Reply
    • John,
      While not on prayer, you may be encouraged this week by Alasdair Begg’s preaching/ teaching this week at the Keswick Convention. It is live streamed at 11:15 am. Today’s, I found encouraging. He’s of our vintage, as you’ll be aware.

      Reply
  5. Jesus assumes that prayer is to the Father. But after the resurrection, disciples learn that it is also permissible to address the Son, who has the name of the Father, because he perfectly represents him and to know one is to know the other. The godhead has one Name, and it is his (e.g. Matt 28:19). Properly used and understood, it has great power.

    Whereas in Matthew, Jesus’ teaching about the Lord’s Prayer finds its place in Jesus’ teaching about other aspects of personal discipline, Luke here links it with further teaching on asking God for things. The two stories that follow (asking a neighbour for bread, and a son’s request to his father) are clearly linked to the teaching on the Lord’s prayer.
    As regards Luke, this is true, but it applies equally to Matthew. After the model prayer, Jesus goes on to talk about prioritising the kingdom (Matt 6:20, 24, also 6:33), about how he does not mean perishable food (Matt 6:25) when referring to ‘bread’ (the needs of the body one does not need to pray for, Matt 6:31f), and about not judging lest God judge us – the same reciprocity principle as in Matt 6:12 and 7:12. Luke’s version of Matt 7:9-11 is complementary in removing the ambiguity by making it clear that the good things we should seek and ask for are the good things that come from the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). ‘Loaves’, ‘fish’ and ‘egg’ are therefore not to be understood as examples of what to pray for. Prayer is emphatically not about presenting a shopping list of things for ourselves, but about the kingdom of heaven coming to earth, about desiring and entering the will of the Father.

    The better texts do not omit “but deliver us from the Evil One” in Luke 11:4. Contrariwise, they do omit, in both Matthew and Luke, the doxology “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Amen.” That is more empty ritual (Matt 6:7).

    Reply
    • ‘The godhead has one Name, and it is his (e.g. Matt 28:19)’. I don’t think that is true at all, and that verse doesn’t say so. They are to baptise into a triunity of names—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

      Whilst Paul also see identity between the names of God and of Jesus eg in Phil 2.9, he still sees God and Jesus as distinct, eg in 1 Cor 8.6.

      ‘That is mere empty ritual’. It is no such thing. It is not part of the prayer that Jesus taught. But to declare that the kingdom is God’s, and not ours, and that the means to it (the power) and the end of it (the glory) belong to him is non-trivial.

      Reply
      • Agreed. Evil should never be afforded the last word, so it is more than appropriate that the reference to evil is powerfully countered by the reassertion of God’s sovereignty, and overwhelming power, and the shining glory. It is so powerful, and reminds us:

        ‘The light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never overwhelmed it.’

        ‘Overwhelming victory is ours, through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.’

        ‘When the Spirit comes, you will receive power.’

        Yes.

        For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory.

        Forever.

        Last word to our God.

        Reply
      • Ian. Of course, the truth that the kingdom is God’s and that the means to it (the power) and the end of it (the glory) belong to him is non-trivial. But that is precisely what gets triviliased by rote repetition. Indeed, the so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer’ should not be repeated week in week out as a set prayer at all. It was intended as a model. Repetition just breeds familiarity, and familiarity bleaches the words to the point where the persons praying do not think about what they are saying at all. In general, prayer should be personal and from the heart. There are many prayers in Acts and the letters, but the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is not one of them.

        And of course Paul sees God and Jesus as distinct. Where did I suggest otherwise? But the Father – who had a personal name in Old Testament times – has no name (but you think you know of one in the NT, do say), and the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God, has no name (but again, say if you know of one). There is only one name in or by which we are saved and that is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). I therefore stand by my comment. Neither Matt 28:19 nor Acts 4:12, nor Phil 2:9, speak of a ‘triunity of names’. That is your eisegetical – and in my view nonsensical – reading of what the text does not say.

        Reply
          • The Spirit makes that clear, confirmed by the whole spirit of Christianity as a way to a personal knowledge and appropriation of God. Jesus says: “Pray in this way” (Matt 6:9), and do not βατταλογήσητε (NASB: use meaningless repetition). The latter is how pagans pray.

            As for ‘triunity of names’, also see Acts 19:5. In order to receive the Holy Spirit the disciples were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus. This was not in contravention of Matt 28:19 but in obedience to it.

          • That is really odd logic. Jesus says ‘Pray in this way’, and then gives us a poetic, metrical, structured form of words designed to be learned (as evidence by its structure) and you conclude from that that he *didn’t* mean us to learn them. That is very odd.

