Tags: law

Blowin’ in the Wind

In the early 1960s, Bob Dylan got into the heads and hearts of his generation with a series of thoughtful questions… and conclusion that “the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind…” Maybe he was saying more than he realized… Jesus promised answers that would come with the wind… But before going there, and […]

The Rule of Law

In the beginning, there was 1. Then 10 multiplied into hundreds— and thousands. Later we learn there is a time for everything—a time to see the importance of laws… and a time to see their worthlessness. If Jesus is in the process of renewing and refreshing all things, how does he throw light on what […]

Blinded by the Right

The beam of a bright flashlight hits our face in the middle of the night. The glare of a rising or setting sun makes it hard for us to see the road in front of us. A solar eclipse threatens to make it last— blinded by the light. Yet could the greater danger be to […]

Torah

The New Testament offers us citizenship in a monarchy where the King serves— and calls his servants friends. The idea isn’t completely  new. It’s a story that begins to unfold in the drama of Eden— but is soon lost in the confusion of a world where muscular strength and social authority are used to build kingdoms of self-serving […]

Behind and Beyond the Veil

Still between Passover and Pentecost, 2015, I’ve spent some time recently in Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians. In chapter 3 he compares and contrasts the glory of the law with the greater glory of the Spirit. A present significance for us is that, as observant Jewish people celebrate the giving of the law on […]

The Consuming Fire

Does God want us to be afraid of him… or to be afraid of not knowing and remembering how much he loves us? The 12th Chapter of Hebrews ends with a sobering thought: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence […]

The Gift of a New Testament

In our last conversation, Bill mentioned a book by Gaylord Enns called Love Revolution. I remember reading it some time ago, finding it to be a surprisingly important book, and then forgetting about it. So went to my shelves this past week, found it, and have been mulling over it ever since. In this book […]

Ebola and Leprosy

Toward the end of a BBC article on the tragic story of Ebola, a video provided by Street Child quietly whispers the story of African family members who have lost loved ones. Their subtitled words and talking eyes portray the humanity behind the sterile images of suited, goggled, and masked health workers. While recalling their […]

Moses, Joshua and Jesus

One of the most convincing evidences of the inspiration of the Old and New Testaments for me is the way so many patterns and word pictures end up being fulfilled— in a way that could not have been foreseen or orchestrated by human authors. One example that I have been thinking a lot about lately […]

Life in the Spirit

While reading an article on what the Apostle Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit, I was struck by the author’s reminder of something that we might regard as either too obvious to mention, or a wonderful re-discovery of what we already know. The author pointed out that it’s important to remember that the fruit […]

When it Comes to Specifics

I recently listened to the lecture of a Jewish rabbi who explained at length that Jewish and Christian people part ways not only over the New Testament, but over a large body of oral law which he said is essential to Jewish faith. According to this teacher, most if not all laws of written Scripture […]

Jacob’s Ladder

In 19th-century America, a generation of oppressed slaves sang a spiritual about “Jacob’s Ladder.” The repetitive, rhythmic lyrics about climbing higher and higher helped them envision themselves on a hard journey to a better place. The original story is about a great ladder reaching up to heaven, and it’s as down-to-earth as the man who […]

Degrees of Sin

Is all sin alike in God’s eyes? Our last conversation about God’s words to Moses—that, to our ear, can sound so self-contradictory (Exodus 34:5-7)— have raised a question about degrees of sin. Seems to me that this lingering thought might help us  reflect on the second half of an ancient quote that seems so unfair […]

Personal Outcomes

David , the shepherd, musician, soldier king of Israel wrote a song with 175 verses that celebrated the teaching of his God–in the words of Moses. In his last verse he sang with words that must have been more lyrical than our English, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I […]

The Bible and Cut Flowers

The words of the Bible can be like cut flowers. The words of Jesus, like the laws of Moses, can be selectively chosen and arranged for anyone’s temporary purposes and enjoyment. But once the words are sheared from the stem and root of the story they are telling, they begin to fade in significance like […]

Who or What Has Changed?

Malachi, the last prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures, quoted God as saying, “I am the LORD, I do not change” (3:6 NKJV). Down through the centuries, however, many have noticed that, somewhere between the Old and New Testaments, the God of the Bible does seem to change. Instead of sending down war, floods, fire, and […]

Jangling and Jingling

Sleigh bells jingle. But what jangles? The question surfaced as I bumped into the word in a King James version of the Bible. When I checked another version, I saw that “jangling” was a 17th century way of describing the sound of empty talk. According to the Apostle Paul, it can happen when someone tries […]

The Value of a Person

What did Jesus mean when he said that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27)? Could people be more important than the laws of God? The question is similar to the business-related question we’ve been discussing the last couple of days: Are people and relationships more important than […]

The Pharisee in Me

Over the years I have occasionally noticed the similarity between my own values and those held by the enemies of Jesus. According to the New Testament and the first century Jewish historian, Josephus, the Pharisees were: People of the Book—Devoted to the memorization and study of the Law. Lovers of God—Deeply committed to the God […]

Killing One Another

Many of us are trying to understand why an army sergeant turned his weapon on five fellow soldiers at a stress clinic in the outskirts of Baghdad. What was going through the mind of a man who already had his gun taken away before coming up with another? (See article here) The soldier had three […]

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, by continuing to use this site you agree to this. Find out more on how we use cookies and how to disable them.