Suppose a Christian were stranded on a deserted island and could only select 12 books of the Bible from which to read. Which books would be most valuable? Which books are most important for understanding the character of God, the person of Christ, how God redeems a fallen world, the mission of the church, and … Continue reading The 12 Most Important Books of the Bible
Is Jazz Music Christian?
I just finished reading A Supreme Love: The Music of Jazz and the Hope of the Gospel, by William Edgar. I enjoyed this book. It has a good chance of making my top-seven list for 2023 when I post my favorite Christian books at the end of the year. (Like this, this, this, this, and … Continue reading Is Jazz Music Christian?
What is Over-Realized Eschatology? What’s the Problem with it?
Over-realized eschatology is the assumption that all or most of what God has prepared for his people in the future can be experienced by God’s people in the present. Let’s break down this expression word-by-word. What is eschatology? Eschatology is the study of last things, that is, the end times. What is realized eschatology? Realized … Continue reading What is Over-Realized Eschatology? What’s the Problem with it?
Is the Christian Life Primarily Intense or Primarily Relaxed?
Should the Christian life primarily be viewed as intense (focused, passionate), or primarily as relaxed (peaceful, trusting)? Trudi and I regularly invite college students to our house for dinner, and this was the question we discussed during a recent dinner. As we conversed, students at the table brought up a variety of Scriptures, some of … Continue reading Is the Christian Life Primarily Intense or Primarily Relaxed?
One Day of Walking in the Spirit
What does it practically look like to walk in the Spirit? There is a short passage in my book, Walking in the Spirit, in which I try to imagine walking through a normal day in the Spirit. Since people often refer to this section of the book, I’ve decided to share it with you today. … Continue reading One Day of Walking in the Spirit
“Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss”? (Q&A)
Four times the Apostle Paul instructs his readers to greet each other with a holy kiss (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 5:26; cf. 1 Peter 5:18). Let’s work through a few questions related to these verses’ social background and address the question of whether we should bring back the practice … Continue reading “Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss”? (Q&A)
Gossip: The Inside Scoop
Can I tell you a secret? You have to promise not to tell anyone. I know some details about Gossip that you might find interesting. I’m sure, though, that Gossip wouldn’t want you to know these things, since he’s probably afraid that if you learned about him, it might remove some of his influence. Personally, … Continue reading Gossip: The Inside Scoop
Polycarp’s Final Days and Martyrdom
One of the most famous Christians in history—and, truly, one of my historical heroes—was an early Christian named Polycarp. Polycarp ministered to the church of ancient Smyrna (modern Izmir, on the western coast of modern Turkey—a city I resided in for two years). Polycarp lived into the middle of the 2nd century A.D., and because … Continue reading Polycarp’s Final Days and Martyrdom
Dramatic Drop in Bible Reading: Why?
In 2011, the percentage of Americans who “used the Bible at least 3-4 times on their own, outside of a church setting” was around 50%. Again in 2012—around 50%. Then again in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Always around 50%. But according to the American Bible Society, in 2022, that … Continue reading Dramatic Drop in Bible Reading: Why?
What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7)?
Paul’s thorn in the flesh was some sort of unusual, long-term, intermittent, stabbing, face pain that was viewed by others as shameful and the result of black magic attacks, but by Paul as attacks of a demon permitted by God. This is the conclusion of my newly-released book focused on answering one of the most … Continue reading What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7)?