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Good and Evil and the Untrained Eye

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells a parable about a man with a wheat field. During the night, some guy with a really, really bad attitude snuck in and sowed some weeds among the wheat. Which is interesting because weeds are the kind of things that don’t need sowing. They just appear. But these aren’t ordinary...

Our Treatment of Outsiders Can Put Us in Some Strange Company

“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt,” the Israelites were enjoined. “Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:15) Thus Moses instructed the people of Israel. Remember. Remember what it was like to be a slave. Remember when every day was the...

If Jesus Gives Eternal Life But You Refuse to Live It, Have You Really Received It?

What do you mean when you say you are a Christian? In a Christian-majority country like ours, people mean different things when they claim the Christian label. At the lowest, most basic level, you claim being a Christian because you aren’t Muslim, Jewish or Hindu. But it also means that you aren’t an...

A True Patriot–and Christian–Opposes Nationalism

I’m from Maryland. There, I’ve said it. There used to be a time when I wouldn’t have said that. I would tell people I’m from Alabama, because that’s where I was born. But saying you’re from some place means more than just you were born there. It indicates heritage, culture, and roots, none of which are...

What Killed Jesus Will Kill Us Too

History repeats itself, they say. They’re wrong. We’re just too stubborn to learn from history. The Maccabean period of Jewish history, which started with the revolt led by Judas Maccabeus in 167 B.C.E., is crucial in understanding the times in which Jesus lived and the New Testament was born. It also has a...

The Bible, Government, and the Law

There was a whole lot of Bible-quoting going on in the news last week, and most of it poorly done. That’s what happens when you marshal selected verses out of context to provide support to whatever policy you want to justify. The verse in question was Paul’s statement in Romans that human government has a...

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