There must be something in the water of the Sea of Galilee. Otherwise, how can you explain why so many people allegorize stories from the life of Jesus that take place on or around the Sea of Galilee? (What is allegorizing, you ask? Allegorical interpretation draws meanings out of a Bible passage that the biblical … Continue reading Warning: Don’t Drink the Water in the Sea of Galilee. You Might Start Allegorizing
Paul boldly and famously asserts: “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Cor. 5:14). But what does he mean by “the love of Christ”? If you’re willing to put up with a bit of Greek-grammar jargon, check out this golden nugget in a paragraph from Maximilian Zerwick’s grammar of New Testament Greek. Zerwick writes: …the … Continue reading The Love of Christ Controls Us: But What is “The Love of Christ”?
Muslims are coming to Christ all around the world. But what should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? I recently read an outstanding book dealing with the central biblical-theological and missiological questions surrounding this central question: Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm. The book's author, … Continue reading Muslim Insider Movements and the Church: An Interview
I recently led a class session on how to interpret the second half of Romans 7. During the early part of the discussion, I presented four approaches to the overall interpretation of Romans 7:14-25 and asked students to inductively attempt to make arguments for each of the four positions from the passage itself. At one … Continue reading Why Romans 7:18 Needs a Translation Update
Michael Heiser has done some good academic work during his career as an Old Testament scholar, and I will not hesitate to draw upon his insights in the future. But his view of the heavenly being labeled ha satan (Hebrew for “the satan”) in the book of Job is probably wrong. What I intend to … Continue reading Why Michael Heiser is Probably Wrong about Satan in the Book of Job
Some years ago, I counseled with a student who was paralyzed by a fear that she had committed the unforgivable sin because of some terrible words she had uttered. Her concern came out of Matthew 12:31, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall … Continue reading What is the Unforgivable Sin? What is Blasphemy against the Spirit?
One of my earliest college teachers taught me to ask a certain question every time I encountered the word “therefore” in the Bible. He told me to ask the question: Wherefore is that “therefore” there for? So let’s ask that question of what is, at least in my opinion, the single most important “therefore” in … Continue reading The Most Important “Therefore” in the Bible: Romans 12:1
Following is a little exercise I did while working on my new devotional book on union with Christ (what I refer to as inChristness in the book). I had noticed—like many before me—that Ephesians 1:3-14 is packed full of references to inChristness. Consequently, I decided to try to re-order the various clauses and phrases in … Continue reading Ephesians 1:3-14 Re-ordered Twice
I am excited to let you know that my newest book, How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: 100 Devotional Readings on Union with Christ has just been released in both print and electronic formats. Each chapter is exactly two pages long, and is packed full of analogies and illustrations to connect the Bible to … Continue reading How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: A New Book Announcement and How to Use the Book
This post is not about the historical background to this wonderful hymn, though knowing the background is touching and makes the hymn more meaningful. This post revolves around a simple interpretive question. When Horatio Spafford penned the words “It is well with my soul” in 1876, what did he mean by those specific six words? … Continue reading What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean?