Author Archives: Stephen Rives

About Stephen Rives

s t e v e . r i v e s @ g m a i l . c o m @Iasologist on Twitter

Some Notes on Suffering

Preamble There are at least three kinds of sufferers: I. The Divine Sufferer, II. The Suffering Rebel, and III. The Suffering Saint. There are at least two kinds of suffering: Valid and Invalid. Regarding the distinction between Valid Suffering and … Continue reading

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They Sang Hymns to Christ, as to God

The following was originally published in a denominational journal (though this is a modified reprint). In a letter written to Pliny the Elder (in AD 112), the younger Pliny reported to his uncle that the Christians he was persecuting would … Continue reading

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Final Three Sermons at Eastside Church of the Cross

After ten years of pastoring, I am leaving Eastisde Church of the Cross to move to Springfield, Missouri (for the church down there). These are three final sermons I preached for the body as I depart. 1. Feel Christ’s Feelings … Continue reading

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Christ: The Grounding of all Meaning

Q. What does it mean to preach Christ? A. To preach Christ means that every sentence and all of our statements are grounded in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). The Christian sermon does not merely assume this, but it explains it–it always … Continue reading

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Modern Proverbs

Faith is a leap in the dark. Faith in Christ is a leap out of the dark. The greatest truths go unknown by the greatest numbers. Jesus is the hiding of God in plain sight. The checkmate is concealed in … Continue reading

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When God-talk is evil (which appears to be most of the time)

Q. Do we attain to real notions about God through non-Christian philosophy and classical Greek? Nobody comes to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6; cf. Matt 11:27, Acts 4:12, Ephesians 1:10). Nobody — not philosophers, nor theologians using … Continue reading

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Will the Master be the Slave? Philemon and the Cross of Christ

This sermon was preached at Eastside Church of the Cross, 12 April 2015. MP3: A sermon from Philemon

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A conversation in Hell

A man is in hell. God goes to him and says: You have so affected me,    that you must remain here. You have so affected me,    that I must express it by your existence. You have so affected me,    that … Continue reading

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An Old Testament Theology that Avoids Jesus

In his book, Old Testament Theology, Routledge (a self-proclaimed Evangelical, a scholar and a pastor) writes, “In my view, historical criticism has real value in biblical theology” (70), which he then reaffirms later in the book many times over, as … Continue reading

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Jesus, your treasure

Jesus must be mine in whole, and not in part. How I have him, must not be with part of me, but all of me. And of him, I must not have part, but all. How shall I have him? … Continue reading

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The Cross Makes Us Little, and Less than Little

The nature of the cross includes the marginal nature of those who assail us. We are dismissed as no real threat, and are left to be rejected by the downtrodden and lowly. We are nothing to the world, and so … Continue reading

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Protected: Research

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The Christologist (shorter writtings)

This repository (Jesus:Archaeology:Theology:Bible) does not lend itself to my rough-drafts, nor to shorter paragraphs that I’d like to publish. But I have a hundred draft articles, and most of them will never make it to publication. So I decided to … Continue reading

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Protected: Audio Sermons

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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The Southern Baptist Convention Started in Defense of Slavery

A review of Tom Nettles, A Foundation for the Future, the Southern Baptist Message and Mission, 1997 (Founders Press). Dr. Nettles is a professor of historical theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I will not be reviewing all of … Continue reading

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The Problem of Evil?

There is no problem of evil. Some pastors, theologians, professors and philosophers say there is. They often state the matter something like this: The problem of human suffering [which they say is the evil] must be reconciled with how it … Continue reading

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Publishing Milestone: 6 Years and 200 Articles

We have reached the publication of 200 articles. Using a plugin that counts the total number of all the published words, this collection would constitute a 600 page book.

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Eight ways of being Human

There are at Least Eight ways of Being Human I want to think about being human according to three categories (each binary): 1. Having or not having a body of flesh, 2. Being a person who sins or who does … Continue reading

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The Christmas Candle Movie, by Max Lucado: A Review

Last night I attended a pre-screening of the movie, the Christmas Candle, in Kansas City. The movie is based on the book by the Evangelical preacher and author, Max Lucado. My motive in writing about the movie is strictly Christological; … Continue reading

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Shortest verse in the Bible

“Jesus wept” translates the Greek, ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς (which I count as 16 letters). And in the Greek, there is a verse shorter than John 11:35, and that’s 1 Thess 5:16. Some say that Job 3:2 is shortest. But in … Continue reading

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Five Christological Reasons for Abandoning the Words Story and Narrative

The words story and narrative have found their places in biblical studies, popular Christian literature, web sites, songs, churches and sermons. I propose two better and more useful words to replace them (rather, two words to be restored to their … Continue reading

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The fallacy of a false appeal to a plain or literal interpretation

In some discussions, when the interpretation of a particular verse is contested, someone may exalt their reading as the right one by an appeal to being plain or literal. However, appeals to being literal or plain may be nothing more … Continue reading

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Nelson-Atkins Museum, Biblical Studies Tour Book

From time to time we take a group to the Nelson-Atkins Museum. It is an hour long tour of the ancient Near Easter section. Each person on the tour gets an exercise packet and tour booklet created just for this … Continue reading

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Christ, the Dread Judge and Executioner

Jesus came to Judge Luke 12:49 I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! John 5:22 “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son” John … Continue reading

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Free Biblical Hebrew Course, Geneva Academy, 2013-2014

Hebrew Union is a rabbinical training ground in Cincinnati. My professor, Dr. Stephen Andrews, studied Hebrew there under the renowned philologist Isaac Jerusalmi. Using the methods of Hebrew Union, I will be teaching an inductive Hebrew course. This is a … Continue reading

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Kansas City Antichrist Sermons

Today I have concluded a study of sermons preached in the Kansas City area. I have listened to nine years of sermons online from the churches of this region (across denominations, but mostly conservative and Reformed — hearing many friends … Continue reading

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How high was Jesus off the ground? A look at Roman Crucifixion from Ancient Artifacts

