Author Archive for Jason Wermuth

Jason Wermuth
Profile
Jason has been a part of the Regent family for over five years now. In 2005, he moved to Virginia Beach from Tampa, Florida to complete his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Regent University. He currently works at Regent as the Doctoral Programs Manager in the School of Divinity where he also completed a Masters degree in Biblical Studies concentrating on the New Testament. In his spare time, he loves to experience God’s presence, study scripture, watch ice hockey and read. His favorite authors include Tom Wright, Rob Bell, Richard Hayes, Scot McKnight, James Dunn and Gordon Fee.
Website
http://www.regent.edu/acad/schdiv/faculty_staff/staff.shtml#wermuth

The Law of the Spirit

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by Jason Wermuth

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus tells his disciples “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” This is a curious passage to many Christians who have received a Christianity which seems to provide freedom from the letter of the law in favor of submission to the law of the Spirit (Rom. 8:2). In what follows I will show that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, and he is our liberator from slavery to the written law.

While Jesus declares that he did not come to abolish the law, he certainly reinterprets it and engages in creative and unorthodox practices regarding the law. For example, in Matthew 5:21, Jesus takes the command to murder and strengthens it, adding that “if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You Fool,’ you will be liable to hell of fire.” Here Jesus has introduced a harsher requirement than what is in the actual law. In other places, however, Jesus softens the law (much to the chagrin of his Pharisee contemporaries). In Exodus 20:8-10, the Israelites are commanded to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The passage continues describing what that should look like: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God, in it you shall not do any work…” In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus is walking through the grainfields with his disciples on the Sabbath when some of his followers start to pick the grain and eat. The Pharisees, apparently keeping a watchful eye on this Rabbi who had a tendency to play fast and loose with the law, confront Jesus about the “work” his disciples are doing on the Sabbath. His eloquent reply ends with “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath, so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” In one more instance of Jesus’ subversion of the standard of Sabbath keeping, Mark 3:1-6 tells us that Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. In other instances, Jesus touches lepers, spends quality time with Samaritans and eats with tax collectors and prostitutes. All of these would have been considered anathema for a law abiding Jew.

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Evangelical Purgatory: Towards A Post-Reformation View of Purification

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 by Jason Wermuth

Evangelical Purgatory. The words flow together like the words “fire” and “water”, Calvin and Arminius or Rob Bell and Mark Driscoll. Nevertheless, some evangelicals have put forth proposals for a new vision of post-mortem purification which I think demands our attention. Please note that I am only proposing an imaginative hypothesis and am not setting forth my own theological conclusions on this matter. Nevertheless, I will attempt to argue in the affirmative for a kind of evangelical purgatory in what follows. Please engage respectfully in the comments section below.

By evangelical purgatory, I do not mean years of suffering whereby God forces Arminians to read Calvin’s Institutes for thousands of years… (me genoito). Nor do I mean the traditional Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Rather, what I mean to discuss is a purification of the character and heart of a person which begins now, but may continue on into the afterlife. This need not be a punishment per se, but an act of divine pedagogy which takes place in the presence of God. I call it “Evangelical” to distinguish it from Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, because I consider myself an Evangelical Charismatic, and to reflect that it is not indeed in conflict with what I understand to be the central tenants of evangelicalism, namely the reformation ideas of sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus and soli deo gloria. Furthermore, I do not believe what has been and will be proposed below violates the following evangelical sensibilities: a strong emphasis on evangelism, the need to be born again, a high regard for scripture, and a Christocentric and cross-centered theology (Defining the Term, Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals). Read the rest of this entry »

A Beautiful Mind

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by Jason Wermuth

I have been hearing and reading a lot lately about the importance of emphasizing math and science in our American classrooms. Many argue that unless our children become more competitive in these two areas, we will fall from the stage as a world superpower as countries like China take over. I agree, math and science are important. However, is America really doomed if we don’t catch up with the rest of the world in the areas of math and science? I say, no way.

While it is absolutely necessary to have great engineers and scientists to design bridges, computers, develop cures for diseases and  create the world’s great things, behind every great invention and innovation is a beautiful mind. I recently read about how Steve Jobs dropped out of college and was never really a great engineer or computer scientist, but his creative eye allowed him to produce some of the worlds most amazing things. One of the really simple but neat things that Steve pioneered in the 80′s was different fonts. Soon after Jobs decided to drop out of Reed College, he took a class in calligraphy for fun , he recounts: “If I had never dropped in on that single class in college the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts” (Steve Jobs: The Brilliant Mind Behind Apple, p. 37). It is this kind of ingenuity and artistic thinking that has guided America to where she is today.

After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well. – Albert Einstein

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Sometimes Bullets Just Miss…

Friday, December 17th, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

On Tuesday night I watched in horror as CNN played what I believed was a video of multiple school board members being shot at point blank range by a man bent on vengeance. The video slowed, showing, in agonizing detail, the bullets hitting the pieces of paper that sat on the table in front of the superintendent before they appeared to penetrate his body. The man was apparently angry that his wife had been fired. I was shocked. I sat in horror, mortified that CNN would show such a disgusted and deplorable act over and over on its network. I felt myself becoming numb and cold as I watched this scene unfold… At the end, the gunman is shot by a security guard and when he hit the ground, he took his own life.

While interviewing the school superintendent, Anderson Cooper commented on the miraculous fact that none of the school board members had been hurt. My interest piqued. Not one of the men was hit by a bullet. One member of the board thought the man was shooting blanks, but he had not been. Behind the chair of the superintendent who appeared to have been shot were multiple bullet holes.

The video clearly shows the bullets hitting the papers in front of the superintendent, and there are holes in the wall behind him. The superintendent recounted that he was sure the Lord saved him, but skeptics will certainly say “sometimes bullets just miss…”

Watch the CNN story for yourself below (VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!)

The Common English Bible

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

Recently I received a sample copy of a new bible translation, the Common English Bible – New Testament. At first glance I was very skeptical about the need for another translation, one that tends a tad toward the dynamic side at that, but I decided to give it a try. It didn’t hurt that the translation team is made up of some of the best biblical scholars in the world including Joel Green, Beverly Gaventa, Luke Timothy Johnson, Richard Hays, Loren Stuckenbruck, David deSilva, John Goldingay and a whole host more.

In this post I will simply highlight some of the translation choices that I found most interesting, but I hope to do a more thorough review in the future.

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The Modern Matrix

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

This past Wednesday, Apple released and previewed another host of new and amazing products: a new flatter MacBook Air (thinner than an axe blade), a new OS, a new iLife and more… Soon Microsoft will release the Windows Phone 7, and Google will probably release 1000 more Android based phones that can be used as remote controls for their new Google TV. All this new stuff got me to thinking about what it all has to do with the church. In the past 20 years we have seen the church transformed by technology and media. From the introduction of electric guitars and rock themed worship music to the addition of PowerPoint slides to just about every sermon on earth these days (except perhaps the Pope), things change with technology.

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