I had an interesting discussion on another board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it together into a cohesive article. I have a couple of observations before getting into it. Continue reading
This is based on an article I read recently called The Naked Runaway and the Enrobed Reporter of Mark 14 and 16, in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (vol 54 no 3 pp 527-545) by Abraham Kuruvilla, an Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. What I like about it is Mark 14:51-52 is an obscure passage which I have often scratched my head over, but this article takes the text for what it says, steps back from the speculation and finds meaning and purpose for the story based on literary and exegetical considerations in the text. Continue reading
The following blog was motivated in part by an exchange I had on an online board. It got me thinking about the Doctrines of Revelation and The Scriptures.
These statements got me thinking. I think they are proof of the wisdom of the common Protestant attitude towards Tradition. These statements were made in response to the biblical statement that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was also his half-sister and were followed by the denial of the statement because Tradition says there is a better – more moral – story. Ultimately, it is the anachronistic imposing of later-century morés into a millennia-old story, as if saying “eww” grants one the authority to change the story. At issue is the concept of Revelation. Continue reading
[Abraham] considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead(Hebrews 11:19)
We have come to the BIG event in Abraham’s life. It is the high point to which his life of faith carried him. Of course, it’s not quite as easy as the clichés make it sound. Biblically, this is the big one and through the centuries people heap praise on this event. But practically, the specific example is not one we would support anyone following. Were a Pastor to preach on this incident, and one of his listeners say “I have been greatly inspired by your sermon. This afternoon, Junior and I are going off to worship and later we will return.” The pastor would do everything in his power to dissuade the man. In fact, the intervention would be quite intense and final. If the guy could not be dissuaded, junior would not be allowed to go with him. Continue reading
I have been looking at the life of Abraham in a series I titled Flesh Vs Faith. In the NT, Abraham is called the friend of God (James 2:23) and the man of faith (Galatians 3:9) and is presented as our example of faith. Surprisingly, many approach Abraham’s life as an example of what not to do. Continue reading
We are in the section of the Sermon which I titled Righteousness Affects Your Obedience. It comes between two statements by Jesus which act together to show the unity of this section. The first is, For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20) and the second, You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) Righteousness – true righteousness – is beyond what the religious leaders of Jesus’ day taught and practiced, it is the very perfection of God. Continue reading
We are in the section of the Sermon which I titled Righteousness Affects Your Obedience. One reason that I like that title is many think that obedience precedes, or causes, righteousness while the biblical approach has righteousness first and this is the first cause which affects behavior. Continue reading
And I went up by revelation; and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before them who were of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run, in vain. (Galatians 2:2 RV)
I’ve been thinking of this verse in Galatians. Paul is recounting the events of Acts 15 when he and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to confer about the issue of circumcision. Some were teaching that Gentiles must be circumcised – they must become Jews – to be saved. Paul opposed this teaching.
This event comes up frequently in certain circles as the First Church Council and this verse in particular is used to say that Paul had uncertainty concerning what he preached and that he was submitting what he preached to the Church leaders for their affirmation or for their correction. According to this take, Paul was unsure if what he taught was accurate and had the leaders ruled that Gentiles must be circumcised, it is assumed, Paul would have had to admit he had run (taught) in vain and changed his teachings in submission to the leaders. I suggest, rather, that this phrasing means something quite else. Continue reading
The one who stiffens his neck after numerous rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1)
This proverb came to my thinking recently, maybe in the context of me not “stiffening my neck” so much, but I don’t know. The image is of a person insisting on going his way despite repeated evidence and corrections to turn back. The result is utter failure and destruction. Whatever he had hoped would protect him on his journey of folly will not work. Without remedy. Continue reading
I had a discovery tonight. There is a very popular line within Christendom which I don’t like and I believe is wrong-headed and faithless. My own pastor uses it fairly frequently. It is: Pray as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on you. I’m sure that I have mentioned it before.
In any case, I was reading a book tonight by Brennan Manning who traced this popular phrase back to Ignatius Loyola. Only in Ignatius’ writing it is Work as if everything depends on God, Pray as if everything depends on you which I think is far more right.