Paul and Propitiation – Romans 3:25

Paul and Propitiation

Paul and Propitiation – An Essay on Romans 3:25

Propitiation—few Pauline words have generated more fountains of theological ink than this (hilasterion). Debates about what Paul intended go back as far as Origen. Post-Reformation, it has pretty much been five hundred years of ambiguity and theological hair-splitting. 

 

Continue reading

Wisdom in Saying Nothing: 'Saying More by Talking Less'

The relational wisdom of silence

The Wisdom in Saying Nothing: Saying More by Saying Less.

I have learned that when on spiritual and theological “adventures and excursions” it is often relationally best to say little, or nothing. The deeper the plow of the cross goes into our lives, the less one usually has to say about it. Eternal jaw-jacking and yammering about this and that spiritual thing is neither spiritually wise nor relationally mature. It is lacking in relational wisdom. It is a form of self-centeredness: what I think and what I have to say is so important that  . . .  blah, blah, blah. No one is listening.

Continue reading

The Illusion of Successful Professional Ministry: 'A Warning to Those with Ears to Hear'

Success or Fruitfulness?

The Illusion of “Successful” Professional Christian Ministry

Our dominant Christian culture rewards beauty, fame, and success rather than wisdom, fruitfulness, and faithfulness. The following is a true story from someone who learned the hard way and too late that “successful Christian ministry,” based on money, size, acclaim, and fame is a dead-end illusion. Jesus said we should beware when everyone speaks well of us because the false prophets were popular in Israel. I pray young women and men reading this will heed and spare themselves unnecessary sorrow and heartache.

Continue reading

Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: 'Seminar Session Summaries'

Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: Understanding the Semitic Background of the NT.

Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: Understanding the Semitic Culture Background of the NT.

If you are considering participating in our live-streaming seminar (click here for details) on June 9 and 10, 2018, you may be interested in the content of each of the six sessions. Here are brief session summaries of each:

Continue reading

Religious Buildings: Projections of Power: 'Guest Blog by Steve Hill, Harvest Now'

Western Values Regarding Church Buildings

Religious Buildings: Projections of Power

My friend, Steve Hill (Harvest Now in Ontario, Canada), does what I consider to be genuine and biblically sound “apostolic discipleship” around the world. He does it based on the values of Jesus in the Gospels (See his Luke 10 Manual), not Western values of success. He empowers local people in countries around the world to full kingdom functionality in their communities, without dependency on Western “experts” or money.

In this brief article he asks challenging questions regarding the emphasis (and cost) of maintaining millions, if not billions, of dollars in religious buildings, real estate, and property when the needs of others around the world are so demanding. It is my understanding that between 80-95% of all church budgets in the West are devoted to buildings and salaries. Is there not a better way to do “ministry,” a way with a global perspective and burden? I believe there is. I believe it is the Jesus-Way, and Steve and his coworkers  are doing it. This article is reprinted by permission.

Continue reading

The Hidden Idolatry in Charismatic Worship: 'Feeding the "Worship Experience" Beast'

Prophets of Baal

Prophets of Baal Worship Their God – J.J. Tissot

I have been a Charismatic believer for forty-two years. I was a weekly “worship leader” in Charismatic, “prophetic and apostolic” environments for thirty-five of those years. I get the picture as someone who has been on the inside for a very long time. I thoroughly understand the history, theology, values, beliefs, and practices behind Charismatic praise and worship expression. I also have had serious concerns and uneasiness about the theology and practice for a very long time. 

Continue reading

Christian Business Ethics – A Challenge to the Christian Business Person: 'Don't Slander the Lord in Your Business Dealings with Others'

Christian Business Ethics

Christian Business Ethics

I have been a follower of Christ for forty-two years. For thirty-four of those years I have been self-employed. Fewer things are more offensive to unbelievers, and more undermining to the Lord’s testimony in the earth, than vocally “Christian” business people whose true God is the love of money and whose business ethics resemble more of Bernie Madoff and Martin Shkreli than Jesus Christ. Being a Christian in business is more than having a fish sticker on the bumper of your business vehicle. It is having a Jesus stamp on your heart.

Continue reading

Studying the Bible: Doesn’t Approve You Before God: '2 Tim 2:15 - In Context'

2 Tim. 2:15 - Studying the Bible

Studying the Bible: Doesn’t Approve you Before God

Have you ever met someone who was a walking-talking Bible encyclopedia, yet unlike Christ in very pronounced ways, lacking the aroma of Christ? Many erroneously believe (based on 2 Tim 2:15) that by studying the Bible we are somehow, “approved unto God.”

Continue reading

Cleansing of the Temple – Does Jesus Sanction Violence: 'Is His Behavior a Norm for Human Relationships?'

Cleansing of the Temple Gospel Narrative

Cleansing of the Temple

In today’s climate of heightened political rancor, some believers use the cleansing of the temple gospel narrative to justify all manner of egregious and even violent behavior toward others–“After all, Jesus whipped people.”—sic. The cleansing of the temple account is one of the favorite proof texts of those who want to try to deflect the potency of Christ’s clear ethical commands to overcome evil with good and to love one’s enemies. Those who proof text this passage to justify their behavior are betraying the scriptures and the Lord they profess to serve.

Continue reading