More Jonah

In my earlier post on this blogsite about the minor prophets, I summarize the lessons from Jonah this way: “Don’t disobey God or be parochial.  God wants all peoples to follow him; He answers prayers; He’s against violence and idols and is pro-sacrifice.” True enough, but since this is one of my favorite Bible books … [Read more…]

The Sensible Sequence of the Ten Commandments

The main point of this post is that the order in which the Ten Commandments are listed makes perfect sense. The Ten Commandments are listed in this order (I paraphrase and shorten them, found at Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-21): Thou shalt have no other gods besides God. No idols. No misusing God’s name. Keep … [Read more…]

Ordinary Country, Extraordinary People

In my post on this blogsite about the book of Joshua, I have a section called, “It’s the Land, Stupid,” and I note that in this book “the importance of the land is manifest, and big chunks of the book are detailed, survey-like description of boundaries.” I continue with this paragraph: This reflects an important … [Read more…]

God and Money

What does God want our attitude toward money to be? Well, in Scripture the apostle Paul teaches that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10). That’s important, but it must always be stressed that it is the love of money, not money itself, that is condemned. So there are … [Read more…]

Some Thoughts on Textual Interpretation

I’ve divided this post into two parts:  a list of ten general rules, and then some specific applications. Ten Rules Here are ten rules for interpreting Biblical texts, especially difficult ones: There’s a strong presumption in favor of all Scripture being true (if we can freely ignore any passage in Scripture that we find difficult, … [Read more…]

Reasons To Believe Jesus Was Divine

This post will address a fundamental question: How do you persuade someone that Jesus was divine, was the Son of God? This is important, and I think framing this issue properly is a little more complicated than it first appears. Caveats. Consider: You can persuade someone to believe that God exists without persuading him that … [Read more…]

Some Letters to the Editor

Here are three published letters to the editor relevant to this blogsite. 1. From the July 18, 2011, Los Angeles Times (link here): Re “Imagine no religion,” Opinion, July 18 The fact that we have a hardwired moral sense can just as easily be viewed as evidence that God exists, as C.S. Lewis said. More … [Read more…]

Top Ten Bible Verses

Introductory Note The idea of this post is to list the Bible verses — or, more accurately, Bible passages — that are the most significant. The notion came to me because I find myself often going back time and again to particular passages, especially when arguing some point or wrestling with hard questions. A few … [Read more…]

What Would Jesus (Habitually) Do?

You’re in a morally fraught predicament. What would Jesus do? Not a bad question to ask, of course, not at all. And in this post I’ll ask it in a more general rather than in a specific context: What habits did Jesus have in His daily life? Because, if they were His habits, they should … [Read more…]

Comparing the Twenty-Third Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer

If you consider a psalm a prayer, then these are the two most-prayed prayers in the Bible. It’s interesting to compare them. Although each is brief and elegantly but tightly constructed, the Psalm is almost twice as long as the Prayer. Each begins with an address to God, unsurprisingly, and each ends appropriately enough with … [Read more…]