Why did God command such violence against the canaanite peoples?

One of the most common critiques of Christianity and Judaism is the חרם (ḥērem) that is given by God in Numbers 21:2, Joshua 7:12, Deuteronomy 7:2 and 1 Samuel 15:18. This is the instructions to wipe out many of the nations of Canaan, including all women and children. God even says that they are not allowed to take any wealth from the conquest for themselves. Why did THE LORD impose such a harsh penalty?It doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s hard to imagine Jesus Saying these words. We are left wond … [Read more...]

How do you read the Histories in the Bible?

The Bible is a book that is filled with many kinds of literature. There are poems, philosophical works, stories of people, songs, visions, and many other genres. Amidst the cornucopia of scriptural records are many accounts that seek to inform people about events of the past. These books are often called the "historical books." Although these books have historically been authorities in understanding what has happened in the past, that assumption has been seriously challenged in the last … [Read more...]

What is addiction?

The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism is: "What is thy only comfort in life and death?" The answer to this question, according to the catechism, is to "belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ."I know that there are many things in my life that give me comfort that are not inline with this idea. All the things that give me comfort outside of Christ point to places in my life that I may be struggling with an addiction.I believe that we are all addicts, because we … [Read more...]

What does δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ mean?

One of the most controversial phrases in the Bible is δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ. It shows up in Romans 3:5; James 1:20; Romans 10:3. It's a hard phrase to translate but here are four ways people have read the greek.1) Possessive Genitive - The righteous character of God2) Objective Genitive - The righteousness we present to God (which is never good enough, this is the anxiety that Luther felt as an Augustinian Monk)3) Genitive of origin - God either i … [Read more...]

I’m in Honduras

Hey Everyone... I'm in Honduras this week.Sorting Green CoffeeI'm writing you today from the top of a mountain. The temperature is great it's not hot or cold. It's T-Shirt weather while the sun is up, and sweater weather at night. It's beautiful and so nice to be away from the sound of traffic. I'm working with Honduran coffee grown on the slopes of the San Matias mountains.To learn about what I'm doing please check o … [Read more...]

What Will We Remember For Eternity?

When I was first beginning to seriously explore my faith in my teens I remember talking to a good friend of mine about the after-life. We were talking about how there were to be no more tears in heaven, because all pain would be taken away (Revelation 21:4). This idea concerned me. I had trouble understanding how someone could live with no pain in heaven if they lived through a life filled with pain. My friend said, “well that’s easy, look at Isaiah 65:17 'For behold, I create new heavens and a n … [Read more...]

Do you tell White Lies?

This story is from http://www.jesusorsquirrel.com/ Have you ever told a white lie to make others think better of you?Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa, but forgot to do it until the last minute.She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.When she took the cake from the … [Read more...]

How I understand prayer

This week I attended a lecture by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in which he gave one of the best definitions of prayer I have ever heard. He told it in the form of a story that he had heard as a child of only ten years old. In this story a man goes to a church for a long time every day and spends time in the sanctuary. After this practice continues for some time his friends confront him and ask. What are you doing there in the church every day, what are you up to. The man simply replied, "I am … [Read more...]

Election and Liberation

This week I read an interesting article by George Pixley and Clodovis Boff called "The Option for the Poor in the Old Testament". It was part of a collection of essays in the book Voices from the Margin: Interpreting the Bible in the Third World. In this essay Pixley and Boff look to see how the story of the Exodus. They are interested in finding ways that this ancient story can find contemporary resonance, and seek to address how the oppressed in the world today should view the Biblical story … [Read more...]