(If you'd like to see the other articles in this series, click here.) Magical Bible Teaching Perhaps this is something you’ve experienced before: someone takes a single verse or handful of verses, and then, magically, they seem to pull more meaning out from the verse than you thought was previously possible. It’s like a magician with a … Continue reading How NOT To Read the Bible Part 4: One Verse at a Time
When people talk about the Christian life, they talk about things like joy, freedom, victory over sin, confidence, stability, purpose, etc. Yet, this is rarely or at least not always our experience. But why? It’s not as if most of us experience much real suffering. After all, Christians in the West do not experience the … Continue reading Despair, Suffering, and the Christian Life
(If you'd like to see the other articles in this series, click here.) Hermeneutics, the study of how to interpret the scriptures, is far more of an art than a science. Studying hermeneutics, which is what I have been doing in this series will not necessarily get you the right answers but it will at least get … Continue reading How NOT to Read the Bible Part 3: The Plain Reading
There is no more appropriate book for the season of Advent than Revelation. But why? Advent is preparation for Christmas, right? It’s the season of the church year where we prepare ourselves to remember the coming of the Christ-child, the coming of God into human flesh to bear our sins and be our savior. Revelation … Continue reading Advent and the Book of Revelation
(if you'd like to see the other articles in this series, click here.) Normally when I write, I prefer to use the term “the scriptures” rather than “the Bible.” Both are appropriate, but they emphasize different things. “Bible” comes from the Greek word that means “book.” “The scriptures” just means writings. To be sure, God’s written … Continue reading How NOT to Read the Bible Part 2: Book or Library?
Being theologically faithful is difficult. Yes, we want to be faithful to what the scriptures teach us, but so often either we disagree on how to understand the scriptures or the issues we’re dealing with are not quite directly addressed by the scriptures. But this does not mean that these are not important issues. So, … Continue reading The Difficulty of Faithfulness: Beyond Tribalism
If the son frees you, then you really will be free. John 8:36 There’s nothing that we Americans seem to hate more than our own government. And yet, it seems that so often we put so much of our trust and hope in it. Luther, in his Large Catechism, says that a god is anything … Continue reading Election Madness and the Idol of Freedom