Sin’s Here– Part Three

Obviously, all sin is serious, since any sin is a sin for which Jesus had to die. And the death of Jesus doesn't make sins committed post Calvary less serious. If anything, it makes it more serious. Sin in a Christian's life is a very serious matter indeed, especially if we are talking about sins of commission, but even sins of omission can be very serious. For example, if you fail to love your neighbor as your self, if you fail to love your enemies, that's a very serious matter indeed. In the … [Read more...]

Sin’s Here— Part Two

It comes as a surprise to some that there are gradations of sin according to the Bible. There are more serious and less serious sins, which is the basis of the later distinction between mortal and venial sins. It comes as even more of a surprise to many that there is no atonement in the OT for certain kinds of sins--- the so-called 'sins with a high hand' which refers to premeditated sins, like the premeditated adultery with Bathsheba of King David. This is why he throws himself on the mercy … [Read more...]

Sin’s Here—- Part One

Sin is a huge topic. We will certainly not be able to do more than scratch the surface in these posts. And of course part of the problem is when you make a list of sins, some people will see this as a 'to do' list, or at least a 'to attempt' list. Such is fallen human nature, I'm afraid. Sin, is by definition an action that is taken against God and is a violation of God's will. This is precisely why sin has been 'declassified' by those who either don't believe in God or don't have more than … [Read more...]

Mr. Holmes— The Drama of the Summer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8MjCdcy87wIn a summer season where the paucity of good movies has reminded me of an old actor in many old Westerns, namely Slim Pickins, finally, finally, there is a wonderful drama that everyone, young and old, should enjoy--- Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen (of Gandalf fame) and the wonderful Laura Linney, here playing Mrs. Munro the housekeeper (see e.g. the HBO specials where she plays John Adams' wife). Add to this, a luminous and bright child, Roger, … [Read more...]

The Trials and Tribulations of Temptations– Part Four

It was Socrates who insisted 'know thyself', which seems to be advice that all too often Christians, including ministers ignore. Have you ever sat down and done a 'weaknesses and strengths' inventory of yourself, with the outside assistance of those who know you the best? If you haven't you should do this. Identifying weaknesses, the weak chinks in your Christian armor is important. When Paul deals with this whole matter he reminds that while inwardly we are being renewed day by day--- our … [Read more...]

The Trials and Tribulations of Temptations– Part Three

This post will concentrate on some happier news. To be tempted is not the same as to sin. Temptation itself is not sin, though it can certainly lead to sin. Jesus was tempted like us in every respect, save he did not sin, and was not a sinner (Heb.4.15). Jesus could empathize with our weaknesses, without giving in to his own weaknesses when he was on this earth. He still understands what human nature and mortal flesh is capable of.Some pastors, in the rush to identify with their … [Read more...]

The Trials and Tribulations of Temptations– Part Two

Human beings have a rather infinite capacity for rationalizing or justifying their bad behavior. And one of the favorite tricks in the arsenal of self-justification is 'objectifying' things. In the old TV show Flip Wilson, whenever he was caught doing something he ought not to do would immediately exclaim 'the Devil made me do it'. Interestingly, the Bible, at least when it comes to believers, does not agree with this theology. In fact it doesn't much agree with objectifying one's sin and … [Read more...]

The Trials and Tribulations of Temptation— Part One

peirasmos and its cognates are interesting words. The noun form can refer to trials or temptations, ordeals or enticements. In other words, it can refer to something that could possibly strengthen your character or alternately in other contexts refer to something that could destroy your character. By definition God tempts no one, and cannot be tempted (see James 1.13). God is absolutely not the source of evil, including allurement into sin. We have some difficulty in translating this word when … [Read more...]

Paul and Covert Ops

Proving that Paul may not be Harvard's type, but he is Harvard's typo is the following discovered by alert reader and colleague Philip Jenkins....Paul the Covert???I have to share this.One of the classic works on Judaism and early Christianity is Alan Segal’s Rebecca’s Children (1986). Through the centuries, debate has raged over exactly what St. Paul was doing when he took the Jesus Movement on its new directions. I am struck, therefore, to find that the Harvard University Press pa … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X