Adult Bible Study Online Supplements

I've not been blogging much here lately, but I have been writing short weekly pieces for MennoMedia's online supplements to their adult Bible study curriculum. That began the first week of December and will go through February 2018. Here are the links to the pieces I've done so far, and I'll keep this updated as …

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Jesus and Hell

I preach the good news of Jesus, including Jesus’ way of radical, nonviolent love. As one might expect, I get some pushback on this. “What about sin?” I hear frequently. “What about God’s judgment?” “What about God’s wrath?” “What about hell?” Yes, what about hell? After all, Jesus mentions hell more than anyone else in …

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You Know, “Love One Another” Really Is Enough

The 4th-century theologian Jerome tells a story about the Apostle John. John was old and frail, unable to walk, so his disciples would carry him into the gathering of believers on the Lord’s Day. Every week these were his words to the congregation: “Little children, love one another.” This went on week after week, until …

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Michael Pahl’s Handy-Dandy Handbook of Christian Words and Phrases

Have you ever had two people understand something you’ve said in two very different ways? It happens to all of us sometime. I’ve had it happen to me when I preach, more than once. This happens even when I use common Christian words or phrases derived from the Bible—maybe especially when I do so. It can …

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“Jesus Died for Our Sins”: Sketching Out Atonement

I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus’ death lately. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is the journey we’ve just been on through Lent, following Jesus to the cross. As I’ve thought about Jesus’ death, both recently and over the years, I keep coming back to the “gospel tradition” the Apostle …

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Some Observations on Doing Bad Things

Okay, forget the theological jargon. Here are a few observations about doing bad things that most people should be able to agree with: 1) Everyone makes mistakes throughout their life. Some seem more prone to this than others. Some of these mistakes are harmless, others cause relatively mild harm. 2) Everyone does something bad at …

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The Straight Lifestyle

“This is one of the things that bothers me most about straight people: the heterosexual lifestyle. They live a life of unrepentant debauchery: casual sex, multiple partners, widespread adultery, easy divorce.” “It’s all about sex for them: they always dress so provocatively, and their talk is filled with cheap sexual innuendo—‘locker room talk.’” “For the …

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