There are at least seven passages in the Bible where God is depicted as directly permitting or endorsing slavery. Two of these are in the Law of Moses: God permitted the Israelites to take slaves from conquered peoples permanently, and the Israelites could sell themselves into slavery temporarily to pay off debts (Exod 21:2-11; Lev … Continue reading The Bible is clear: God endorses slavery.
I think most Christians assume that the Bible is a monolithic entity, like a seamless cloth or a fissure-free rock. We may know that there are in fact 66 books, but we view these as essentially different chapters of the same, single book. We may know that there were different human authors in different time … Continue reading “All Scripture is inspired by God” doesn’t mean “All Scripture is equally important”
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I’ve tried them in the past, but they’ve never worked. “Resolution” can sounds so decisive, so irrevocable. So guilt-inducing. Let’s call this my pastoral New Year’s goal, then. Here’s what I’m aiming for as a pastor for 2017: to be patient in love, persistent in prayer, faithful in … Continue reading My Pastoral New Year’s Resolution
Have you read 1 Corinthians 10 recently? I mean, really read it? Because there are some pretty odd things going on there. In the passage Paul refers to several stories in ancient Israel’s history, stories we find in our Old Testament books of Exodus and Numbers. Most of us probably know these stories. There’s the … Continue reading “Read it Again—This Time with Imagination!”
What is the Bible? And, as Christians, how should we read it? These questions lurk in the background of every single hot-button, emotionally charged, divisive issue Christians wrestle with today, from homosexuality to human evolution. The reasons for differences of opinion among Christians are complex. Personal experience, social and cultural realities, traditions that can in some cases stretch … Continue reading What is the Bible, and How Should We Read It?
Seeking God’s Face “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, O Lord, do I seek. There are many ways to think about Christian spirituality, but these words from Psalm 27 do a pretty good job of summing it all up. You could say that the spiritual life is all about “seeking God’s face.” Different … Continue reading Seeing God Face to Face
“The Bible is clear on this. You’re not taking the Bible seriously.” I raised an eyebrow at him. It was about ten years ago, and the man had come to see me with questions about my view on women’s roles in church leadership. Or maybe it was the age of the earth, or the timing … Continue reading Taking the Bible Seriously