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What the Bridge Collaspe can Teach Us About the Image of God

August 13, 2007 Leave a comment

In the wake of the bridge collapse many people have been retelling the heroic stories of ordinary men and women who helped with the relieve and recovery from the accident. I thank God that people didn’t hesitate to help others in their time of need. In some cases, people have attempted to unite these acts of heroism with the idea that Minnesotans are ‘such wonderful people.’ You have likely heard the phrase “Minnesota Nice.” I like how the preacher today re-ordered such an idea.

His thought (a paraphrase of something another pastor said) is that rather than looking at acts of heroism as some kind of character description of Minnesotans, we should look at it as people stripping away the layers of selfishness and brokenness and acting as God intended humanity to act. As people made in the image of God, horrific situations like the bridge collapse, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina, create the space for people to step outside of their self-centeredness and to function like we were made to.

Doesn’t that paint a wonderful picture of what Jesus is coming to restore? A life where people are ready at the droop of the hat to sacrifice it all for the good of another – even someone that don’t know.

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Categories: Bridge Collapse, news, Theology

Video From the Bridge Collapse and Teaching From Piper on Suffering

The folks at Desiring God put some video footage from the scene of the bridge collapse together with a message from John Piper about why there is suffering in the world. A perspective to consider.

The audio is from the message “Where Is God.”

John Piper Reflects on the MN Bidge Collapse

August 2, 2007 1 comment

All the local news stations are reporting on the terrible tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis yesterday when the 35W bridge collapsed. This morning I read a blog post by John Piper that I would recommend to you. In it he recounts the conversation he has with is 11 year old daughter abut the accident before putting her to bed yesterday. I am struck and convicted after reading this by the way Piper always turns things (all things) back to Jesus.

O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate. Here is what he said.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.

All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.

The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.