Can Christians Use Cultural Ideas without Compromising Their Faith?
It takes biblical discernment.
Can using language and engaging cultural ideas have a negative outcome? Some think so. A group of American evangelicals have used the analytic tools of a contemporary political ideology to describe inequality in American culture. In response, a second group has decried such a method as being incompatible with Christianity. Who is right? Low-density... Continue Reading
“The Making of Christian Morality: Reading Paul in Ancient and Modern Contexts” by David G. Horrell
Horrell’s approach to Scripture makes him a less than reliable guide.
Horrell is right to recognize that nobody reads Scripture in a vacuum. We are all deeply affected by the social and intellectual contexts in which we live, and we all come to Scripture with various questions and biases, many of which we are often not even aware. It is also legitimate to seek insight from... Continue Reading
For Whom Is Christ Mediating?
Jesus is the one who represents his people to God and who represents God to his people.
God the Son has always been the Mediator. How do we know that? Paul says so in Galatians 3:19: “and [the Law] was put in place through angels by a mediator.” Paul addresses the problem right away. A “mediator” implies two parties but God is one. There are three persons of the Trinity and there have... Continue Reading
We need a foundation, an anchor, that will help us stand.
Nothing is more practical than good theology. “Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives,” writes J.I. Packer in his classic book Knowing God. “The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the... Continue Reading
Don’t Play With Sin
What we once played with can now kill us.
We play with sin. We justify sin by saying that it is small. It is little stuff. It is not dangerous. It can’t hurt anyone. It is just a white lie. It is just a bit of gossip. No one is harmed. What we fail to consider is that sin can grow. Just like a small... Continue Reading
Whatever is True…Think on These Things
What is true of us, always, no matter what we face?
Your suffering is not your life. In Christ, oh, there is more! Remember these things that are true, and think upon such things. You will be sorrowful and yet always rejoicing as you fix our hope completely on the grace to brought to us when Jesus is revealed. Suffering has a way of shrinking... Continue Reading
Paul Went to the Third Heaven. What in the World Is He Talking About?
Or better: what in heaven is he talking about?
Here are four textual clues that can help us answer this question. And I have to admit at the get-go, I am attempting to understand Paul’s experience myself. So please read this as an example of thoughts-in-process. With that caveat in place, here we go. Somewhat apologetically, Paul describes himself as a man “in... Continue Reading
How Is Jesus Your Perfect Prophet, Priest, and King?
When we get to the New Testament, we meet the one person who can do all that the Old Testament examples were supposed to do but could not.
The narratives in the Bible show us what kind of savior we need. The characters often positively or negatively demonstrate what type of savior for whom we are waiting. The prophets, priests, and kings of the Old Testament pointed forward to a person who would be the perfect prophet, priest and king on our behalf.... Continue Reading
Embracing God’s Zeal for His Truth: Be Loyal
Throughout Paul’s ministry the whole movement of biblical theology comes to bear in his deep awareness that his task of proclamation has no object other than a display of the full riches that are in Christ.
God’s message is a message about his Son. God’s redemption finds manifestation in his Son. The future Kingdom is brought to fulfillment in its specific character as a kingdom of the redeemed by his Son. The work of angels is marked out by God’s redemption of fallen humanity. The work of apostles continually unfolds layers... Continue Reading
Why You Should Read the Bible Over and Over
As we return to scripture year after year, we are better prepared to see what has been there all along.
I could try and pretend I read every day without failure, but that would only be pretending. Yet after a quarter-century of semi-disciplined reading, I’ve come to value the benefit of long-term Bible reading and want to meditate on it here to encourage other start-stop readers. I did not grow up going to church... Continue Reading