Study to Show Thyself Approved

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Start Studying, from the article So You Want to Be a Pastor by Dave Bruskas of Mars Hill Church. I particularly enjoyed this take on importance of scripture, just thought I’d share. His next piece of advice is to start evangelizing. There are many pastors but evangelistic pastors are few and far between.

 

 

Opinion: Is This a Good Lie?

365 times This statement made the Facebook rounds a year or two ago and seems to be recirculating again. Have you seen this or shared it already on social media? Here’s the thing: it isn’t true. 

The born-again believer certainly has nothing to fear. If the Bible said “Do not be afraid” even once then it would be a statement of ultimate truth that we can all believe in. The ESV contains the phrase 33 times, the NIV 70 times, the most occurrences I have found in any translation. (The KJV by contrast does not contain that exact phrase even once.) Is it true that we should not be afraid? Yes. Is sharing this image a way to encourage and inspire believers? Perhaps yes. My wife thinks I’m trolling if I see this on Facebook and comment to the poster it’s not accurate.

Question: should we continue sharing this image in order to encourage one another even though it makes a false statement about the scripture? 

I believe telling lies about the truth is still lying. I don’t believe we can “rightly divide the Word of Truth” by making false statements about what it says. I’m not calling every person who has ever posed this a liar. Like so many other things people smile a little when they this image and click “share” without checking to see is the claim has any truth to or it not. I for one happen to think sharing a false statement about biblical truth is a greater offense than reposting urban legends about Coca-cola being used to clean toilets or the current president taking more vacation days than any other.

 

 

Who Were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

bible, scrollAs books were chosen to represent a New Testament of the Bible, conveying the biography of Jesus and the formation of the Christian Church, a few were chosen and many others passed over. The writings that were chosen by the early church leaders become Bible canon, but there are many gnostic Gospels and falsely ascribed (pseudepigraphal) epistles that still exist today. There is even some disagreement between Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians about what is considered scripture.

Michael Patton, author of the Parchment & Pen Blog published by Creedo House, finds it interesting that while some Gospels with recognizable names, i.e. Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Mary, were passed over we have four Gospels included in the Bible that are essentially anonymous. Each book is named for the person believed to be the author – namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – but none of the writers identify themselves as such. Patton further believes this anonymity adds to rather than detracts from the works credibility.

Please read 4 Gospels or 4 Forgeries and see for yourself. I found the post engaging and his reasoning sound but you’re entitled to agree or disagree.

The Law as a Gift of God

Israel at SinaiThe Hebrew people were brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand in the Book of Exodus. God was calling them to himself; they would be his people and he would be their God. It was a covenant relationship not offered to any other people on the face of the earth. He made a dwelling place for himself among them and gave them his law. As people of faith living in the age of grace, we may think of the Law as a burden that is too great to bear. At the time it was gift, given only to God’s chosen people. Continue reading

The Difference Between Saul and David

David has a bad day at work.

David has a bad day at work.

Saul was personally chosen by God himself to rule as king over Israel. He later rejected Saul and chose David. But we all know the story of David and Bathsheba; though once described as a man after God’s own heart, David committed adultery, engaged in a government orchestrated cover-up, and eventually resorted to murder. So why was Saul rejected but David restored? I suggest it all has to do with repentance. Continue reading

Not Exactly Right

bear

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” That’s actually a quote of Friedrich Nietzsche. I guess the bear thing is funny, but… the statement is unnecessary. The original quote creates two categories, things that kill you and things that don’t. Since bears will kill you there is no exception. There are plenty of things that will kill you but the encouragement for survivors is what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Continue reading

Broken and Poured Out

anointed And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and wheneveryou want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9

So to summarize: A costly vessel was broken, a precious substance poured out, something valuable was given away but not wasted.  Continue reading