God’s Offensive Love

God’s kind of love is the highest kind of love. It is unconditional, freely-given, abundant, never-ending, and steadfast through all circumstances. “What can separate us from the love of God?” Paul asks in Romans 8. “Nothing,” he says. Not the most powerful person on earth, now or in the future. Not death or the forces that bring it. There is no height that exceeds it, nor depth it will not stoop to. It...

If Surrendering to God is ...

We’ve all heard sermons and lectures about surrendering to God. We’ve sat through plenty of Sunday School lessons about surrendering to God. There are books about surrendering to God. We sing songs about surrendering to God: “I Surrender All.” It’s in our religious vocabulary. Surrender your life to Jesus. Ministers talk about the time they surrendered to the call to the ministry. So it’s definitely a...

The Only Real Reason to Re...

When I interpret Scripture I go through a process, almost second-nature by now, that includes, suspending my assumptions about the nature of the Bible; not letting my previous instruction about a passage inhibit something new and different coming out; letting the original writers have their voice and their say; looking past what a writer means to what he is trying to accomplish; and then interpreting...

Jesus, Inspiration, and Re...

In the last post in this series on interpreting the Bible, I noted that the New Testament writers are all in agreement that Jesus is the fullest revelation of the nature and character of God. This naturally raises questions regarding the nature of Scripture, inspiration, and Jesus’ relationship to the Old Testament. Here’s the conclusion to that post: Some might say—indeed some have said—that the only way...

Ending Racism is Central t...

Racism was the central problem in the New Testament, and the church was supposed to be the solution being lived out in the world. The hostility between many Jews and their attitudes toward Gentiles that we see in the gospels was racial hostility. It was deep, and it was dark. These Jews had categories of things that were clean and unclean. For instance, it was unclean to wear cloth of mixed fabric—flax...

Should the President Heed ...

Do you want the leaders of our country to follow the Sermon on the Mount? I’m not asking if you think they should be compelled to, or if the Sermon on the Mount should be made the law of the land along with the Ten Commandments and other parts of the Bible. This isn’t about religious liberty or whether the United States was or is or should be a Christian nation. I’m just asking if you think that it would...

Jesus is the Standard: Par...

When you do something all the time your approach becomes second nature and largely unconscious, so a few weeks ago I decided to examine what I do when I interpret the Bible and share those steps with you. I’ve written about how I: try to suspend my assumptions about the Bible and it’s inspiration; try to move beyond what I’ve been taught which might preclude me from seeing something new; try to let each...
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