Tag: discipleship

Bible, Christianity

Love Your Neighbor and Marus Aurelius

In the passage below, the word “as” can mean ‘as though’ or ‘while.’ This is so in the Hebrew and Greek Old Testament: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a …

Bible, Christianity

Asking for Wisdom

In James’ letter to the early churches, he makes the claim that God will, without fail, give wisdom to any who ask without doubting. This is a staggering claim. What does it mean? Here’s the main passage (James 1:2-7): 2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, 3 for you know that the …

Bible, Christianity

Sick with sin: is the ‘sin as sickness’ model true or helpful?

It is frequent in Christian circles to speak of sin as a deadly illness or sickness from which we need God’s help, healing, and deliverance.  The Bible is not unfamiliar with this concept. For instance, sin and righteousness are often conceived of in terms of pure and impure. And pure and impure are often connected …

Basics, Bible, Christianity

Exceptions to Jesus’ teaching

In a previous post I briefly mentioned exceptions to what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount. Below, I’ll attempt to show that this is true and why it matters. Thesis: In the New Testament, there are exceptions to several of Jesus’ teachings. Corollary: The exceptions to Jesus’ teachings demonstrate that they are meant for …

Contemporary Trends, Christianity, Spiritual Life

Pastors and Power

Richard Baxter saw, hundreds of years ago, the dangers of cozying up to political power. Ministers of the gospel, if they aren’t careful, will not only sacrifice original thought but also Biblical truth in order to avoid being ostracized, mocked, or disagreed with. Social media has made this quite apparent in the current year. For …

Bible, Christianity, Spiritual Life

Who Should Evangelize?

I saw this quote online today: It raised an interesting point that I think needs brief elaboration. Here’s the great commission from Matthew 28:18-20: Matthew 28:18-20 ESV And Jesus came and said to them [the eleven disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples …

Resources, Basics, Christianity, Literature

Charles Hodge on Sanctification

Below is an excerpt from Charles Hodge‘s systematic theology textbook on sanctification or moral/spiritual growth. He says more on this process in the same chapter, but here he simply talks about the method of sanctification. Here’s my summary of his six points: The preaching of the gospel and the Holy Spirit lead the individual convert …

Ethics, Christianity, Self-Mastery, Philosophy

Do we need asceticism?

Asceticism is a maligned concept, but it’s cross culturally universal. At its essence, asceticism is exercising to optimize your life for some goal. Everybody is, in this sense, an ascetic practitioner. The problem is that we may not have chosen the goal toward which we are heading or we may be doing exercises improper to …

Bible, Christianity

Are you good enough to be Jesus’ disciple?

When asked why he associated with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus answered: And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” The healthy do not need the doctor, the sick do. Go and learn about this, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I …

Bible, Book-Review, Christianity, Philosophy

Dallas Willard on the Beatitudes

Dallas Willard’s understanding of the Beatitudes: It will help us know what to do—and what not to do—with the Beatitudes if we can discover what Jesus himself was doing with them. That should be the key to understanding them, for after all they are his Beatitudes, not ours to make of them what we will. …