Month: November 2017

Bible

What if John wrote first?

In Star Wars: A New Hope, the character Han Solo was confronted by an intimidating bounty hunter, Greedo. In the original cut of the film, Han shot Greedo before things could get out of hand. This fit with the anti-hero arc, Han was the scoundrel with a heart of gold. In later recuts of the …

Bible, Christianity

The Image of God: Each Man Makes Heaven and Earth Anew

In Genesis 1:1-2, God makes the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 1:26-31, God makes man in his image. Okay. We’re not able to engage in creating a cosmos from nothing. But here’s what we can do. We construct the world in unique ways, each of us. The objective world, of course, is real. But …

Christianity

Whether we live or die, Aslan will be our good lord.

At two points in C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, Prince Rillian makes an important claim about the state of their adventure: “Doubtless this signifies,” said the Prince, “that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. All’s one for that.” “Courage friends,” came Prince Rillian’s voice, “whether we live …

Bible, Christianity

Christian Conflict Resolution

Like all people, Christians have conflict over ideas, practices, preferred traditions, and how to spend money. Conflict is good. It helps solve problems. But we frequently handle this conflict in ways that contradict the purpose of the church and the content of the gospel message! When we value a minor thing as though it were …

Bible, Christianity

The life of the mind in early Christianity

This is the best couple of paragraphs from N.T. Wright’s massive two volume tome: That is the point at which Paul found himself inventing and developing this new discipline we call, in retrospect, ‘Christian theology’. The radically new worldview in which he and his converts found themselves was bound to face the question ‘why’ at …

Bible, Christianity

Levels of Analysis in the Sermon on the Mount: A brief outline

What is the Sermon on the Mount? How do we read it? What I have in mind is Matthew 5-7. Let’s leave Luke 6 out for now. Below are some potential layers of analysis for understanding the Sermon on the Mount. Now, the most simple way to read it is: hear these words and do …

Christianity

The Seared Conscience

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and …

Christianity

Letty Russell and Joachim Jeremias on God as Father

[Original post from 2013 when I was a research assistant and read as much of the academic feminist literature as was possible] “The title Father for God is placed in the mouth of Jesus in three other passages of Mark (8:38; 11:25; 13:32) and in six passages from Q, including the model *prayer known as …

Bible, Christianity

Think Rightly About Yourselves

[This is a repost from 2013 with an additional translation added to the list below] Text Λέγω γὰρ διὰ τῆς χάριτος τῆς δοθείσης μοι παντὶ τῷ ὄντι ἐν ὑμῖν μὴ ὑπερφρονεῖν παρ᾽ ὃ δεῖ φρονεῖν ἀλλὰ φρονεῖν εἰς τὸ σωφρονεῖν, ἑκάστῳ ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἐμέρισεν μέτρον πίστεως. (Rom 12:3 BGT) Translation Upon first glance the …

Christianity, Culture, Mindset

Don’t Be Yourself

“Just be yourself.” If “be yourself” means “be honest about yourself, your weaknesses, and your abilities, lie neither to yourself or others” then I agree. If it means do what you truly and really think is best, then I absolutely agree.  But what it really means is something like this excuse your excesses, wink at …