May 26, 2023

Monday: Read Revelation 15:1-8 In 15:1-16:20, John presents us with the third series of seven: the Seven Bowls (Seals; Trumpets; Bowls). Each of the three series of sevens have been moving us toward the climax of the story. This is evident in that the Seven Seals affected one-fourth of the people; the Seven Trumpets affected one-third of the land, sea, rivers, and heavens; and now the Seven Bowls affect everything. 15:1-8 serves as an introduction to the Seven Bowls, “which... Read more

May 22, 2023

I would like to ask a favor. Could we lay aside our preconceived notions of the end times and the book of Revelation for a bit and wrestle with the text in light of who God is? What I mean is this. I believe that much of the popular understanding of the book of Revelation blatantly contradicts what we know about God. Many evangelicals have come to believe that the book of Revelation provides details as to what is going... Read more

May 19, 2023

Note: this week’s reading is going to be difficult and have a little extra reading. Prepare for some extra time and extra contemplation. Monday: Read Revelation 12:1-17; Eph 6:10-17 In Rev 11:1-13, I argued that we have reached the pinnacle of the story. The Scroll has been opened, eaten, and its contents revealed. God will bring about the redemption of the nations and the restoration of creation through the faithful, loving, and sacrificial lives of His people! Ta-da! The end!... Read more

May 15, 2023

I discussed in my post two weeks ago that the question, “God, what is your will for my life?” is the wrong question. I suggested a number of reasons why I believe the question is problematic. In this post, I wish to add to the discussion and to contend that the question may actually undermine the Gospel itself. I drove by a church one time and outside they had a sign that read, “Discover who God created you to be.”... Read more

May 12, 2023

  Monday: Read Revelation 8:1-13 Rev 8:1-9:21 may well be one of the most misunderstood sections within the book of Revelation. Since 5:1, the narrative of Revelation has led us to believe that the contents of the Scroll are important. In 8:1, we learn that the Seventh Seal is broken. We fully expect that we will now see the Scroll will be opened and its contents revealed. In 8:2, 6-9:21, however, instead of learning what is on the Scroll, John... Read more

May 8, 2023

You may not know but: May 14 is the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence. For Israelis and some Jews (not all Jews support the formation of the Jewish state of Israel), it commemorates the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the historical land of their ancestors. May 15 is the 75th anniversary for the Palestinian people of the Nakba (“catastrophe”). The Nakba commemorates the expulsion of 700,000 Arabs from their homes following the aftermath of Israel’s war of independence (a... Read more

May 5, 2023

Monday: Read Revelation 5:1-14 As I noted in yesterday’s reading, the heavenly vision (4:1-16:21)—the second story (the main story) in the book of Revelation—opens with John being taken into heaven and brought before the throne. The throne room scene (4:1-5:14) encourages the readers to not be afraid of the powers of the world because, although it may appear that they are in control, the reality is that God is the One on the throne. In 5:1-14, we learn that the... Read more

May 1, 2023

As the final component of a Christian worldview, the question is often raised, “What is your purpose?” Although I might concede that this can be a fine question, I believe that it is too often misguided and, to be frank, problematic. Finding one’s purpose: is this an egocentric endeavor? In response to the question of one’s purpose, it is commonly asserted that since God made us in His image (one of the key starting points in a Christian worldview), then... Read more

April 28, 2023

Monday: Read Revelation 2:18-29 The message to the church in Thyatira forms the center of the seven messages. Note that this message contains the strongest representation and rejection of idolatry in all of the messages. Unfortunately, those in Thyatira have also succumbed to a “prophetic” voice (Jezebel) within their community (20). This “Jezebel” was likely encouraging the people of God in Thyatira to participate in pagan festivals in honor of the various patron deities. John views such activities as being... Read more

April 24, 2023

In my last post, I asked if lying is always a sin. In raising this question, I was trying to draw out the fact that the God of Scripture is loving and just, and yet the church in the West has seemingly focused more on His wrath than on His grace. I closed that post by noting, “We know that God desires mercy and yet we have established a society predicated on justice.” In this week’s post, which is actually... Read more

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