“His Name Is John”

When the Bible makes a big deal about a baby’s name, you better pay attention. No, I’m not talking about Jesus, though his name is significant. It means, “Yahweh saves,” and is also the name of the man (Joshua) who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, which is not without its own significance. But for...

How to Heal a Human Heart

When my children were young, I made them do things, or prevented them from doing things. It was great if they wanted to do the things they had to do, but it really didn’t matter. If I decided they needed to do something, I made them do it. If they didn’t, there were consequences. I tried not to be bossy....

The Unstuck Bible: Recognizing the Movements of God in Scripture

In the last post I observed that there are places in the Bible where God is capricious and volatile, acting in a way that is inconsistent with One who is described as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Not that he merely appears to be these things, but...

Why Does God Sometimes Act So Temperamental?

If God never changes, then why does he seem so different in the New Testament than the Old? Everyone sees it. Readers new to the Bible are disturbed by it. Experienced Bible readers develop reasoned explanations for it which seem sound in general but which tend to become strained when looking at specific...

A Perfect Brutality

My dad was pretty hard on me growing up. No matter what I did, he wanted me to do it better, especially in school. If I got a B on a test, he wanted me to get an A, and told me so. If I brought home an A, he wanted an A+. If I answered 49 out of 50 questions correctly and got an A+, he’d want to know why I...

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