Why Rapture Predictors are Always Wrong (Revelation in a nutshell)

I remember it well. Billboards were being purchased with warnings: The Rapture will happen in 2011. Do you remember this? Christian radio host, Harold Camping, sincerely believed and taught that the rapture was coming in May 2011. He was wrong. He changed the date by several months. He was wrong again. When he passed away shortly thereafter, he was dumbfounded. Never for a minute did I doubt his sincerity. But that isn’t always enough. The problem lies in predicting. One… Read more

Church Toilets and Reading the Bible with Agendas

Did you know that churches haven’t always had indoor plumbing? (Yes, of course you knew this.) In fact, it wasn’t until the 1880s that church building (and regular buildings and homes) started to get toilets installed on a mass scale. And if you have ever been part of a congregation where the color of the carpet takes 24 monthly committee meetings, 8 quarterly council meetings, and 2 annual business meetings, to be decided upon… you will understand where I’m going… Read more

Sometimes Reading the Bible Literally Is Literally Wrong

For most of my life the goal of reading Scripture was information in, transformation out. It was almost as if the Bible was an archive of knowledge that could be mastered by the most devoted disciple. And often I still notice this trend playing itself out in one way or another. In other words, Christian character is often measured by how many verses someone can whip out in a freestyle theological debate. But 2 Chonicles 2.7 says…. and then Revelation… Read more

Jesus Never Said: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

Perhaps you’ve heard the catchphrase: “God helps those who help themselves.” It might have come up at a dinner table during the election. In our day, this phrase comes up in political banter more than any other place. One side claims that Jesus gives everyone a fair go at life, so all you have to do is work hard to succeed. At one level I agree: we should strive to be personally responsible where we can be. The other side… Read more

The “Christian” Politics of Stone Throwing

One of the challenges in any era is what to do when there is a difference of opinion. Two key areas come to mind: theology and politics. Yep, so-called Christian politics. When I was in my 20s I deconstructed my faith and politics like crazy. I encountered the idea that the good news of Jesus was so much bigger than I had ever known. Not only did Jesus die and rise to save me from my propensity towards the way… Read more

Jesus Never Said: “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”

We attribute lots of things to Jesus and/or the bible. Lots of things. We go to the bible for our political views. We give Jesus credit for our slogans. We use ideas that have been handed down to us without testing them, and assume they are biblical. We all have likely done this at one time or another. After all, we are human beings. Not only do we hand ideas down through the various channels of culture, but we have… Read more

I was quoted on TBN, positively, about Revelation

If you follow my social media channels, you likely already saw this. I am honored and perplexed. Here’s the video to check out! Thank you World Impact with Billy Wilson! The quote comes from my varied work on Revelation. I have an archive of work on Revelation here at Patheos as well as a great book/commentary list at my resource site. After seeing this episode, I’m hopeful for a shift in evangelical Christianity. TBN has been known for promoting one… Read more

Entering Jesus’ Kingdom of Shalom

Recently, I’ve spent some time thinking about the kingdom of God. I continue to come back to the availability of God’s kingdom–that it is an already and not yet reality. It is a kingdom that can be summarized by the word, shalom. Shalom, in the broad sense is a word meaning “peace.” This Hebrew word goes beyond this idea to mean things like “welfare,” “harmony,” or “right relationships.” When the world is as it should be–under God’s creative vision of the… Read more

I Wanted War – and I Was Wrong (Zach Hoag)

[Kurt Note: Zach is someone that I respect. A lot. In fact, he and I are kindred spirits in lots of ways. I hope that this excerpt from his brand new book, The Light is Winning, will inspire you today!] In the early days of my Reformed and Calvinist fervor, I made a mistake that has stuck with me. I’m sure I made a bunch of them back then, but this one, in my mind, represents the big problem with… Read more

The Word “Create” Means “Arrange” – Genesis 1 & Science

Last week I wrote about the problem the church is perpetuating: we create atheists by dealing with the question of evolution poorly. Young adults continue to leave over the perceived posture of broader church culture toward science (this exists in every tradition to a point, but certainly in my home tradition of evangelicalism). One of the biggest challenges when we come to a topic like creation and evolution is that the rules of the conversation have already been set. Evolution… Read more

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