The death of Christ involved him being offered a drink. The KJV translation implies that the drink was put upon hyssop; but that is just one possible interpretation, for which the KJV translators added a few words (which may rightly … Continue reading

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Faith: A right view of Jesus

Faith is used one way on the street, another way in the Bible. In the Bible, faith is not the belief that invisible things exist, but it is the right-seeing of Christ. In the Bible, faith is not generic but … Continue reading

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Titles of Southern Baptist ministers

The Southern Baptist Convention consists of 44,000 churches. The convention groups these member churches into associations, of which there are 1200. This week I got an email that lists all the 115 staff people and ministers of the churches that … Continue reading

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Hebrew I Chart, Vowel Chart and Article Algorithm

The following charts may aide you in your Hebrew translation work. Click on an image to download a PDF for each of the areas of study. The goal for each chart was to create a memorable and usable one-page summary … Continue reading

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The false deity named Grace

The Preaching Pattern of the Hypothetical Interlocutor Pastors like to use their sermons to handle the objections of skeptics. They like to do apologetics in the sermon. I heard a fresh example today from a Chicago minister preaching on the … Continue reading

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Where love for Christ is missing, love for neighbor is an attack on God.

Love is a Trinitarian Word and Fact God’s love for God is rooted in who God is. Grace is not the operating principle whereby God loves God. We observe this in Jesus: Jesus himself was not a recipient of grace, … Continue reading

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Jesus did not reconcile God to men Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 I explored the meaning of the life of Christ as he related to God (loving God, as he did). Now I want to apply that thinking to the Cross and reconciliation. To get to the point, I’ll … Continue reading

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If I was not in need of grace, I would still need Christ Part 1 of 2

God’s Worth and the Call to Worship are Inherent to Who He Is One thing have I asked of Yahweh, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, … Continue reading

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Not all preaching is preaching. What is preaching?

Christians are commanded to, “grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18). Christians are people who are taught, and they have ministers who preach Christ, as is the pattern of … Continue reading

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“May your silver perish with you” — Peter. Part 3 of “That’s in there?”

The apostles of Jesus rebuked people and blinded some. The followers of Christ named names and recorder their names forever. And it is because of this that human history shall never forget Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Herodias, Judas, Annas, … Continue reading

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“I make peace and create evil” -God. Part 2 of “That’s in there?”

What does God create? He is not evil, yet the people he created are now filled up with evil. Adam and Eve were created innocent, but that is just one fact among many. When I ask about what God creates, … Continue reading

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“I hate her” – God. Part 1 of “That’s in there?”

I will be quoting from the English Standard Version of the Bible (the ESV), but I have replaced the English translation, The LORD, with the Hebrew that is behind it: YHWH. Yahweh is the name that God used of himself; … Continue reading

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Turn a deaf ear to any speaker who avoids mention of Jesus Christ

Ignatius of Antoich, was born some time between AD 35 and AD 50 and died somewhere between AD 98 and 117. He wrote this: Turn a deaf ear to any speaker who avoids mention of Jesus Christ who was of … Continue reading

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A Sea of Words

Behold the sea. A sea of churches. Satan need not give out false words, but only a sea of trivial ones. Above is a map of his trivia-production in Kansas City. Each red dot is a location marker. These locations … Continue reading

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Worship is a march to the grave, and theology is its dirge.

Worship is shown to us by God made flesh. There is nothing Jesus did that does not qualify as worship–the pinnacle being the cross. The cross was the pinnacle place of worship as the chief revelation of who God is. … Continue reading

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The Egyptian “manifest god”, and rival “sons of the gods” near the time of Christ

The following is a translation of the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone is an inscription that dates to 196 BC, and tells of Ptolemy V (king of Egypt). In the translation below, I make bold the elements that give background … Continue reading

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Are Miracles for Today?

This question and a shortened version of the answer were published in the Louisburg newspaper on 29 Feb 2012. Many of us like to name events as miracles. When we do that, we are making a comment about God. We … Continue reading

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She would not worship the God who is.

God killed your child. Now worship Him. God took your husband’s job. Worship God. God fills your cupboards with liquor and your husband stays intoxicated and you get beat with fists of rage. Worship God. God sent the car speeding … Continue reading

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The Trinity (not Mere Monotheism)

Christians are not merely monotheistic. We are Trinitarian and robustly so. We are unflinching in our full-orbed Trinitarian theology. Yet, I know about a non-Trinitarian monotheistic impulse that is constantly pushing. Ironically, this impulse is strongest when Jesus sounds most … Continue reading

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Part 2: The Christlike God was Lifted High for Revelation and Redemption

God has always been Christlike, even prior to Creation. God is Christlike, and in him there is no unchristlikness at all. — John V. Taylor, The Christlike God. What Taylor observes about God can be observed in all directions. That … Continue reading

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Part 1: Was God constrained, prior to creation, to create the world, send his Son, and reveal himself to humans?

The gods of ancient mythology were bored–that’s how their inventors made them. Likewise, when we contemplate eternal power and infinite life, we get the Q character from Star Trek (or some other wandering deity who has tried everything). We invent … Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Divine Nature, God, Theology | 1 Comment

Worldviews: From Schaeffer to Beck

Russel D. Moore of Southern Seminary is well known for describing an Evangelical “plummet from Schaeffer to Beck.” I am not exactly sure what he means by plummet. Was Schaeffer a high point, and Beck a low point? He could … Continue reading

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Jesus and the Dynasty of David

David received the prophesy that he would not lack a son to sit on his throne. His son Solomon ruled in Jerusalem after him, then Rehoboam (under whom the kingdom was split), then Abiyam, all the way down to the … Continue reading

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Theology and the Identity of God; All Theology is Christology.

Slightly edited version on an article that was printed in the Louisburg Herald (Christmas edition): Theology is the study of God. In the incarnation, Theology is proved to be Christology; there is no Theology that is not also Christology. God … Continue reading

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Permansivist: Rightly Naming the Amillennial Interpretation of Revelation.

