Today, I posted a blog for bible.org on helping your children learn to read the Bible on their own. I am forever grateful to those in my life who helped instill the importance of Scripture in my soul. Read on…. Read more
To a certain degree holidays often bring out painful emotions. People grieve deeply as the birthday of a deceased loved one comes or when they open presents the first Christmas after a loved one has departed.
But it seems to me that Mother’s Day may be the hardest holiday of all. Read more
Recently, fellow Moody Alumna Dalaina May wrote a blog article for the Junia Project on “What You Need to Know About Bathsheba.” It’s often hard to find positive things about Bathsheba (or much on her at all for that matter), so I wanted to highlight some of the things I appreciated in Dalaina’s article:
- An Acknowledgment of Bathsheba as the victim—She points out that Bathsheba was not an adulteress but instead the victim of a “power rape” and rightly points out that the biblical author places the full blame for the immoral incident on King David (for more support of this point, see my earlier blog article “Bathsheba’s Story (Part 1): How I Changed My Perspective.”
- An Acknowledgment of Bathsheba’s profound influence on Jewish and Christian history—We don’t always talk about the positive influence Bathsheba had on her son Solomon. For example, many scholars believe Lemuel’s tribute to his mother in Proverbs 31 is tribute made by Solomon to his mother Bathsheba. In sum, Bathsheba’s voice played an important part in history.
- An Acknowledgment that your role in society does not limit how God uses you—Bathsheba was a victim, but her influence was long lasting. I love Dalaina’s concluding line, “Even though the stories of powerful women often go unnoticed, God used women to usher in his kingdom throughout scripture. He still does.”
But here is my portion pertaining to Palm Sunday:
Readings: Psalm 118; Zechariah 9:9–12; Matthew 21:1–11
Religious throngs trek upward to Jerusalem chanting psalms of ascent (Ps 120-134) on an annual pilgrimage. Longing for a Messiah to free them from Rome’s harsh rule, they sing words of hope.
They think about Jesus of Nazareth. Some say he’s a prophet, others claim he is the Messiah. But on this special day, Jesus reveals his own message for the crowd—he is the holy fulfillment of Zechariah 9—the humble Messiah riding a colt.
The crowds call out words indicating they recognize his claim of Messiahship: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt 21:9).
They want a revolutionary Messiah and wave their branches with expectation. Branches like the ones waved in victory after the Maccabean revolt. Branches like the ones the Romans themselves gave to the winners in their games.
Yet, this Messiah doesn’t come gallivanting into Jerusalem on a noble stallion or brandishing chariots and weapons of war. Quite the contrary—he comes into town with a nursing donkey and her colt.
But they fail to understand. They recognize a key part of Jesus’ identity as Messiah, but they miss his main purpose in coming. Their definition of a savior doesn’t match up with his.
Many people of God still praise him with their lips, but true disciples recognize the deeper picture—before the victory, our Savior walked a dark path of agony.
Before the triumph must always come the cross.
Many Christians hotly debate the roles men and women play in church ministry. Yet, ironically, while we’re debating the merits of all the various forms of egalitarianism and complimentarianism (or patriarchal hierarchy), we forget a crucial point in the beginning of Genesis—unity.
1.) Unity in our creation in the image of God—Both males and females are created in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
The term image likely has in mind a custon that kings in the ancient near east had of putting up images to “represent their power and rulership over far-reaching areas of their empires.” Putting this thought into the Genesis context, this idea of “God’s image” has the idea of representing God’s power on earth. Read more
I love holidays and often feel a little blue in January after all the excitement of the Christmas season wears off. But then comes February with another exciting holiday to perk our spirits!
But I gotta say, our culture’s idea of love is far from ideal. And, the fact that a movie that glamorizes sexual violence comes out just in time for the Valentine Holiday ought to make all Christians pause.
In a world that has so many mistaken notions about love, how do we show true love?
I encourage you to check out this article I helped write for EvanTell on “13 Characteristics of Divine Love.”
Or, consider donating $50 toward a women’s shelter as part of the #50dollarsnot50shades campaign. You can read more about it here.
The past several blog posts I’ve been discussing the Canaanite Genocide. If you’ve missed my earlier posts, you can catch up at these links: “The Old Testament and Apologetics,” “Is the God of the Old Testament Merciless?,” “An Overview of the Canaanite Genocide,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Justice of God Viewpoint,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Evil of the Canaanites Viewpoint,” and “The Canaanite Genocide: The Hyperbolic Language Viewpoint.”
The questions pertaining to the so-called “Canaanite Genocide” are important issues. It is unlikely that any one proposal by itself is the correct solution for no proposal seems to satisfy all of the issues. I conclude with a summary of three key points: Read more
The past several blog posts I’ve been discussing the Canaanite Genocide. If you’ve missed my earlier posts, you can catch up at these links: “The Old Testament and Apologetics,” “Is the God of the Old Testament Merciless?,” “An Overview of the Canaanite Genocide,” “The Canaanite Genocide: The Justice of God Viewpoint,” and “The Canaanite Genocide: The Evil of the Canaanites Viewpoint.”
Today, I want to take a look briefly at “The Hyperbolic Language Viewpoint.” Or basically, the idea that the warfare language in the book of Joshua was hyperbolic. It’s sort of a similar idea to language that native English speakers might use today in athletic competitions like “Take him out!” or “Crush them!” We also see a figure of speech when we say the phrase “break a leg!” to an actress for good luck before a production. In these situations, we aren’t expected to take the words literally. So, proponents of this view say the Bible used hyperbolic language here to help drive the narrative. Read more
In reference to the evil of the Canaanites, some point out that the annihilation was only for one generation. Many other defenses have been pointed out as well from the limited number of cities destroyed to verses and archaeological information about the iniquity of these pagan nations.
It is worth noting that only three cities were completely destroyed (including physical structures) according to the biblical narrative: Jericho, Ai, and Hazor. It has been suggested that these three cities were military forts placed at strategic points along frequently traveled routes from the Jordan Valley to the population centers in the hill country. There is no archaeological evidence that shows that women and children even lived in theses cities. Read more
The justice and love of God can be described as a paradox. Though not always understandable by finite minds, God is both a God of supreme mercy and supreme justice. His justice demands punishment for sin. However, Eugene Merrill brings up a good point, “Such war was conceived by God, commanded by him, executed by him, and brought by him alone to successful conclusion,” and thus this war was a “holy war.” It was not a war instituted by Moses, Joshua, or the Israelites. Read more