J. C. Ryle on Christ as Divine and Human: An Insightful Paragraph

In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness (1877), J. C. Ryle, an evangelical Anglican bishop, penned a profound paragraph on the importance of Christ being both divine and human.  It is rare to encounter such devotionally-rich reflections in modern Christian literature, so I offer it to you for your meditation today. 

An Argument for More Literal Bible Translations

Here is one argument in support of more-literal Bible translations:  looser translations have a tendency to soften difficult sayings in the Bible.  I am not suggesting anything subversive here; simply that one of the natural pitfalls of trying to translate the Bible more dynamically is a tendency to soften hard sayings.  A convenient way to … Continue reading An Argument for More Literal Bible Translations

If Your Phone Causes You to Sin, Cut it Off

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and … Continue reading If Your Phone Causes You to Sin, Cut it Off

Something About the Book of Romans that will Help You Read it Better

Here’s a bit of history that can help you understand something important about Paul's Letter to the Romans.  The earliest house churches in Rome would have been primarily Jewish and would have culturally felt Jewish, but in A.D. 49 the Roman Emperor Claudius kicked the Jews out of Rome.[1]  Jewish Christians, of course, would have … Continue reading Something About the Book of Romans that will Help You Read it Better

How to Become Rooted, Fruit-bearing, Resilient, and Prospering

How would you like your life to be characterized by the following descriptors:  1) Rooted deeply in the Lord, 2) Bearing spiritual fruit, 3) Resilient during suffering, 4) Prospering in your God-given mission? During this past year, I have been trying to memorize more psalms—and boning up on psalms I already know or kinda’ know. … Continue reading How to Become Rooted, Fruit-bearing, Resilient, and Prospering

Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today

In 19th century England, Atheists knew more about the Bible than most Christians do today. So did Liberal Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, Unitarians, and Agnostics. So claims Timothy Larsen in A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011). Larsen makes a convincing case that Victorian England was saturated with the Bible. Nineteenth century English people in general cared … Continue reading Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today

“Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning

Word meanings sometimes shift.  I have begun to wonder whether one commonplace word has begun to shift recently—aiding certain contemporary Christians who want to minimize their sin and justify ongoing sin patterns.  There’s nothing new, of course, about Christians searching for ways to avoid feeling bad about sinning.  But modern Christians have become remarkably adept … Continue reading “Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning

How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

Actually, there are lots of ways to kill a prayer meeting. You could display bitterness or hostility to someone just before you start praying; that’s sure to do the job. Or thoughtlessly rush into a prayer meeting, without any spiritual preparation, cracking jokes up until the moment you bow your head. That, too, has a … Continue reading How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

When I Reach for a Book from my Reference Shelf…

When I reach for a book from my reference shelf, which books do I reach for most often?  Apart from biblical commentaries, here is a list of the 20 books I am most likely to pull off my shelf (in no particular order): A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, … Continue reading When I Reach for a Book from my Reference Shelf…

Blood Brothers: A Redemptive Analogy

More than a generation ago, Don Richardson popularized the idea that Christians who share Christ across cultures might encounter—and even ought to look for—“redemptive analogies” in those cultures.  The idea was that God has pre-placed customs or stories into cultures that prepare people to respond to the gospel. I think this idea has some merit.  … Continue reading Blood Brothers: A Redemptive Analogy