Tuesday, December 30

Protestati Summus

I will spend my new newyear at Strasbourg, East of France, frontier region with Germany. Strasbourg is a historic protestant region. I will visit too a medievel town called Heildelbeg in Germany. Martin Luther spent some time in Heildelberg defending his reformed thesis. For me, this experience is very exciting. I am just going as a tourist to enjoy my holidays. Yet it will be historical spiritual expereince. Some how walking in my cultural, spiritual and historical roots.

Two months ago I preached at my church for the Reform day;

"Protestati Summus" was a declaration made on the XVI century. It was transalated at the time as "We protest". For this reason we are called until today "Protestants." Yet if we go to the original Latin, it actualy means "We solemnly state"

My sermons is about our protestant heritage and how depitet the fact some times people think whe have no history our roots are strong and our steps are clearly marked in time and history.

The conclusion of my message was that 500 years after the reformed history "we still solemny state" (so; we protest) as Calvin and Luther did, our faith in the Kingdom and his King

My message was in French and you may find it on my church website:


Yet I find that Google does an almots acceptable English translation here:


My blog does not accept PDF files, so until i find a site to post my english version, I can olny propose you the google translation.

So if you have the time to read and you don't mind some google imperfections, you will understand why this trip is so exciting to me.

Have a good end of 2008 and may 2009 richly be Bleesed by our Lord

Monday, December 29

500 years of Jean Calvin

I hope you had a great Christmas. I did my self.

Living in Paris is an amazing historical and cultural experience. Walking on the 5em neighbourhood admiring christmas decorations of the rue Moufettard ( a chic and trendy street) I found the rue Jean Calvin.
France is not a protestant country. Actually Paris is historically Catholic and mostly agnostic. So when I found a Jean Calvin street in such a nice neigborhood I felt pretty proud.

Did you know that Calvin is French? He was born 115 Km from Paris in a nice town called Noyon.

2009 is coming and European Protestants will celebrate the 500 birthday of Calvin.

Check this site http://www.calvin09.org/home/home.html〈=2

Take your time to check this site and read how this humanist pushed even further the reform Martin Luther started. 500 years later and Calvin's teachings are still shaping our protestant culture.

talk to you later

Tuesday, December 23

What is Integral Mission ? Rene Padilla

This is a copy and paste of the "Integral Mission blog"

Dr Rene Padilla has inspired me on my youth, I was 18 years old when I first read him. Some years later he still inspires me and I still learn a lot from him. He grew up in Ecuador and Colombia, studied in England and now lives in Buenos Aires in Argentina

Enjoy it

Dr C. René Padilla

Although it has recently become fashionable to use the term integral mission, the approach to mission that it expresses is not new. The practice of integral mission goes back to Jesus himself and to the first century Christian church. Furthermore, a growing number of churches are putting this style of mission into practice without necessarily using this expression to refer to what they are doing: integral mission is not part of their vocabulary. It is clear that the practice of integral mission is much more important than the use of this new expression to refer to it.

The expression integral mission (misión integral) came into use principally within the Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL) about twenty years ago. It was an attempt to highlight the importance of conceiving of the mission of the church within a more biblical theological framework than the traditional one, which had been accepted in evangelical circles due to the influence of the modern missionary movement. In the last few years the expression has been used so widely that the literal translation into English, integral mission, is gradually becoming a part of the vocabulary of those who are pressing for a more holistic approach to the Christian mission, even outside Spanish-speaking evangelical circles
What is this approach to mission? In what aspects does it differ from the traditional approach?

The Traditional Approach to Mission

In the traditional approach, which took shape within the modern missionary movement especially since the end of the eighteenth century, the Christian mission was conceived of mainly in geographical terms: it consisted in crossing geographic frontiers for the purpose of taking the gospel from the Christian West to the mission fields of the non-Christian world (the heathen). In other words, to speak of mission meant speaking of transcultural mission.

.... it continues here http://integral-mission.org/blog/2006/03/what_is_integral_mission_anywa_1.html

This is only a copy and paste, all rights are own by "integral mission site"

Saturday, December 20

Costly Grace by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"CHEAP GRACE is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace.

Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?

Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. The Church which holds the correct doc trine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part in that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. "All for sin could not atone." The world goes on in the same old way, and we are still sinners "even in the best life" as Luther said. Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world's standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind. Let the Christian beware of rebelling against the free and boundless grace of God and desecrating it. Let him not attempt to erect a new religion of the letter by endeavoring to live a life of obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ! The world has been justified by grace. The Christian knows that, and takes it seriously. He knows he must not strive against this indispensable grace. Therefore--let him live like the rest of the world! Of course he would like to go and do something extraordinary, and it does demand a good deal of self-restraint to refrain from the attempt and content himself with living as the world lives. Yet it is imperative for the Christian to achieve renunciation, to practice self-effacement, to distinguish his life from the life of the world. He must let grace be grace indeed, otherwise he will destroy the world's faith in the free gift of grace.

Let the Christian rest content in his worldliness and with this renunciation of any higher standard than the world. He is doing it for the sake of the world rather than for the sake of grace. Let him be comforted and rest assured in his possession of this grace--for grace alone does everything. Instead of following Christ, let the Christian enjoy the consolations of his grace! That is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.

Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs. It is therefore the living word, the Word of God, which he speaks as it pleases him. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a world of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, December 18

Bono on Jesus

in Conversation with Michka Assayas...

....Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was—the Messiah—or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched …

Bono later says it all comes down to how we regard Jesus:

Bono: … [I]f only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. …When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s--- and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.
Bono 2005

taken from:

PSALME 40 by U2

I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...how long...how long...
How long...to sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...how long...how long...

Tuesday, December 16

My Sources

Through out these years some authors have strongly influenced on my way of thinking. So I wanted to share a litlte my youth heros.

Rene Padilla, (Argentinian Baptist) I started reading theology with him in 1990. His works on the Kingdom Coming as a present reallity woke up on me a hunger to understand better the Word of God and His kingdom coming.

Jurgen Moltman (German Lutherian) and his Theology of Hope, marked my life in 1991.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German Lutherian) and his courage and understanding of the love of God inspired me.

Karl Barth (German Reformed) and his neo Orthodoxy set up my path of thinking.

Soeren Kierkeegard (Dannish Lutherian) challenged me and faced me to my own paradoxes and invited me to embrace the pardoxe in Christ.
Oscar Cullman (French Lutherian) I read him in English , his chirstolgy made me realize even more the love of God.

Jacques Ellul (French Reformed) redefined my understanding of Culture and History from Biblical point of view.

and Jean Calvin, (the French reformer), who so often sends me back to the Word of God as only source of truth!!

What am I? I am Christian of course and.... my church? well I am an Elder at a Parisian French Reformed Evangelical Church( Hugonot Descendant )

Monday, December 15

A Post Modern culture child

This blog is my eclectic way to rethink and share my ideas. Lately I find myself missing being a University Christian Student trying to change the world or at least the church. Good old times.

It has been 13 years that I live and work in Paris. I do share many things from a European point of view. My main references are Eureopen theologians and that is since my early young age as a Christian.
Yet I am a proud Latin American who remains very peruvian deep inside. Although when I arrived in France, I interpreted and experienced French culture from an English North American way of thinking. I lived in Canada, Nova Scotia almost 5 years at Acadia University (Business School) This experience marked my life and some times I miss Canada as my own home country

I have lived my faith in three different cultures and languages and although each time the experience was so different… Jesus is the same here, there and over there, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

My life is not common either, I divorced 6 years ago and since then I am single dad beacuse my son remained with me.( I have full custody)

So although I am very orthodox on my evangelical faith, my life and experiences are pretty much the result of the post modern culture of the end of XX century and when I read the Bible I cannot read it otherwise. So Orthodoxy may not mean the same for me as for you.

Being post-modern is a matter of being a little provocative? yes in way, but I am Post modern despite myself.
If Jean Calvin, Martin Luther,
Ulrich Zwingli challenged their time, it was because they challenged traditional truth with a new way to read the Bible. So I think my generation has too a new challenging way to read the bible.

Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda: "The church reformed and always to be reformed".
This was the motto of our reformed Fathers. So why should we be afraid of being post modern?

It is our task no to remain in our easy Bible readings that keeps us safe in our Confort Zone and support Status Quo.
We have to challneg our points of view and read and reread the "living"word of God

Yet never forget that:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7).