I am not a Preterist and I am not a Futurist. I am a Permansivist. I am not a partial Preterist and I am not a partial Futurist. I am an Impartial Permansivist. I hope to explain this new label … Continue reading

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What part of “Everlasting” don’t you understand?

That question was posed to me back in the 1990s. It is 2011, and the question came up again. I have been thinking about it for 15 years now (off and on), and I am ready to start to answer. … Continue reading

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Inerrancy and the Manuscripts of the New Testament

Eastside Church of the Cross (namely, her teachers and pastors) gladly hold to the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, and in so doing we realize that it is good to give an accounting of the state of the various manuscripts that … Continue reading

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The Worship Leader Must Lead

Does the bible belong to the Academy or to the Church? I know, the question is a false dichotomy; it is not an either-or proposition. I get that, but as far as I can tell, those who own the bible … Continue reading

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The Fragmented History Trap and Lack of Synthesis

The highly regarded Harvard professor, Frank Moore Cross, in Frank Moore Cross, Conversations with a Biblical Scholar, ed. H Shanks, speaks of a troubling trend that comes from an ahistorical approach to scripture (one that often pairs up with a … Continue reading

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Graphing the Results of a Word Study while Accounting for Book Sizes

This is a report on the statistical counts of the word “Jesus” as contained in the Greek New Testament. I present it for two reasons. The first is for comparative purposes, so that modern samples (sermons or theological works) can … Continue reading

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Chasing Byblos and Cracking a Dead Language. Part 4: Byblos

The Dutch research, Jan Best, http://www.jangpbest.nl/, reports in 2009 that he deciphered the Byblos language. See also, Ugarit-Forschungen 40 2008, p 129-133. I understand that some linguists remain skeptical. What can help the situation? I propose that high speed computer … Continue reading

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How did the death of Jesus glorify God?

“Obey me,” God commanded. “No!,” replied his human image bearer. And each human answers the same; “No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and … Continue reading

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Bible Trivium

Trivium, not Trivia. Trivium, as in three, are three depths of study that compose any subject. The three are these: grammar, logic and rhetoric. In any field of study, there is a grammar — the basic symbols and facts of … Continue reading

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Another Westminster Seminary graduate signs-off on evolution

The pseudo-scientific think-tank, Biologos, has been consistent in questioning the origins of Adam (evolution being their preferred explanation of how he came to appear on earth). Dr. Peter Enns is a leader in this movement, and he was released from … Continue reading

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“They know not what they do…”, Two Essential New Testament Helps

The Bible is without error. It is completely true. So why have some scribes tried to add verses to the Greek New Testament? Were they thinking they were being helpful? Whatever their reason, they tried to add to the Bible. … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Manuscripts, Book Reviews, Gospel of Luke | 1 Comment

Annotated Bibliography on Infant Baptism. Part 7: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. This bibliography was last modified on 15 Jan 2011 My desire here is to build an annotated bibliography of books and articles on the subject of infant baptism, ordered by … Continue reading

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The New Testament is not Silent Regarding Infant Baptism. Part 6: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. In the past five installments, I made the case that infants born to Christian parents are members of the New Covenant (not in a salvific way, per se, but outwardly), … Continue reading

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Baptism is valid even if the person baptized drowns under the baptismal waters. Part 5: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. In all the Baptist churches of which I was ever a member, it was common to re-baptize people. They got a fresh baptism anytime they felt themselves to be really … Continue reading

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Babies are Baptized on the Basis of Covenant Theology. Part 4: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. The title of this article reflects a system of data points and arguments that led to a practice of which I am no longer persuaded–however, I still wish to present … Continue reading

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How Baptist Books Helped Me Rethink Being a Baptist. Part 3: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. “If infant baptism is right and true, would you want to know?” That question rang in my ears as I looked at my children and tried to digest the teaching … Continue reading

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Infant Baptism and Solidarity with Christ. Part 2: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. Good books are good friends for the searching soul. In my journey into infant baptism, I sought out books. Having only been a Baptist, I didn’t own any on the … Continue reading

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A Journey through Infant Baptism. Part 1: Infant Baptism

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. My journey makes for a story twice told, and it’s a tale of changing back and forth regarding a theology of infant baptism. The changes did not come in the … Continue reading

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Why was Jesus baptized?

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Jesus’ Baptism, Bibliography. Q. Why was Jesus baptized? From the Jan 26th, 2011, Louisburg Journal A. When Jesus was baptized he was being anointed as king — king of the Jews. Jesus was … Continue reading

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What does Marxism have to do with religion?

Q. Marxism is making a comeback in American political philosophy. What does it have to say about God and religion? A. Ludwig Feuerbach (b. 1804 in Germany) said that religion was humanity casting their highest hopes and dreams into the … Continue reading

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20 Theological Patterns of Nascent Liberalism

Introduction Liberalism, as I will be using it in this article, is not the political kind, but the religious, and I wish to show how it is bubbling up in emergent, conservative and self-identified reformed churches. John Frame’s definition is … Continue reading

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English to Hebrew Exercises for the iPhone

I am happy to announce a new app developed by B2 Dev LLC. I worked with B2 over the past months getting this application ready for release, and I believe it will be especially useful to a large number of … Continue reading

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Isn’t it safer to believe in God than to not believe?

Q. Isn’t is safer to believe in the existence of a god than not to believe in a god? A. This is a classic pragmatic argument for the belief in God, and it is called Pascal’s Wager, which he presents … Continue reading

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Archaeology, Liberalism and Israel’s Exodus

Q. I notice on the History Channel that many liberal archaeologists reject Israel’s exodus. Is this common among liberalism? — This question and the following answer were originally written for the Louisburg Journal, March 15, 2011. A. Revelation comes from … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Exodus, Liberalism | 2 Comments

24 Reasons for a Name Change

A few years ago, Louisburg Southern Baptist Church changed its name. Below is the short list of choices (we finally voted on Eastside Church of the Cross). Following that list is the 24 reasons I presented for the change. It … Continue reading

Posted in Church Names | 1 Comment

Why would God choose to damn someone?

