Sins’ Here– Part Six

If ministers are at all honest, the vast majority of them will have to confess that there were times when their behavior was out of line, and they nearly ruined their ministry. Indeed, history is littered with tales of ministers who did precisely that, and never recovered to do good work for the Lord thereafter. Sadly, I know too many of these tales, and it makes me enormously sad, especially since, I know my own shortcomings, and how close I’ve… Read more

Sin’s Here— Part Five

What should a Christian do, when they sin? Well obviously, they need to repent, and if it involves others they need to seek forgiveness as well and offer heartfelt apologies. Obviously, since ever sin is against God, they need to make amends with the Almighty first and foremost, but that is by no means the end of the story. Protestants, historically, have turned a blind eye to such Biblical injunctions as ‘confess your sins to one another’ (notice it does… Read more

Bible Gateway Interviews about my Invitation to the NT

Here are two interviews with me about textbook, Invitation to the NT. See what you think…. (cut and paste the links into your browser) BW3 Your second interview with Bible Gateway is now live at https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2015/06/invitation-to-the-new-testament-an-interview-with-ben-witherington-iii/ (Your first interview is at https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2014/12/reading-understanding-the-bible-an-interview-with-ben-witherington-iii/) Read more

Sin’s Here– Part Four

Whoever it was who dreamed up the saying ‘let your conscience be your guide’ didn’t really understand the concept of fallen humanity. The conscience of many a serial killer is no guide at all, having been anesthetized long before by sin. Another way of putting it would be to say his heart has been hardened. But what about the conscience of the Christian? Does it have a role to play in deciding how to behave? The answer actually yes. It… Read more

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… 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… 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… Read more

Mr. Holmes— The Drama of the Summer

In 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, who is the… 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… 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…. Read more

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