May 17, 2022

“There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” (2 Tim 3:16-17 Message) I have spent half of my career in the academy and half in... Read more

May 13, 2022

Week #3 Monday: Read John 7:40-8:20 The debate continues regarding Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ identity is a central issue in the Gospel of John. Some suggest that Jesus is “the prophet” (7:40). The allusion here is to Deut 18:15, 18 and the promise that God will raise up a prophet like Moses. Others were affirming that Jesus is the Christ (41: “Messiah/Anointed One”: i.e., the promised King). Some rejected this claim because Jesus was from “Galilee” and the Messiah comes from... Read more

May 10, 2022

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). “It’s in relationships and conversations that I find God. It’s not a real conversation if you’re trying to convert me to your position. That’s an argument. I’m not interested in arguing. That’s not a real relationship either.”[1] This is a common sentiment. Today’s generation is looking for community. The church should be a perfect place for them! Unfortunately,... Read more

May 6, 2022

Monday: Read John 4:27-54 In this section, John stresses Jesus as the Word. Jesus speaks and things happen. John also notes that it is the Samaritans and not the Galileans who believe His word. The disciples return from getting the food (27; cf 4:8) and see that Jesus was speaking with a woman. They must have been amazed to see that Jesus was speaking with a Samaritan, let alone a woman, though no one dared to ask Him. The woman... Read more

May 2, 2022

Stanley Hauerwas, in his work, A Community of Character, observes, “We rejoice in the difference and diversity of gifts among those in the church, as that very diversity is the necessary condition for our faithfulness. Discussion becomes the hallmark of such a society, since recognition and listening to the other is the way our community finds the way of obedience” (138). Where are the prophetic voices today? One of the reasons why we lack prophetic voices in the church today... Read more

April 29, 2022

Monday: Read John 1:1-18 The Gospel of John begins with a clear allusion to the book of Genesis: “In the beginning” (1). One of John’s goals is to identify the Word (Jesus) with the Creator. Thus, “all things came into being through Him” (3). We know that John is talking about Jesus in 1:1-3 because he makes it clear in 1:14 that, “the Word became flesh.” John explicitly affirms the Word’s identity with the Father: “the Word was with God,... Read more

April 26, 2022

In my last few posts (click here for the first post in this series), I have been sort of deconstructing the conservative, evangelical approach to biblical interpretation. I noted that one of the problems with our approach (though in reality, this applies to almost every approach) to biblical interpretation is that we do not like to admit that we are wrong. In addition, and perhaps more significantly, we are seldom willing to change our lifestyles—either our beliefs or our actions—in accord... Read more

April 22, 2022

Monday: Read Luke 21:1-38 Luke 21 (see parallels in Matt 24-25 and Mark 13) presents Jesus’ pronouncement of judgment on the temple and Jerusalem.[2] The passage begins with a contrast between the “rich” and the “poor widow” (1-2) at the temple. This sets the scene for the entire chapter. We already know how Luke feels about “the rich” (1). Every occurrence of the word “rich” in Luke is negative (Cf 6:24; 12:16; 14:12; 16:1, 19, 21, 22; 18:23, 25; 19:2).... Read more

April 19, 2022

I recently read a pastor’s blog post in which the author condemned as heretics those who choose to attend church from home rather than in person. In my disgust with the post, I shared the blog with someone whose simple reply says it all: “he is tone-deaf.” To this pastor, I would like to know: what exactly were you hoping to accomplish? If your goal was to make a point about the Bible and the church, I suppose you did... Read more

April 15, 2022

Monday: Read Luke 17:11-37 Luke 17:11 begins a new section in Luke that runs through 19:27. This section serves as a sort of summary closing the journey to Jerusalem narrative with an invitation to respond. The passage begins with Jesus cleansing ten lepers. Luke mentions that the cleansing took place “between Samaria and Galilee” (17:11) without identifying if it was Jews or Samaritans that we made well. One of the ten, however, who was a Samaritan, returns to “give glory... Read more

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