Q. Why would he create someone only to damn them in the end? A. It is helpful to understand that God exists for God and not for any lesser purposes. God has himself as his highest purpose as no purpose … Continue reading

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Christianity is not a system to transform culture

Q. How can Christians transform culture and act as change agents in society? A. Christianity is not an ethical system, nor is it a system meant to transform culture. Ethics and cultural transformation are not Christian objectives. How could they … Continue reading

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The Exodus from Egypt and the Ark

The Egyptians carried their gods on arks. Moses did not borrow their idea to communicate the true God, but Yahweh himself would reveal himself on a seat, in a covenant, moving about with his people. When Israel came out of … Continue reading

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Witholding the news of Christ from your children is to hate your own children

Q. What is love? A. Love is to reveal who Christ is. That is, it is to reveal who God is. Every other concept of love vies for what it really is. God is our chief treasure, and even the … Continue reading

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“Before time began”, Titus 1:2

We read Titus 1:2 in worship last Sunday. Many translations of the New Testament render “πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων” as “before time began.” The King James translates this as, “before the world began.” But notice word for word, from the three-word … Continue reading

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Adultery and False Doctrine

How seriously is God bothered by false doctrine? This question and the following answer were originally printed in the Louisburg Journal, Jan 19, 2011. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. And knowing that, we can listen in … Continue reading

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Is eternal damnation also eternal conscious torment?

Q. Does the bible teach that the damnation of the wicked is forever? This question and the following answer are a reprint from the Jan 12th, 2011 Louisburg Journal. A. The punishment of the ungodly is not something to celebrate … Continue reading

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Do churches have sacred spaces?

Q. “Our deacons call our church auditorium a sanctuary. Do churches have sacred spaces?” This question and the following answer were printed in the Jan 5th, 2011, Louisburg Journal. A. Sanctuaries, or sacred spaces, are a reality in the Bible, … Continue reading

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Greek Master Verb and Morphology Chart

Mounce’s Biblical Greek Grammar is based on using less memorization by following the rules of how Greek letters interact. When one knows the rules of interaction, one is able to learn more and memorize less. However, his rules are scattered … Continue reading

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Proverbs for My Son

Drink these proverbs slowly; savor them as wine for the soul. To deny that there is a god is to deny that there is an earth. Even the demons don’t do this. Only creatures of the dust live in such … Continue reading

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Are Christians required to tithe (to give ten percent of their income)?

A good friend asked, “God says not to worry about money, to count on Him and He will provide. I’m okay with that. I count on Him all the time. But, why do the churches want 10 percent of my … Continue reading

Posted in Journal, Worship | 6 Comments

Blessed is he who dashes your children against the rock?

Q. Why does the Old Testament record the words of people wishing for the death of children? One such wish comes from Psalm 137. This was originally published in the Louisburg Journal, Dec 1st, 2010 ed. The Psalmist writes this, … Continue reading

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Dr. Ed Young of The Winning Walk opposes an important biblical teaching

Dr. Ed Young, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, plainly denied and opposed the biblical teaching that dead Christians exist in a kind of disembodied state after their death. I. The Biblical and Orthodox Teaching Stated Those who … Continue reading

Posted in False Doctrine | 5 Comments

What is your position on creation?

God, the one who is not created, created the world out of nothing. Adam and Eve did not have parents. Darwinian evolution is a nonsensical theory (and even if the universe were billions of years old, evolution would remain a … Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Genesis | 4 Comments

Munus Triplex: The Threefold Office of Christ

Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King. John Calvin in the third edition of his Institutes explores all three. But the threefold office of Christ is not first found in Calvin. Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 8:1) and our King … Continue reading

Posted in King | 1 Comment

Are we living in the Last Days?

Are we living in the Last Days? This question and answer were originally printed in the 20 October, 2010, Louisburg Journal, Ask a Pastor section. The Apostle Peter, quoting from the Old Testament book of Joel, said that the giving … Continue reading

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Q: I was raped…, Where is God?

Originally published in the 13 Oct 2010, Louisburg Journal newspaper. Q. I was raped, and the man has not been punished. Where is God? A. First of all, this issue is not foreign to Louisburg. I have been a pastor … Continue reading

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Did my friend actually hear God speak?

I have a friend who often says things like, “God told me”, or, “God has been talking to me about […something]”, or, “God wants me to do [this or that].” Did my friend actually hear God speak? This question and … Continue reading

Posted in Good Question | 3 Comments

My husband hits me, can I divorce him?

My husband hits me and the kids, can I divorce him? This question and the following answer were originally published in the Sept 29th, 2010, Louisburg Journal. A. This is a serious problem, and I don’t want to be shallow, … Continue reading

Posted in Good Question | 4 Comments

The Bible tells us to fear God. What does this mean?

The Bible tells us to fear God. What does this mean? This question and the following answer were originally published in the Sept 22nd, 2010 Louisburg Journal. A. It means that we fear the one who will resurrect the righteous … Continue reading

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Where is God when my world is collapsing?

This article was written for the Louisburg Herald (22 Sept 2010 edition) The news is out today: poverty is on the rise. People are without jobs in record numbers. Income levels are dropping and prices are rising. God could stop … Continue reading

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Obama’s Liberation Theology and the Death of Christ

HOW did the death of Jesus work? What was he accomplishing? How did it secure anything? Was it a price being paid? If so, who owed whom what? Was the Devil holding a deed that had to be paid? Or, … Continue reading

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Dust of the Earth: Food of Demons

God formed man from the dust (afar, עָפָר) of the earth (Gen 2:7). And humans hated him for it. We tried him, found him guilty and attacked Him. And so man returns to dust. From dust [ עָפָר ] we … Continue reading

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Psalm 147 in the Light of Jesus: Sermon Notes and Handout

Question: Which of the 150 Psalms are Messianic (i.e., which of them point to, relate to, prepare us for, or are about Jesus)? Answer: All of them. Attached are the notes for a sermon (or Bible study) on Psalm 147, … Continue reading