            Acts 19.5 is not necessarily in contradiction to Matt 28.19—but of course only if Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are a unity—but it is a variation on it. It is, as a matter of textual fact, not doing the same thing.

            And in fact the God of Israel, though often assumed to have a name, really has no name, since the formula in Ex 3.14 is really a refused of the god of Israel to give a name. Naming is by and of human and human-like beings, and the god of Israel is not human-like.

            So, indeed, there is not a tri-unity of names, but there is a tri-unity of being.

  6. I disagree. Everything that Jesus said was memorable, and in any case it is good to learn the model prayer as a template or guide to remind us what our focus and priorities should be.

    Acts 19:5 is certainly not in contradiction of Matt 28:19, and Jesus, the Father and the Spirit which comes from them certainly are a unity – hence the one name.

    The God of Israel is not merely ‘assumed’ to have a name. He really does have a name, and I am frankly amazed that any teacher in the Church should assert otherwise. See Ex 6:3, 9:16, 20:7, 20:24, 23:21 (referring to the Angel of Yahweh, namely his Son, who at this stage has no name) and Ex 33:19, to go no further. This is basic to understanding how God reveals himself in the Old Testament.

    Reply
    • One gets an idea of the quality of thought from this excerpt:

      “The Lord [Yahweh] bless you
      and keep you;
      the Lord [Yahweh] make his face shine on you
      and be gracious to you;
      the Lord [Yahweh] turn his face toward you
      and give you peace.”

      Many theologians believe passages, like this one in Numbers, demonstrate a preview of the Trinity by repeating God’s name in threes.

      … Of course, if many theologians believe such things, it must be right.

      Reply
      • Steven,
        That is only a taster from Sanders.
        Maybe, you are the only one wslking in step! So you must be right as your own theologian?
        I’d see him as a reliable guide both to scripture and to the Person of God in self revelation. There are other relible guides within mainstreem Christianity, of the uniqueness of Triunity.
        And other Christian voices, including OT specialists that are far removed for yours.
        You have often made it clear that you don’t believe in the Triume God of Christianity, yet you have not made it clear, to me at least, which God you do believe? The uni- person God of Jehovah Witnesses?
        It would be good if you you would honour us with your belief .
        It is particularly pertinent when you are entering into a theological arguement over the prayer Jesus taught and if we can’t argree the Jesus is God the Son, incarnate.
        It is hardly a question of theological nuance.

        Reply
  7. That is a revesling rejoinder, Steven. As you have batted away a simple question with self promotion without giving any.acknowledgement of your own indebtedness to drinking deep draughts of doctrine and dogma and their sources, as you seek to sell your own teaching, your own theology, I’ll give your book s miss, thanks.
    Can you express simply what the Good News, the gospel, of the Christ of Christianity is?
    Messianic Jews can even as they are steeped in the OT, seeing the patterns, metalhors, covenants, prophesy, sacrifical systems, law, geasts/festivals wisdom, Kingdom sovereignty, salvation, righteousness, Holiness, sanctification, fulfilled in Christ Jesus, our I am, LORD, revealing the Father, our Father.

    Reply
  8. Hi Steven

    I find I agree with many things you say until it comes to the trinity, Then on something all orthodox Christians consider fundamental I discover you hold an Arian stand – there was a time when the Son was not. Bear with me, for I am not wishing to be argumentative. I find an emotional and cognitive dissonance. I want to think of you as a Christian but I can’t. I hear much that is Christian thinking from you but I am stumped by your anti-trinitarian views that seem to me to fly in the face of thinking clearly expressed in the NT and hinted at in the OT. That so many groups across the whole spectrum of Christianity are trinitarian surely is a cause to pause and consider again.

    I am not sure with what group you find fellowship. Jehovah’s Witnesses, I assume, but you don’t openly align yourself with them. Yet any mainstream, Christian church will be closed to you. I feel a sorrow that we are so separated and if you are producing an anti-trinitarian book then that difference is likely to be consolidated, I hope that on this matter God will yet open your fine mind.

    Reply
  9. Thank you, particularly to John and Susannah for your opening comments about prayer. I felt I was listening in to the hearts of close friends. I guess that is what this blog sometimes becomes.

    With regard to comments in the video on culture, I remembered visiting the homes of some of my Dip Th students in rural Tanzania. Usually the whole family slept together. One student showed me the narrow single-size foam mattress upon which he and his wife slept with their two children. Many aspects of culture connected directly with scripture, and I had less to explain than at home in Australia. They taught me.
    After discussion on the abuses Amos addressed, a student came up to me saying, ‘Teacher, Amos was talking about my village.’

    Reply

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