5 Easy Steps to Seeing the Sermon on the Mount as a Sweet Passage for Christian Growth

Step 1: Ignore verse 17 which introduces the Law. Step 2: Delete every mention of Hell and fire. Step 3: Water down the verses about cutting off body parts. Step 4: Overlook the mention of animal sacrifices on altars. Step 5: Pretend that "be perfect like God" is attainable. Voila! Now you've got a sweet, inspiring passage to do your best! This is how many interpret Jesus' killer sermon. But allow me to suggest an Option B: What if we simply recognize that the Sermon on the Mount … [Read more...]

The Hurt & The Healer – an interview with radio host Steve Brown

Fun, funny, and helpful all at the same time. Here's a link to my conversation with Bart Millard of MercyMe and Steve Brown on Steve's nationally syndicated radio program: http://stevebrownetc.com/2013/10/28/the-hurt-the-healer-bart-millard-andrew-farley-on-sbe/ … [Read more...]

Positional forgiveness versus relational forgiveness?

Some popular Bible teachers say that we Christians are indeed completely forgiven "positionally" but not "relationally" until we confess each sin. Here are my thoughts on the so-called difference between "positional forgiveness" and "relational forgiveness": It's all make-believe. It is literally fabricated terminology that turns the work of the Cross into something less powerful than the blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, Jews felt better (yes, in the … [Read more...]

What I’m Really Saying!

Forgiveness and Confession Most who oppose the "once for all" forgiveness message taught in Hebrews 7-10 do not actually take the time to understand the main point. Yes, there are plenty of reasons to admit our wrongdoing and to turn from sin and to act differently, but getting “more forgiveness” from God is not one of those reasons. Clearly, we don’t have to remember and confess every sin we’ve ever committed in order to be forgiven by God. After all, we can't even remember every … [Read more...]

Interview with Frank Viola about his new book “God’s Favorite Place on Earth”

What is this book about? I've written 14 books so far and God's Favorite Place on Earth is different than anything I’ve ever penned. It’s a work of biblical narrative that combines story with non-fiction. It’s a quick and easy read. The premise of the book is simple and 100% Biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany. The curtain opens with Lazarus, … [Read more...]

Redirecting Pleasantville

In the Hollywood film Pleasantville, all the residents of the town are living life in black and white until one day someone discovers the forbidden idea of free choice. Upon making that choice, the main character turns into a vibrant, colorful person while everyone else remains black and white. From there, other citizens of Pleasantville discover free choice, and they too exchange their black-and-white existence for dynamic color. One message we might take away from this film is that it’s … [Read more...]

Grandma’s Funeral

We’re lost. I think we took a wrong turn off I-95. We’re now in Norfolk instead of Richmond. But we should be there soon!” the hearse driver assured my mother on the phone. My mom hung up the phone, looked at her watch, and sighed, “I think we’re in for a long wait.” We were standing at what was supposed to be my grandmother’s graveside service. For the last forty minutes, the minister, my relatives, and I had been standing around the grave, just sort of staring at each other, … [Read more...]

What Not to Wear

One popular television program of recent years in our home is What Not to Wear. Based in New York City, this program features Stacy and Clinton, the two co-hosts who enter people’s homes, raid their closets, and tell them what “works” and what doesn’t. In particular, they’re skilled at showing people the fashions that look good on them based on their body type. Men and women all over the USA are on the waiting list to get advice from Stacy and Clinton—advice they feel will make … [Read more...]

My Indy 500 Experience

During my teenage years, I struggled with following the speed limit. Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, I received a number of traffic tickets for excessive speed. My parents would take away my driving privileges for a month here or there. They’d warn me of the dangers of driving fast. They’d remind me that I could lose my license. Still, I didn’t listen and continued to get speeding ticket after speeding ticket. I wasted lots of money and put myself and others in danger. Many … [Read more...]

Border Crossing

As the carriage comes to a halt, the Austrian ambassador announces they’ve arrived at the hand-over ceremony. Marie Antoinette exits the carriage with her dog held tightly to her chest and walks toward a well-decorated tent off the wooded path. There she’s met by a French countess who tells her it’s time to leave behind everything of her former life in Austria. The countess says she’ll be delivered to representatives of the French Court, and she is to embrace an entirely new life in … [Read more...]