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Review of T. David Gordon’s, Why Johnny Can’t Preach

This review was originally published in the Fall, 2009, Midwestern Journal of Theology. Why Johnny Can’t Preach. By T. David Gordon. New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2009, 108 pp., $9.99 on Amazon. Dr. Gordon was diagnosed with stage III cancer. Uncertain … Continue reading

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Annotated Bibliography for Genesis and the Eden Narrative

This bibliography is preparatory for a formal treatment of the theme, God on Trial (of which, see my earlier articles). I want to know, How does that theme play out in Genesis? Especially in the Garden of God? And, who … Continue reading

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‘True’ and ‘Truth’ in the Gospel of John and John’s Writtings

This is a reprint of Geerhardus Vos‘ article, “‘True’ and ‘Truth’ in the Johannine Writings”, The Biblical Review 12 (1927):507-520. We are accustomed to say that there is but one truth, and that what is not true is ipso facto … Continue reading

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Pilate asked Jesus, “What is Truth?”

Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” and Jesus gave no reply… Pilate was looking at the answer and could not see; that’s why he asked. A word did not need to be spoken, for the Word was in flesh, standing … Continue reading

Posted in False Doctrine, Inspiration, Truth | 2 Comments

We can love loving God more than we actually love God

Here is an irony: We can love arguing for God while neglecting a love of God. We can love thinking about God more than loving God himself. We can love the emotion of worship at the cost of loving God. … Continue reading

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Suffering Exists Because Worship Doesn’t

Suffering exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not suffering, because God is ultimate, not our pain. When this present evil age is over, and the resurrected in Christ inherit the restored creation, their suffering will end. But worship abides … Continue reading

Posted in of the Cross, Suffering, Worship | 1 Comment

God is News to Satan

In Genesis 3, the news of who God is and what God is like was experienced first-hand by Satan. The news also came to Adam and Eve. Indeed, all of Genesis is the revelation of God to His creatures. For … Continue reading

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Protected: God on Trial

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Church Discipline vs. Responsibility in Relationships. Part 2

In Part 1, Church Discipline vs. Responsibility in Relationships, I suggested that churches would do well to trade the language of church discipline for the more accurate and helpful responsibility in relationships. A good friend then responded with an interesting … Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, Church Discipline? | 2 Comments

Church Discipline vs. Responsibility in Relationships. Part 1

Church Discipline is not a phrase in the Bible. The Bible speaks of discipline in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 12:6), but there we find that it is God who does it. God disciplines the ones he loves. With that … Continue reading

Posted in Church Discipline? | 6 Comments

Theologian of the Cross

For the Louisburg Herald, June 23rd, 2010. In his 1518 Heidelberg Disputation, Martin Luther classified two ways of looking at the world and God. Positively, a person is a Theologian of the Cross, or negatively, a Theologian of Glory. These … Continue reading

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Richard Gaffin on the Resurrection

Why was Jesus raised from the dead? What does it mean? What does it have to do with redemption? What is its relationship to the doctrine of Justification? I ask, because Romans 4:25 puzzled me when I first read it. … Continue reading

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Why do some Christians wish for Christ to delay his return?

John 12:25 He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. This verse can be the source of false piety, as even the Christless can be … Continue reading

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A Theology of the Resurrection

Jesus’s resurrection is not primarily a proof that miracles happen. Nor is it simply proof of his deity. The Resurrection of Jesus includes that, but it means more. God was affirming God in flesh. There is a God-ward meaning to … Continue reading

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Memory Maps for Mastering Biblical Hebrew Verbs

With three specially crafted picture-maps, you can become a living Hebrew verb parsing machine. With these three pages of instruction and only two hours of time, you will quickly master the strong form of the Hebrew Imperfect, Infinitive, Imperative and … Continue reading

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Publishing Milestone: 3 Years, 100 Articles and 275 pages

This site has reached 100 articles and would be 275 printed pages. In conjunction with the Philosophy, Math and Technology Blog (articles which are not directly or obviously theological), the article count is 125. Some of those articles used to … Continue reading

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Translating Merneptah’s Egyptian Victory Hymn

You may not know about Merneptah, but he was king of Egypt during an important time of great upheaval in Canaan — a time when Israel was settling in and taking land. Merneptah’s reign overlaps the Biblical record of Israel … Continue reading

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Pictorial Survey of the Bible

The link below takes you to a Microsoft Power Point presentation of the Bible. This pictorial survey of the Bible has gotten plenty of positive feedback — it is one of the best tools I have used in the ministry … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Bible Survey | 1 Comment

Covenantal and Reformed

When Eastside Church of the Cross updates the marquee, I like to give further definition as to the meaning of the message. The current message on the sign identifies us as “Covenantal & Reformed.”

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It is profoundly Christ-like to be non-significant

A strange and false dichotomy between the village and the city is found in an old work by Edward Leach. He wrote, “THE AGGRESSIVE WORK”, in the June 1869, Sword and Trowel. Speaking of pastors who worked in the small … Continue reading

Posted in Suffering, Worship | Comments Off on It is profoundly Christ-like to be non-significant

Would you worship Jesus if you might slip on ice?

This article was originally published in the Louisburg Herald, March 3rd, 2010. If meeting with Christians for regular Biblical worship meant you might possibly get persecuted and killed (not certainly, but possibly), would you join in such worship? If worship … Continue reading

Posted in Newspaper, Worship | Comments Off on Would you worship Jesus if you might slip on ice?

New Discovery: Ancient Hebrew Text about Widows and Orphans

A piece of pottery with ancient Hebrew writing was recently found. When I say ancient, I mean from around the time of King David (1000 BC). It was found at an archaeological dig in Israel (read page 1 and page … Continue reading

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Costly Worship

If meeting with Christians for regular Biblical worship meant you might possibly get persecuted and killed (not certainly, but possibly), would you join in such worship? If worship meant persecution, would you still gather with God’s people to praise Jesus? … Continue reading

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An Open Letter to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Note: Adam has replied to this letter in the comments below. Adam Hamilton is the pastor of Church of the Resurrection — one of the largest churches in America and perhaps the largest church in the Kansas City area. He … Continue reading

Posted in False Doctrine, Marcionism | 2 Comments

Hebrew, Kline and Redemptive History

Come learn Biblical Hebrew at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Covenant theology and Biblical Hebrew merge as we study redemptive-history through various passages with an emphasis on Genesis and its vocabulary. Listen to this MP3 recording of why … Continue reading

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Eschatology. What is it?

