The New Testament on the Slave Trade

Have you ever come across something in a passage of Scripture that you’ve read countless times and yet never noticed it before until someone points it out?  Steve at Triablogue discusses this passage:

We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine (1 Tim 1:9-10).

Read what he says about this passage after the jump. [Read more...]

There are still Samaritans

Did you know that there are still Samaritans, that despised off-shoot of Judaism that Jesus reached out to?  There are only around 800 left–they call themselves the world’s smallest religion–and they still have their hopes on Mt. Gerazim.  Details after the jump. [Read more...]

Donald Trump announces his favorite Bible verse

Donald Trump has said that his favorite book is the Bible, with his own Art of the Deal coming in at second place.  But he was unable to give his favorite Bible verse.  But now he has.  It’s that “chapter” in Proverbs “never bend to envy.” [Read more...]

Covetousness and idolatry

In our Bible class last Sunday, in which we are studying the hymns of Martin Franzmann, this Scriptural text came up:

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5).

The question arose, in what sense is someone who is covetous also an idolater?  Think about that.  After the jump, I’ll tell you the quite illuminating explanation given by my son-in-law, Rev. Ned Moerbe.

[Read more...]

Walking away & walking it back

Another good sermon yesterday from Pastor Douthwaite on the third week the Gospel lesson has been on John 6, that rich text in which Jesus proclaims Himself to be the Bread of Life.  When he went so far as to say that he was not just being metaphorical, that His flesh is “true food” and His blood “true drink,” many of his followers walked away.  The same thing happens today when erstwhile followers encounter “hard sayings” that they won’t accept.  We sometimes walk away from Christ.  But Christ doesn’t walk away from us. [Read more...]

The Bread of Life

Pastor Douthwaite’s sermon last Sunday was based on the reading from John 6, in which Jesus continues his discourse about how He is the Bread of Life.  I was struck by the way the sermon showed how Jesus is undoing the Fall and restoring us to the Garden:  an act of eating makes us lose Paradise, and an act of eating makes us regain Paradise; we lost the Tree of Life, now in the Cross we have the Tree of Life. (The text also plays with other Old Testament images:  the manna in the wilderness; the Mountain of God.)  Read the whole sermon, linked after the jump, but I’ll give you samples. [Read more...]