January 23, 2019

  “And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28) “Now let the fear of the Lord be on you.” (2 Chronicles 19:7) All throughout the Old Testament scriptures, we see this idea of the Fear of the Lord invoked as a metaphor for observing the Lord’s commands, or observing the Law. It’s important for us to understand that the idea was not so much about literally having a sense of terror concerning the idea of… Read more

January 19, 2019

The Christian idea of the Atonement is quite often a collection of mixed metaphors. We sometimes talk about being redeemed from our sins, or say that Christ paid our debt on the cross. But sometimes we also say that God has forgiven our sins and erased our debts. So, which is it? As my friend Chuck McKnight points out, forgiving a debt is not the same thing as paying ransom. Either you pay someone what you owe them, or they… Read more

January 17, 2019

  There’s an old joke that goes like this:   One fish says to another fish, “How’s the water?” and the other fish says, “What the hell is water?”   The point is that, to the fish, “water” isn’t a thing. It’s just the world it was born into. So, it doesn’t know what being wet is, or understand the difference between air and water either.   Here’s another analogy: We are all in God. God is inescapable. God is… Read more

January 16, 2019

According to Barna Research, over half of American Christians have never heard of the Great Commission, and over 37% of those polled couldn’t identify the Great Commission out of a list of various Bible verses. Just in case you’re in that lower 50%, the Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20 and it’s where Jesus says:   “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” So, why… Read more

January 12, 2019

I’ve discovered something that surprised me recently. It turns out that, for most Christians, the hardest thing isn’t loving their enemies or serving the poor, it’s obeying Jesus’ command to love their own brothers and sisters in Christ.  * Over the last few weeks I’ve witnessed this phenomenon first hand, and it really disappoints me. What I mean is that when another Christian hurts our feelings, or even just disagrees with us about something, most find it easier to just… Read more

January 10, 2019

  I was talking with a friend the other day, over Skype, about all the different beliefs I’ve since shed over the years. He remarked to me that his transformation and deconstruction out of religion and into an actual relationship with Christ had created an incredible feeling of freedom, like a giant weight or burden had been lifted from his chest. I had to agree. But, then I started to wonder about why this is the case. Why do we… Read more

January 6, 2019

  Love isn’t a concept. It’s not a feeling. According to the Bible, love is a person, and that person is God. In the first epistle of John we read:   “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-9)   “God is love, and the one who abides (lives) in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:15-17)   As I was reading through the first epistle of… Read more

January 5, 2019

It’s not uncommon for me to receive private messages or texts from friends and followers who are upset about the things I write about. In fact, it’s an almost daily occurrence. Sometimes the notes I receive are quite positive and affirming. Those are the kind that keep me going, to be honest. But, often, the messages I receive range from gentle rebukes to all-capped accusations of being a false teacher who is leading young Christians astray, usually followed by a… Read more

January 3, 2019

We hear this all the time: “Jesus is the only way to heaven” or “No one will be saved without knowing Jesus.” But is that true? Well, not quite. At least, that’s not what Jesus meant when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6) Now, most of us have been told that this is what Jesus means to say in this verse, but a careful study of… Read more

December 29, 2018

  In 1 Corinthians 15:28, Paul outlines 3 phases in the life-giving reconciliation of all things to God: Christ’s resurrection from the dead Then, the salvation of those who are found in Christ Finally, the full completion of universal reconciliation after everyone has passed through the fire (See 1 Cor. 3:10-15) He affirms this again in Romans 5:18 where he says: “So, then, just as by one transgression unto condemnation for all human beings, so also by one act of… Read more

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