We often hear that we ought to delay marriage. We are told to pursue education, a career, and only then marry. I disagree. I would suggest that it is a good thing to marry young, even before your have finished your educational or vocational goals. Here are four reasons why. [Read more…] about 4 Reasons to Marry Young
New Testament Scholar and former Anglican Bishop, Tom Wright, wrote a letter to the editor of the London Times, arguing that gender fluidity is a “form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism.” He explains, “The Gnostic, one who “knows”, has discovered the secret of “who I really am”, behind the deceptive outward appearance (in Rifkind’s apt phrase, the “ungainly, boring, fleshy one”).”
According to Wright, part of this “knowing” involves denying the goodness of the natural world. The problem, he argues, is that nature “tends to strike back.” The next generation will become “confused adults” and will pay the price for this generation’s “fashionable fantasies.” [Read more…] about N. T. Wright Calls Gender Confusion A Modern Form of Gnosticism
A Christmas meme has been making it’s way around the internet. It features a little boy asking Santa: “Homoousios or Homoiousios?”
Santa replies with a confused, “What?”
Then comes the punchline. The little boy says, “You’re not the real St. Nicolas.”
So what in the world is this meme about? Well, it’s about one of the most important realities in the universe: who Jesus is.
There is a controversy simmering online about whether or not God can change. Some argue that God changes because he enters into history and appears to do something at one point and to do another action at a different time. God is angry with someone for sinning on Monday. Then he is happy with someone for obeying on Tuesday. The Bible seems to describe God changing.
So is the classical view that God is without change wrong?
No. God is unchangeable, and we should thankful for that! [Read more…] about Does God Change?
When the last Apostle died sometime in the 90s, the church had to define where authority lay. Scripture was always central. But who would lead the churches like the apostles did? Would it be the itinerant prophets, or would it be the elders? Already by the late 90s, the answer became clear: elders or bishops would lead the church (cf. Ignatius and Clement).
But the elder-led churches in the generation after the apostles frequently encountered persecution and opposition. Emperors persecuted, philosophers accused (Celsus), and Jewish believers challenged the faith (Trypho, Ebionites, etc.).
In response, Christians appealed to Emperors and defended the faith. The question of identity also became extremely important. Who were God’s chosen people, and who was God working through today: Israel or the church?
The New Testament already provides preliminary answers to the question (cf. Rom 9-11), but the new apostles—the elders and bishops—had to clarify for their people what the church’s role was in relation to the people of Israel.
Elders and other church leaders began to answer this question by solidifying the identity of Christians as the people of God. Overwhelmingly, they saw themselves as not only the successors to Israel but the true, faithful people of God, whose roots lie in the faith of Abraham and whose faith is unrevocable in Christ. Here are three witnesses that testify that the church, not Israel, is the true people of God. [Read more…] about How Did 2nd Century Christians Understand Israel’s Relationship to the Church?
One of the most helpful kinds of Biblical commentary are biblical paraphrases. If you read New Living Translation or other similar translations, then you are really reading an interpretive paraphrase of the Bible. The paraphraser makes explicit his or her interpretation of the text. But this is really a commentary. It makes interpretive decisions for you.
For my devotional study of the Scripture, I will be writing paraphrases of the Bible that accord with my interpretation of the Bible. My goal is to sharpen my understanding of God’s word and help people to understand what the Bible says. Yet I am only providing a paraphrase. Read the Bible for yourself and see if my paraphrase matches the context and meaning of the passage that I translate.
I continue this series with Song of Songs 1:5-7! [Read more…] about Song of Songs 1:5-8: The Bride Sings, the Lover Answers