There are times where Jesus says something nice and heartwarming like, “For God so loved the world…” etc. etc.* Then there are times when Jesus says something like this: This is why I speak to them in parables . . . ‘Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, … Continue reading A God who doesn’t want to be found?
The predestination debate often gravitates toward the same handful of New Testament texts. The problem, to quote Paul Eddy, is, “There’s an entire 39 books before the New Testament that use the same kind of [predestination] language.” In other words, if you want to understand what the Bible says about election, don’t skip the Old Testament. … Continue reading Election in the Old Testament, part 2
This is Gamla. Or more precisely, what’s left of it. Carved into a steep hillside northeast of Galilee, Gamla is where the Jewish Zealot movement was born. Zealots demanded strict adherence to the law and total separation from anyone who didn’t believe exactly as they did. To be a Zealot was to be perpetually angry. Angry at the … Continue reading People of the third way
And here’s the third installment of my thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s speech on the emerging church (or you can read part 1 and part 2)… 3. The danger of guilt by association and selective quotation Toward the end of his speech, Mark had some good things to say about the importance of incarnational ministry. He … Continue reading Mark Driscoll and the Reformed-Emergent smackdown, pt. 3
Flipping through my Bible this afternoon (actually, using an online Bible search tool, but somehow that just doesn’t sound the same), I came across this passage, which I’m sure I’ve read a thousand times before: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and … Continue reading some things matter more than others
John 5:1-15 tells the story of a paralyzed man healed by Jesus at a pool called Bethesda. It’s one of the most bizarre healing stories in the gospels, for a number of reasons. First, the setting. The pool of Bethesda was located just north of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. People started coming here about … Continue reading Grumpy Jesus and a pagan swimming pool
Yesterday archaeologists announced the discovery of what they believe is Herod’s tomb in his fortress-palace outside Jerusalem, known as the Herodion. Herod the Great ruled Judea (on behalf of Rome) at the time of Jesus’ birth. To build his palace, Herod performed one of the most amazing architectural feats of his day. He sawed the … Continue reading Herod and his mountain
It’s tempting to think of Christianity as a “Western” religion, invented by Jesus when he walked the earth… possessing its own set of totally unique ideas, practices, beliefs… …when in reality, Jesus didn’t set out to “invent” as much as we think he did. Sometimes we forget that Jesus was not only Jewish, not only … Continue reading thinking jewish