What is an “Open Door”?

Not every door that appears to be is an open door. And not every door that appears to be closed is a closed door. Just because a ministry setting looks like it’s going to be hard doesn’t mean that it is a closed door. For the Apostle Paul, an open door was a God-given opportunity … Continue reading What is an “Open Door”?

Tattoos and Biblical Greek

A few years ago, a delightful young college student came up to me and asked, “Would you like to see my tattoo?” “Um…OK,” I mumbled, somewhat unsure of where on her body the tattoo might be located. She lifted her long hair so I could see what was engraved on the nape of her neck. … Continue reading Tattoos and Biblical Greek

Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?

In a former post, I tried to answer the question of whether Paul was a literal tentmaker. In this post, I ask whether Paul was a figurative tentmaker—one who was self-supporting in ministry. I often interact with Christians who say, “I want to be tentmaker like Paul.” What they mean is that they want to … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?

Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?

In today’s post (part 1), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul literally sewed tents. It turns out that this is a disputed question. In a follow-up post (part 2), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul was a metaphorical tentmaker, that is, whether he worked with his hands … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?

Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11

Twenty years ago, my wife and I were living with our two daughters in a suburb on the northern edge of New York City. The shock waves from the two planes that slammed into the World Trade Towers reverberated across the nation—and indeed, around the world—but it was categorically different living in New York on … Continue reading Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11

Jeremiah 29:11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you…” Do these verses apply to us…or not?

It has become increasingly popular in recent years for teachers of the Bible (myself included) to disparage people who apply Jeremiah 29:11-13 to their lives. “You’re not paying attention to the context!” they loudly protest (…as I have). This post will explore whether such disparagement is appropriate, and conclude that often it is not. I … Continue reading Jeremiah 29:11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you…” Do these verses apply to us…or not?

Chronology of the Apostle Paul

Here’s a blog post that contains more footnotes (historical notes) than main text. That’s because this is my own attempt to sort out the chronology of Paul.[1] Have you ever wondered when Paul did what? Here is a possible chronology. 33 A.D.Death of Christ[2]34Conversion of Paul[3]36First Jerusalem visit (Gal 1:18)44Famine visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30/12:25, … Continue reading Chronology of the Apostle Paul

12 Awkward Metaphors in Worship Songs

I’m writing these comments as someone who has great appreciation for the modern worship movement.  Still…. Am I the only one who has noticed a spate of unusual metaphors popping up in our worship songs in recent years? There isn’t anything profound that I’m trying to communicate in this post. I’m simply issuing a plea … Continue reading 12 Awkward Metaphors in Worship Songs

How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?

After an extended time of prayer in the mountains last year, I left with one perspective that has proven extremely helpful to me. Here is that perspective: God has apportioned to each of us who are part of his kingdom not only specific ministries to build up the church and extend God’s kingdom work in … Continue reading How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?

Christian Virtues for Civil Disobedience

What attitudes should Christians display when compelled by conscience to disobey the government? Before addressing that question, let’s review one thing. Christians normally should not disobey the government. Quite the opposite is the case. In most situations, Christians should obey the government even when governmental directives appear unreasonable or overreaching. There is one broad biblical … Continue reading Christian Virtues for Civil Disobedience