January 25, 2022

NB: apologies for those who read this blog regularly. This post is essentially the same as last week’s. Somehow it was reduplicated. A new post will be posted next Tues. User error I’m sure!  Evangelical Christianity is one of the most popular types of Christianity in the American landscape. Statistics vary as to how many American Christians identify as evangelicals but it is a significant number. Evangelical Christianity is neither a religion nor a denomination. Instead, it is a faith… Read more

January 21, 2022

Monday: Read 12:41-14:9 The larger context for Mark 12:41-14:9 includes the fact that Jesus entered Jerusalem and the temple and He found no fruit (11:11-14). As a result, He pronounces a coming judgment on the Temple by overturning the tables in the temple courts (11:15-18). The episode of the woman giving her two “copper coins” (note Mark always translates Judean language for his Roman readers: thus, he says, “which amount to a cent”; 42) has been widely misunderstood. Jesus is… Read more

January 18, 2022

Evangelical Christianity dominated much of the American Church over the last 50+ years. Statistics vary as to how many American Christians identify as evangelicals but it is a significant number. Evangelical Christianity is neither a religion nor a denomination. Instead, it is a faith movement that has grown in importance in the United States over the last five decades. What makes someone an evangelical? Most people fail to realize that self-identified evangelicals reside on both sides of the political aisle…. Read more

January 14, 2022

Monday: Read Mark 10:1-31 The theme of discipleship dominates this section. Jesus and the disciples are heading for Jerusalem where He will die. Jesus is going to become more and more explicit with them explaining what “take up your cross and follow Me” means (8:34). In this passage, Mark tells three encounters that illustrate for us Jesus’ understanding of discipleship with respect to marriage (1-12), children (13-16), and possessions (17-31). Discipleship is not only proper behavior in marriage relations, with… Read more

January 11, 2022

In my last post, I asked why can’t we just leave the church? I noted that one cannot leave because the Church is the body of Christ. In other words, you can’t leave the church because you are the Church. Now, this could be taken in several ways: one I agree with and one I do not agree with—well, I kinda don’t agree with it. I’ll begin with the latter. First, those who think that a person can’t be a… Read more

January 7, 2022

A devotional guide to the Gospel of Mark[1] Week 2 Monday: Read Mark 6:33-56; 8:1-10 The reason for skipping over Mark 7, which you will read tomorrow, is that you may read the two feeding stories at the same time. As you read, make note of the comparisons. What things happen in both? What are the differences? A careful reading of the feeding stories notes that there are several allusions to Moses’ leadership among the Israelites. Moses divided the people… Read more

January 4, 2022

Some of you hate the church. Some of you love the church and believe that yours is the best! Some of you have been hurt by the church. Some of you have done the hurting. For many, the church represents intolerance, hatred, and judgmentalism. It is likely quite accurate to say that most of those outside the church will have nothing to do with it. Some of those who are now outside the church used to be in it! But… Read more

December 31, 2021

  Day 1: Read Mark 1 There is little question that Mark was the first Gospel written—hence the reason for beginning our study with Mark. It is very likely that both Matthew and Luke not only wrote after Mark but that they knew of Mark and used Mark as one of their sources (using written sources was common at the time; note Luke 1:1-4). Mark was written to people who knew the stories of Jesus. However, they probably did not… Read more

December 23, 2021

As I said in my last post, I am convinced that before we can address the plethora of issues that plague the contemporary western evangelical church we must begin with a proper understanding of the church and the people of God. To reiterate: my conclusion is that the Church is the visible body of Christ in the world today and that this is what Paul is referring to in 1 Cor 11:17-34. As I discussed at length in my last… Read more

December 21, 2021

One of the problems with the church today is that we have little to no theology of the church. And the theology of the church that we do have is often incomplete and sometimes just plain mistaken. I don’t believe that we can discuss the multitude of issues that surround contemporary western evangelicalism unless with start with a proper understanding of just what the church is! To state my conclusion at the outset[1]: The Church is the visible body of… Read more

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