On Being—and Doing—Church

There are many good New Testament passages one can explore to envision what the church should be and do: Romans 12-15, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4-5 are all good options, among others. Still, when I think about the church there’s one specific verse that always seems to come to mind first: They devoted themselves …

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Not the Gospel

Last week our kids took the dogs for a walk (bless them). Along the way they encountered a couple of friendly folks handing out free fire insurance and a ticket to heaven, otherwise known as a “gospel tract.” You know what I mean. Maybe you’ve had someone stop by your house with a “gospel tract,” …

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The Bible as Witness to Jesus (1)

Imagine that you’re reading a really good story. It’s the kind of story you hate to put down and you can’t wait to get back to. It’s got an interesting premise, a believable world, compelling characters, and a riveting plot. It’s enlightening and challenging and entertaining and disturbing and refreshing. Now imagine that you’re reading …

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The Bible as Diverse Anthology

A key idea I’ve emphasized here and here is that whatever we mean by Scripture’s divine inspiration, it cannot mean that the biblical writings are somehow not genuinely human writings. As I said earlier: Written in ordinary human languages and idioms, making use of conventional genres, employing scribes, relying on prior sources, edited by individuals and communities, …

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The Bible as Ancient Literature

We often think of the Bible as a single book, but it’s really more like a library of books from the ancient world. Or, perhaps a better way to put it, the Bible is an anthology of ancient literature. I don’t know what comes to mind for you when you think of “literature.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “writings …

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The Bible as Inspired Scripture

“All Scripture is inspired by God…” It may well be that no words in the Bible have had more read into them than these words. These well-known words are from 2 Timothy 3:16.  For the moment let’s leave aside whether this is the best way to translate the Greek text. And let’s bracket off the question …

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