Eschatology is the study of ultimate things. Starting on Jan 1st, Eastside Church of the Cross is conducting a Friday night Eschatology Series. This blog post gives additional reading and resources. On the first night, we were introduced to these … Continue reading

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Suffering: a blessed estate

For the Christian, the greatest moments of pain bring the resurrection of Jesus into sharp relief. In suffering, his resurrection and our own become more impressive, more important and more precious than the momentary circumstances. The glory that is to … Continue reading

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Arrogance and Truth

In an earlier post, I argued that the Bible reveals doctrine, by which I mean, religious beliefs are a matter of revelation and not logical or emotional preference. Today, I want to follow through with one sample doctrine — divorce … Continue reading

Posted in Interpretation, Truth | 1 Comment

2nd Temple Judaism and the New Perspective

In an effort to help visitors understand the theology of Eastside Church of the Cross, it is helpful to expound upon the meaning of what is written on our church sign (the marquee near the main road). Often, our sign … Continue reading

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Nativity Statues of Jesus

Christ our King is in enthroned in Heaven. Jesus is God. Though we cannot see him, he reigns. If we make little carved statues of him, is that like making wooden idols? What does the nativity have to do with … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Trinity, Worship | 5 Comments

Remove the bands, and many churches will empty

Most worship is false precisely because it is relevant.

Posted in Emergent Church, Media, Preaching, Top Posts, Worship | Comments Off on Remove the bands, and many churches will empty

Wingreen English-to-Hebrew Answer Key and Software

I have been working on Hebrew software that lets a student type in English and Hebrew and build their own English-to-Hebrew database. The reason for this is a way for them to quickly complete the English to Hebrew exercises in … Continue reading

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Download Sofware for the Greek Old Testament

How do New Testament passages quote Old Testament passages? Is it possible that a New Testament author made his own immediate translation of the Hebrew (i.e., not quoting from a Greek manuscript, but translating on the fly)? If that is … Continue reading

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Download Ugaritic Software

I have been working on the Ugaritic language, and I wrote a software interface that lets me access nearly 1400 tablets. You can be a beta-tester of the software if you have a copy of Cyrus Gordon’s Ugaritic dictionary. If … Continue reading

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Blog Facelift and Engine Overhaul

This blog underwent a major overhaul. I upgraded the internal software from an ancient version to the latest WordPress release (a free software package). This upgrade has been a looming issue. My last upgrade resulted in losing all my articles, … Continue reading

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The Trail of Blood

I was recently given a famous book called The Trail of Blood. For me, it was a book that only belonged to folklore. I heard of it, but I never met one. I knew about it, and I knew people … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Marcionism, Worship | 1 Comment

Hebrew Grammar: Sheva-Glue and Moving Accents

The sheva of Hebrew is a great little marker. If you are learning Biblical Hebrew, I want to pass along a basic observation that may be helpful in your study of the language. There is a pattern of sheva usage … Continue reading

Posted in Hebrew | 1 Comment

Old Testament Manuscripts and 18 Tiqqune Sopherim

Last updated: 30 May 2013 To analyze and explore a passage of the Old Testament, one must first establish the particular text (i.e., identify exactly what it is they are translating and exploring). To that end, one must know where … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Manuscripts, Hebrew, LXX, Old Testament, Top Posts | 1 Comment

A Theologian of Suffering Names Things Properly

If we name something improperly, and then talk about it, we will cause confusion and harm to ourselves and those who name it rightly. In theology, this is relevant in discussions about justification. If we name justification what others name … Continue reading

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The Old Testament Aleppo Codex: Vowels Added after Consonants

The standard edition of the Hebrew Old Testament is Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). BHS is based off of a manuscript called the Leningrad Codex (B 19A) which dates to AD 1008. The Aleppo Codex is like B 19A, only older … Continue reading

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Israel in Egypt

In the November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review there is an article about Israel and the formation of the nation. The article starts with a discussion of the Merneptah Stele. This stele has Egyptian writing that contains the earliest known … Continue reading

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How a church can have a modern reformation and be truly emergent

Preach and Enjoy Christ. Every sermon. Stop preaching all the other stuff. Don’t try to be emergent. And remove any and all leadership that does not see why this ought to be. Will you see success? This is success.

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What happens after death, and then what happens after that?

A rumor needs to be stopped. Dying is not a stage in life where one finally gets to be with dead friends and relatives. Being with friends and family is not the point of our lives nor is it the … Continue reading

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Automobiles and Eschatology

Eschatology is the biblical study of ultimate things. All things are made for a purpose and everything has an eschatological end. God revealed an eschatology in his work of creation; we reveal our eschatology in how we live. Creation was … Continue reading

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Genesis, the Flood, and a Druken Sailor

This is the final installment of my review of the documentary hypothesis (the JEDP theory) and the book, Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis, by Kikawada and Quinn. All page references point to it. In Parts … Continue reading

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Genesis is an Epic with Epics

This is Part V of my review of the so-called Old Testament documentary hypothesis (the JEDP theory) and the book, Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis, by Kikawada and Quinn. All page references point to it. … Continue reading

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Genesis was written by a Genius

This is Part IV of my review of the Old Testament documentary hypothesis (a.k.a. the JEDP theory) and the book, Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis, by Kikawada and Quinn. All page references point to it. … Continue reading

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Archaeology Supports Genesis: Old Artifacts bring Fresh Light

This is Part III of my review of the documentary hypothesis/JEDP theory and the book, Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis, by Kikawada and Quinn. All page references point to it. Many Noahs, Many Floods In … Continue reading

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Can God Write a Book? Has God Really Said…?

