A Simple Way to Keep the Old Testament Organized in Your Head

How can I keep the Old Testament organized in my mind?  There’s so much going on…  How do things connect?  Where is it going? Here is the simplest way I can think of.  Learn the four most important Old Testament covenants and their corresponding (rough) dates.  If you memorize this simple outline, you will kill … Continue reading A Simple Way to Keep the Old Testament Organized in Your Head

Why Do We Sing in Our Worship Service?

This past year I started the New Year by worshiping, fellowshiping, and preaching at Taft Avenue Community Church in Orange, California.  At one point in the service, Pastor Bob Burris read aloud a short explanation of why Christians sing during times of worship.  I appreciated what he read and want to share it with you.  … Continue reading Why Do We Sing in Our Worship Service?

Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers

I am regularly vexed by how shallow my prayers can become. When I pray for something—and I know that all prayer is not for things—what should I pray for? Only for my family? For someone I know who is ill? For God to help me in the day ahead? For God to resolve whatever problem is currently … Continue reading Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers

“But that’s legalism!” What Legalism Is and Isn’t

“But that’s legalism!”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words.  A Christian friend suggests that it’s unwise to smoke marijuana, and they get blasted with: “But that’s legalism!”  A pastor preaches on the importance of generosity, and he receives a terse note with three words on it (or four, if you … Continue reading “But that’s legalism!” What Legalism Is and Isn’t

The Shortest Verse in the New Testament

What is the shortest verse in the New Testament?  Did you respond “Jesus wept”?  (Buzzer sound)  No, that is the third shortest verse in the New Testament. Granted, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) is the shortest verse in English.  In English it is 9 letters long.  But in Greek it is 16 letters long (Ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς). For a … Continue reading The Shortest Verse in the New Testament

What the Bible Teaches About Fasting

Starting last night and continuing into this evening a group of Biola students has gathered together to fast and pray.  These precious students wanted to fast and call out to God to do a work of the Holy Spirit on Biola’s campus during the coming year.  But they wanted to know what the Bible taught … Continue reading What the Bible Teaches About Fasting

Why Translators Shouldn’t Translate “Walk” as “Live” in Ephesians 4-5

Recent Bible translations have increasingly opted to translate the Greek word peripateo, whenever it is used metaphorically to describe one’s way of life, with the English word “live.”  The other option at translators’ disposal is to retain the metaphor and translate it into English as “walk.”  The motivation for the decision to translate with the … Continue reading Why Translators Shouldn’t Translate “Walk” as “Live” in Ephesians 4-5

Listening and Instructing in Counseling: How Much of Each?

I’m not writing this post as a counselor, but rather as a student of the Bible.  Today I’m less interested in what is effective in counseling, though that is certainly a worthwhile inquiry (even if it should be pursued by someone more qualified than I).  Today I want to investigate whether the Bible has anything … Continue reading Listening and Instructing in Counseling: How Much of Each?

Revival Without the Bible Won’t Last

In 1859 and then again in 1904 a deep and penetrating work of the Holy Spirit engulfed the country of Wales. Wales had already seen many other periods when God had moved in revival—perhaps more than any geographical location in the history of Christianity. But these two spiritual awakenings were two of the most significant. … Continue reading Revival Without the Bible Won’t Last

What is the meaning of “husband of one wife” (μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα) in 1 Timothy 3:2?

What does Paul intend when he writes that an overseer must be a husband of one wife in 1 Timothy 3:2 (cf. Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:12)?  Here is a quick walk-through this somewhat complicated expression. There are four main historical approaches to interpreting this expression.  I think two of them are quite unlikely.  … Continue reading What is the meaning of “husband of one wife” (μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα) in 1 Timothy 3:2?