Tags: Bible

The Short Answer

“With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of […]

Personal and Family Matters

Students of first century Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture point out that in the days and lands of the Bible it went without saying that the value of the individual was a family matter. Name, identity, and honor were closely connected to parentage, tribe, and what a father, mother, son or daughter contributed to the […]

A Time to Wonder

Others had said something similar. But it was during a dark time in my life that, through the novels and Unspoken Sermons of Scottish author and poet, George MacDonald (1824-1905), I began to take to heart— what I now believe to be some of the most helpful counsel and caution I’ve ever heard: If, while reading […]

Looks Like Might Rain on Monday

A lot of what I’ve come to believe about God and country, Jesus, the Bible and how to interpret it, sin, politics, war, law and order, the future, forgiveness, and the better part of wisdom— could get me in a lot of trouble and cause conflict, hurt, feelings, disillusionment, alarm, loss and regret. The best […]

The Word of God

Imagine talking to someone who has never read the Bible before. Literate, intelligent, intrigued with the Scriptures, and knowing of your interest in The Book, the person asks, “how do you read it’? Which of the following do you think you might, or definitely would not say? I read every word as the Word of God. I read […]

Reading in Low Light

The book of Ecclesiastes, like the books of Job and Psalms show how easily we confuse our own understanding with our thoughts of God. How else can we read “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless…” (Ecc 1:2 NLT), followed soon by, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every […]

What has God Said?

Thanks to all who jumped into the conversation, “Under Fire”. Seems like we are all rightly sensitive to the original “has God said?” challenge of our enemy. Yet, we now face a different set of problems. Today, when it comes to interpreting and applying Scripture, if we don’t say, or at least wonder, “has God– really […]

Under Fire

How do the Scriptures work for us in the declared war with our spiritual enemy? Is our challenge to do as Jesus did? When tempted— either to prove himself, or to negotiate a settlement for the world— he responded three times with quotes of the Jewish Scriptures (Luke 4:1-13). I’ve often thought about how skillfully […]

Jonah and Jesus— for Openers

Continued… from Jonah’s no Jesus. Thanks to those of you who’ve taken the challenge… Here’s an example of the kind of reflection I’ve been alluding to. It’s done not by turning the subplots of the Bible into allegories, but rather by reading forward and then backward to see how the greatest of all true mysteries, tragedies, […]

What is it About Jonah?

I don’t remember the first time I heard about Jonah. But looking back, I can see how differently his short story has played out in my imagination over the course of a lifetime. Early on, it was about a man who was swallowed by “a whale”. At some point I learned that it was a […]

What is Biblical?

When God became a man to mirror in flesh the exact likeness of his Spirit, there was one kind of person who loved him, and another that ended up demanding his death. What do we know about the people who loved him and what/Who was the Word that they became known for? Who hated him, […]

True and Better

If the spirituality and miracle of the Bible comes to us— not just in its individual thoughts and events— but in the way all of them, together, help us see our need of the God who has come to us in Jesus, then, Can we also conclude that living with conscious reliance on the Spirit […]

The Blessing

Many of us treasure the Bible as an inspired gift from the Creator who wants us to know his love for us— and our need of him. What is just as clear is that those same Scriptures can leave us with the still unfolding Story of a wonderfully good Servant-like God who is calling us […]

Foreshadowing in The Lottery

In 1948 the New Yorker Magazine published one of the most famous short stories in American literature. Titled “The Lottery”, and written by Shirley Jackson, it’s about a small town that held an annual drawing in which every family picked a slip of paper out of a black box. As town people look at one […]

Has God Said?

The question has a history. Before it was first asked, human experience was limited to a paradise of undisguised trust and innocence (Gen 2:25). Then… from behind the mask of one of God’s own creatures, the hellishly subtle question was asked, “Has God said….?” In the next few words, Genesis gives us a hint of […]

Why the Mystery?

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, we remember and celebrate events that no one but the Messiah, himself, saw coming. Even when Jesus began repeatedly telling his friends that he needed to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of religious leaders— before rising the third day (Matt 16:21), it was […]

Dark Thoughts

Because there is so much we don’t understand about the eternal purposes of the God of the Bible, he can be read like a self-centered father who plays favorites with this children; a moral monster who takes pleasure in the cruel deaths of his enemies; or a powerful bully who uses his strength to intimidate […]

Why is the Bible Called the Word of God?

This is an important question because there are many voices in the Bible. In its pages we hear our Creator quoted as saying, “Let there be light”, and Satan’s subtle challenge, “Did God really say…?” Between the first words of Genesis and the last words of Revelation we find prophets and poets speaking in their […]

Questions About The Book

A recent Gallup Poll indicates that three out of four people in the United States still think of the Bible as divinely inspired. According to 2014 research, 28% think of it as the Word of God— that should be taken literally. 47% think of the Scriptures as the word of God but don’t think that […]

Living Letters

In past conversations we have talked about whether quotes of an inspired Bible remain the Word of God no matter how ungracefully or thoughtlessly they are expressed. We may also have observed together that when the written Scriptures themselves speak of the Word of God they may be referring to, (1)  A direct quote of […]

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