The Bible, the Gospel, Jesus, and “The Word of God”

Ask Christians today what they think of when they hear the phrase, “The Word of God,” and they’ll probably say, “The Bible.” For many Christians the two are even synonymous: “The Bible” = “God’s Word,” and “God’s Word” = “The Bible.” The idea is that the Bible as a whole is a divine message for …

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The Bible is clear: God endorses slavery.

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 …

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“All Scripture is inspired by God” doesn’t mean “All Scripture is equally important”

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 …

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My Pastoral New Year’s Resolution

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 …

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“Read it Again—This Time with Imagination!”

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 …

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What is the Bible, and How Should We Read It?

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 …

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