October 7, 2019

In my previous blog, I argued that the Sabbath instructions in Torah did not merely require Israel to take a Sabbath each week, but also to give Sabbath. Today, I want to look at what the New Testament has to say about Sabbath in light of this understanding. We always have to be careful about making broad generalizations about what large groups of people think and believe. In Jesus’ time, there were many different schools of biblical interpretation among the… Read more

October 4, 2019

Anytime I’ve heard someone preach or teach on Sabbath, the main point has focused on the need to take a Sabbath. However, what I find striking is how the Bible emphasizes the importance of giving Sabbath. In today’s blog, I want to investigate this further. What we’ll see is that the Sabbath principle reflects God’s love and concern for all of his creation, not just people. By extension, those who are truly God’s people are characterized by the same love… Read more

October 1, 2019

In Hosea 6:6, God tells Israel through the prophet Hosea that he desires mercy, not sacrifice. This raises a very important question: what, exactly, is mercy? In the following I will argue that the popular definition of mercy falls well short of its biblical meaning. When properly understood and practiced, mercy is arguably the defining ethic of God, his kingdom, and his people. I’m sure that many of you have heard, and perhaps used, the following definition of mercy. I… Read more

September 27, 2019

In my recent blogs, I’ve argued that our relationship with Jesus is defined by his kingship. Today, I’d like to examine a reoccurring motif that the Bible uses to illustrate the role of the king. In the Bible, the king is a shepherd. In the OT, the image of shepherd is frequently used to describe God’s kingship over Israel (Psalm 23, Ezek. 34, et al). This is not unique to Israel’s scriptures. Other nations also viewed their kings as shepherds…. Read more

September 23, 2019

An earthly kingdom is defined by the extent of the king’s authority. The limits of his authority are typically marked off geographically. A landmark, whether natural like a river or mountain range or one that is man made, indicates that on one side you’re under the king’s authority and on the other side you’re not. Another thing that defines a kingdom is its capital city. This is where the king’s palace is. It is the seat of his authority. All… Read more

September 19, 2019

I often hear Christians say something to the effect of, “I’m not into religion. I’m into having a relationship with Jesus.” This is one of those slogans that sounds really spiritual on the surface, but in fact says virtually nothing. Today, I want to talk about what the Bible says about our relationship with Jesus, a relationship that is defined by kingship. I have many relationships, which fall into very different categories. My most intimate relationship is with my wife…. Read more

September 12, 2019

Intergalactic Twist Luke Skywalker was my childhood hero. He worked diligently to become a Jedi Knight, saved the rebel alliance from ultimate destruction, and conquered the forces of evil. In a nutshell, he was the star of the blockbuster trilogy Star Wars—or so I thought. Long after the series seemed to have ended, there were rumors of a prequel (or, more accurately, a threequel). I was skeptical at first, but my cynicism abated shortly after I purchased a copy of… Read more

September 11, 2019

**Sam and John each have different views on who is the main character in the book of Ruth. What follows is Sam’s suggestion. John will have his say later in the week. The Mess We’re In I don’t know if you’ve been on Facebook lately, but it’s a bit of disaster. Between politics, religion, and sports, it’s hard to find much positive on the Facebook. And I hear Twitter’s worse. But every once in a while you find that thing… Read more

September 6, 2019

In today’s blog, I’ve decided to change things up a bit and post a piece of satire with a dash of my dark humor. I hope it’s both entertaining and thought provoking. I now give you “Cults for Dummies.” The Scene: a man suffering from insomnia stumbles across a late night infomercial that piques his curiosity. What is one to do when your education and work history limits your employability outside of small range of fields? I asked myself this… Read more

September 2, 2019

As the end credits rolled on, everyone just sat there, somewhat satisfied with the ending but also sad to know it was over. They were facing the perennial dilemma of every binge-watching individual and party group: what to watch next, now that the series that captivated our attention for so long is over…for good. The long running “movie night” group of Prince of Peace Church faced this very dilemma. Together they stared deeply into the show hole, collectively drawing a… Read more

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