This is Part II of my seven part series of the documentary hypothesis (the so-called JEDP theory of the Old Testament) and the book, Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis by Kikawada and Quinn. All page … Continue reading

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The Documentary Hypothesis does Damage to the Bible

This series came in seven installments: an Intro, then Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Because I am preaching through Genesis it seems fair to introduce the Old Testament documentary hypothesis (sometimes called the JEDP theory), its relationship … Continue reading

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Genesis Research: Table of Contents

Moses’ book is a complex structure packed with levels, corridors, rooms, windows and corners. To help me maintain some control over the material related to Genesis, I decided to use this space to categorize eight areas of research with links … Continue reading

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Images of God used in Worship

Do the following words have any relationship to using pictures of Jesus in churches? Exodus 20:4-5. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Christlike-God, Exodus, Jesus, Media, Worship | 2 Comments

Downloadable Truth: Is it Healthy?

The preaching of Jesus is a chief treasure of all real churches (Acts 5:42; Rom 1:15; Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 1:17; 1 Cor 1:21; 1 Cor 9:18; 1 Cor 15:2; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:3; 1 Peter 1:25; etc.). Jesus … Continue reading

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Who Wrote the Bible? And What is the Title Page of the Bible?

Question: Who wrote the 66 books of the Bible? Answer: God wrote the Bible. Answer: Men wrote the Bible. This is not a contradiction, a conundrum, or double-speak. God designed, crafted and implemented a complete story… hence the Bible. The … Continue reading

Posted in is About Jesus, Jesus | 1 Comment

God opens up heaven-space to humans

This article was published in the Louisburg Herald, Oct 7th, 2009. “And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who … Continue reading

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The Cross as an Instrument of Joy

A Christian does not simply have Christ as savior — as if we can reduce his life to this: Jesus gave his life and therefore we don’t have to go to hell. His life includes that, but it is more … Continue reading

Posted in Irony of God, Jesus, Suffering, Top Posts | 1 Comment

Beyond Relevance

It’s sad. And funny. The group that posted this video seems to miss the irony of their own message. Looking around their blog, they advocate the mega-movements with all the attending ministry marketing (it hurts to write that phrase), with … Continue reading

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Fives Stages of the Kingdom of God

Meredith G. Kline, the late professor of Old Testament at Gordon Conwell and Westminster Seminary, is well known for his work on big-picture biblical theology. For more, see http://www.louisburgchurch.com/?page_id=68

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The Religious Culture of Personality Cults and Mega-Everything

Carl Trueman makes two points I want to pass along. 1) In certain sectors of American Christianity, the ideal of a church is rooted in a craving for a prolific Mega-Theologian-Author and 2) The desire for mega-leaders, mega-movements, and mega-everything … Continue reading

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Speculative Thinking vs. Revelation Thinking

The Bible Reveals. It reveals who God is. We should not come to the Bible with preferences about biblical practices or biblical orthodoxy, but we should come to discover what is orthodox. This approach has ramifications. It means that an … Continue reading

Posted in Interpretation, Theology, Truth | 3 Comments

What do dying people ask for?

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:5), and then he explained to them the union of humility with the Kingdom of God (how it reveals God in flesh). In that explanation, he said some enigmatic, wonderful and necessary … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Gospel of John, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prayer, Suffering | 3 Comments

Truly this was the Son of God — Mark 15:39

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he … Continue reading

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“Cancer does not define me”, Rachel Barkey, dying of cancer

Rachel Barkey (not Rachel Barkley!), died on July 2, 2009.  I originally posted the following on May 29, 2009: A Christian’s identity is wrapped up in Jesus, not the final moments of death or the circumstances attending seasons of happiness. … Continue reading

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Second Installment: One Kind of Elder, Not Two

In Part One I pointed to resources that argue for only one kind of elder in the New Testament. This is in contrast to most Presbyterian and Reformed churches where the Bible is read to indicate that there are two … Continue reading

Posted in Church Elders | 1 Comment

Most Influential Books

I was asked: Name the books that have most influenced the way you read scripture. Of course the Bible itself is the most influential book on how I read scripture (scripture interprets scripture), but the question was about non-Biblical books. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Top Posts | 1 Comment

A Reply to Jeannie Taylor on Changing Church Names

Ethics Daily published published a shorter version of this. I am the pastor of Eastside church of the Cross in Louisburg, Kansas. We were formerly named Louisburg Southern Baptist Church. In a recent article, Brand New Packaging, author Jeannie Babb … Continue reading

Posted in Church Names | 3 Comments

The Trinity

The Bible teaches the Trinity. When we say, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, we still affirm that there is only one True God; there are not three distinct gods being indicated by the phrase. The Bible teaches that Jesus is … Continue reading

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The Temptation of Christ

Jesus was tempted, as it is written, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” — Matthew 4:1 What exactly does it means to say that Jesus was tempted? Did he … Continue reading

Posted in Christlike-God, Gospel of Matthew, Temptation, Two Natures | 2 Comments

God is like this: Jesus washed feet

The Incarnation (Jesus is God in Flesh) is God being what God is like. He was always like what he is like, and in the incarnation he was being the same way as he has always been–now in human flesh. … Continue reading

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Masoretic or Biblical Hebrew vs. Modern Hebrew

I studied Modern Hebrew first. I took classes at the local Jewish Community Center in preparation for my first trip to Israel. I also use the excellent Pimsleur audio program. When I got back from Israel, I then enrolled in … Continue reading

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Why do we make mistakes in interpreting the Bible?

