Perfection (Completion) Through Suffering

It was fitting for God, from whom are all things and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Prince of their salvation through suffering. (Heb. 2.10) Jesus is the eternal creator through whom the Father enlivens fallen creatures. Jesus took on flesh, lived among men for 33 years and never once broke any Mosaic Law. After all, He … Continue reading Perfection (Completion) Through Suffering

The Divine Advance of Redeeming Materiality: The Incarnation

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth (Jn 4.24 NIV) is what Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well who sought from Him living water. Of course, since the material and spiritual rulers were created by Him and for Him (see Col. 1.16), He could enter the physical realm and appear in various forms to His people … Continue reading The Divine Advance of Redeeming Materiality: The Incarnation

A Womb of Compassion? Col. 3.12

Here is an interesting take on splanckna. Most rendering of this word has “bowels,” which seems a bit odd. Womb, however, makes more sense and is in the same region. In the O.T. one of the names of God derives from being “many breasted” implying never-ending sustenance. God made females perfect in His wisdom, just as He did males. What a wonderfully wise and appropriate … Continue reading A Womb of Compassion? Col. 3.12

Two Heads are Better than One-Reading Primary Sources

Eccl. 4.9-12 tells us that two are better than one when it comes to labor, partnerships, and other practicalities. Older books and primary sources have a way of teaching us better than mediated works, which often fail. Secondary sources can, of course, greatly instruct by their analysis of things which we would not have noticed first hand. However, for the most part, I agree with … Continue reading Two Heads are Better than One-Reading Primary Sources

Finding the Bible’s Meaning

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit (1Cor. 2.14 NIV). This verse is complementary to the previous one where the NIV footnote has a reading that makes more sense: interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. James Murphy … Continue reading Finding the Bible’s Meaning

The Psalms Versus Present Commercial Christian Music

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it (Heb. 2.1 ESV). Sure, I like to listen to some of the better contemporary music by Christian artists, but most offerings are along the lines of only one theme. A few songs of praise aren’t too bad, but, overall, really insightful, melodious songs are scarce. More often … Continue reading The Psalms Versus Present Commercial Christian Music

The Moral Majority Redux-The Bait and The Trap

The Separation of Church and State I opposed the Moral Majority at its conception in the late 1970’s and oppose any of its successors today. What I am saying is that the church and the state should be separate: So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s (Mt. 22.21 NIV). The issue of paying taxes to Pagan Overlords in … Continue reading The Moral Majority Redux-The Bait and The Trap

How Psalms Anticipate Christ-By Greg Lanier

(Courtesy of The Gospel Coalition) If we can forgive Lanier’s alliteration (surprised he didn’t use “praise”), he traces the rich use of how God interprets and fulfills scripture. The Father, Jesus, and the Spirit have eternal relations as shown in the Psalms. Jesus was “Lord” (Ps 110.1) before His incarnation. His ascension, I believe, recorded in Acts 1 was to His priestly throne (see Zech. … Continue reading How Psalms Anticipate Christ-By Greg Lanier

Ingenious Sluice Gate Found in Hezekiah’s Tunnel

In early June I toured this site and walked the Canaanite tunnel and then returned northward through the drainage channel to the Davidson Archaeological Park. I did not walk Hezekiah’s Tunnel as I didn’t want to get my gear soaked. Another historical site at The City of David Archeological Site was the Ancient Cardo which is not ready for public viewing due to safety reasons … Continue reading Ingenious Sluice Gate Found in Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Victimhood as the Refusal of Self-Knowledge

In Er (He), a collection of notes from 1920, Franz Kafka makes the following remark: Die Erbsünde, das alte Unrecht, das der Mensch begangen hat, besteht in dem Vorwurf, den der Mensch macht und von dem er nicht abläßt, daß ihm ein Unrecht geschehen ist, daß an ihm die Erbsünde begangen wurde. The original sin,… “The Old Wrong”: Victimhood as the Refusal of Self-Knowledge — Ad … Continue reading Victimhood as the Refusal of Self-Knowledge

Contra Replacement Theology: Who are the “People” in Mt. 21.43?

Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit (NIV) This statement of Jesus comes on the heals of the Parable of the Tenants of the Vineyard. The parable is recorded in Mt. 21.33-45, Mk. 12.1-12, and Lk. 20.9-19. Mark and Luke use the term others instead of people … Continue reading Contra Replacement Theology: Who are the “People” in Mt. 21.43?

The Jefferson Bible

Throughout History, some very smart people have had erroneous ideas about the text of scripture. Just because a person is a hero or learned in one area of expertise, it doesn’t mean that their expertise transfers to other fields such as textual criticism or theology. Even among textual critics and theologians there is a polarity of opinion, sometimes, resulting in opposite opinions by equally competent … Continue reading The Jefferson Bible

Submerged Ruins of 3,400-Year-Old Mitanni City Revealed by Drought

Summary: Severe drought in Iraq revealed an ancient city from the Mitanni Empire. Will it shed light on the biblical period of the Judges? Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia [Mitanni]. – Judges 3:8 (ESV) Severe Drought Exposes City… Submerged Ruins of 3,400-Year-Old Mitanni City Revealed by Drought — Patterns … Continue reading Submerged Ruins of 3,400-Year-Old Mitanni City Revealed by Drought

High Places, Altars and the Bamah

This rock-hewn altar was carved out of limestone and was approximately 8 feet on each side and 5 feet high. It is located about a mile from Shiloh, and the four corners point to the four directions on a compass (Exodus 27:1-2). The remains clearly demonstrate that animals were sacrificed on this high place. Photo:… High Places, Altars and the Bamah — Biblical Archaeology Society Continue reading High Places, Altars and the Bamah

Christ’s Threefold Ministry from Heaven’s Throne

A Jewish tour guide described Israel’s God as the “Transparent God.” This is probably a better word than “invisible.” The idea of transparency indicates more of a presence than “invisible,” at least to me. Anyway, here is a rich scriptural description that encompasses O.T. figures such as the Divine King, The High Priest, and Israel’s prophets who said “Thus says The Lord.” Jesus in His … Continue reading Christ’s Threefold Ministry from Heaven’s Throne

In Search of Meaning: The Doctrine of Angelic Replacement

This is a previously published post substantially revised and retitled. Also, since these brief thoughts have been brewing in my theological history for many years, I place them at the top of my site. Angel Definition Angels can be thought of as God’s assistants: Who makes his angels spirits, His ministers a fire (Ps. 104.4 Sept.). The popular conception of angels, chubby infants with wings, … Continue reading In Search of Meaning: The Doctrine of Angelic Replacement

Evangelicals, guns, and church and state in the Early Republic

Having just returned from visiting Israel’s sites and museums, I have never felt safer while in a country. Soldiers and plain-clothed individuals carrying submachine guns were abundant almost everywhere. Perhaps the solution to societal safety in America could be soldiers with guns among the public as well as open carry by more individuals. Also, when I worked as a carpenter no one was ever bullied. … Continue reading Evangelicals, guns, and church and state in the Early Republic

James Tour’s Devotional Practices

The bible promises (Jer. 31.31-34) that a time will come when individual believers will be taught of God. This is implicit in Jeremiah since no longer will they need human teachers. Jesus referred to this promise in John 6.45. Some try to find the quote in the Psalms but Jesus clearly says “in the Prophets.” I believe it was Raymond Brown who contended in our … Continue reading James Tour’s Devotional Practices