Do you remember that part of the Gospel of John where the Jews took palm branches and went out to meet Jesus and called him King? That episode is recorded in John 12. It made me wonder: Why palm branches? … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Gospel of John, Interpretation, Jesus, Top Posts | 2 Comments

Efficiently Using Greek, Hebrew and English Fonts

In American Biblical studies, one often needs to switch between the basic three languages of Greek, Hebrew and English. What concerns me here is how to communicate electronically in those languages with Windows-based software, such as MS-Word, without resorting to … Continue reading

Posted in Hebrew, Top Posts | 3 Comments

Looking under the hood of the Bible

You likely have an English Bible. The Bible, of course, was not written in English. So I have a few questions for you: 1) Who translated it? 2) Where did they get the manuscripts to translate? 3) What manuscripts are … Continue reading

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The New Exodus

Article for the Louisburg Herald, March 25th edition. The exodus was a foundational event in the Old Testament. God took a landless people, the Hebrews, and extracted them from Egypt. They were in bondage and he redeemed them. They left … Continue reading

Posted in Jesus, New Exodus, New Testament, Newspaper, Old Testament | 1 Comment

Ancient Manuscripts of the New Testament

The New Testament is a compiled collection of ancient books and letters.  The original copies of those books and letters are lost.  However, we have copies that date close to the time of the originals.  In fact, we have so … Continue reading

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A Nebuchadnezzar Artifact

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. Daniel 1:1; 2 Kings 24:1 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is recorded in the Bible (mentioned here in Daniel … Continue reading

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Ancient Facts vs. Traditional Interpretations

There is an instinctive and healthy expectation that our Biblical knowledge is stable. We are suspicious of new interpretations of old texts. There are exceptions to this rule. If we discover something new, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, then our … Continue reading

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The Prayer of Jabez

There is a little corner of the Bible that birthed a modern movement. The corner is 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 and the movement is the “Prayer of Jabez” movement. My goal is to go through the original Hebrew of this prayer … Continue reading

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Song of Solomon

The Old Testament book Song of Solomon may not be the love story we have always thought. I am picking up earlier proposals by scholars that Song of Solomon is a polemical book — being an attack on the kings … Continue reading

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Epigraphic or Archaic Hebrew

When I am working on a paper or research project, I often go to Amazon and find some of the books I need. I then add those books to a wish list (not because I wish to own them, but … Continue reading

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God’s Name Found outside the Bible on the Mesha Stele/Moabite Stone

The name that God gave himself — Yahweh (YHWH) — is found in the Hebrew Bible and also in other ancient documents.

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Was Jesus in Hell between the Cross and Resurrection?

Was Jesus in Hell? This is not my question. It is a question we get from Church history. Taking a question and going and looking for an answer is not the best way to approach the Bible. The best questions … Continue reading

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New Testament Elders: There is One Kind, Not Two

This is part one of a series on this subject. Click here for Part Two Churches have deacons. The position of deacon is an “office” (as it were) in the church. That seems easy enough to see from the New … Continue reading

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Why you should consider a church close to home

You should only consider a church close to home if it preaches Christ and him crucified. If it does not, then you must consider a church far from home. Regardless, find Christ preached. It is difficult to worship far from … Continue reading

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Decrypting a Dead Language. Part 3: Byblos

In two earlier entries, I discussed software, theories and methods about the decrypting of an ancient language called Byblos (with Byblos being an ancient city just north of Israel): Part I: Chasing Byblos, Decrypting a Dead Language Part II: Encoding … Continue reading

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Hebrew Online

Listen to Modern Hebrew online: http://www.ualberta.ca/~ebenzvi/Hebrew_Bible/hebrewbibstudy.html The Psalms: http://www.shma-israel.org/narrations.php

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Jesus Alone is Relevant

Jesus is relevant, and in him there is no irrelevance at all. Our assent to this is reflected in all of our actions. Our loyalty to Christ — our AMEN to his relevance — is found in our Sunday-choices and … Continue reading

Posted in Jesus, Newspaper | 1 Comment

Be Holy

The Lord our God seeks representation; he wants to be found in creation, and he wants to be found in our holiness — in our actions, in our behavior.

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Elephant

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You can improve your brain power!

I am going to veer off the regular theological subjects of Archaeology, Jesus and the Bible. I want to direct your attention to something pretty cool. I put together a little post on ways that any person’s brain can get … Continue reading

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Death is not an Impediment to Deity

Every now and then I pull into Amazon.com and browse a few of the “Recommended books” they have for me; I love it that they point me to books I end up liking.   Here is a spectacular quote from … Continue reading

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Paul’s Theology Hinges on this: Jesus is God.

The Greek word in the New Testament for god is “theos.” When refereeing to the creator, we translate it “God.” When I speak of God, I am speaking of the only true Creator who is revealed in the Bible alone. … Continue reading

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Jesus is God

The life-blood of Christianity is this: Jesus is God, the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not Jesus the Son. The Son is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the … Continue reading

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Encoding Byblos Signs. Part 2: Byblos

Running the Byblos texts through software means encoding the inscriptions. Here are four lines of Text D:

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Chasing Byblos: Decrypting a Dead Language. Part 1: Byblos

This series of articles is going to seem completely self-serving and I am afraid completely irrelevant. It may come off as self-serving in the sense that I will be using this space to report on my own ongoing research, and … Continue reading

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Overland Park: 2008 Archaeology Slide Shows

Sunday nights Feb 17th, Feb 24th and March 2nd at 6:00pm I will be presenting a series on Archaeology and the Bible at Redeemer Presbyterian in Overland Park (http://www.redeemer-pca.org/). For those three nights I will develop the story of redemption … Continue reading

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Truly, God Hides Himself

“Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” — Isaiah 45:15 Our Creator hides himself from us. And that is counter-intuitive of what we hear from our religious authorities. They regularly picture God as … Continue reading

Posted in Christlike-God, Newspaper, Theology | 1 Comment

What is a Christian Sermon?

Originally published in the Wed, Oct 10th, 2007 Louisburg Herald. What is a Christian Sermon? I have a challenge for you. The next time you hear a sermon, listen to determine if Jesus is actually explained. Count how often the … Continue reading

Posted in Church Sign, Jesus, Newspaper, Preaching | 1 Comment

God on Trial. Is He Guilty? Genesis and Romans.

A major theme of Romans is the trial and vindication of God. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s trial defense and verdict. When Jesus emerged from the tomb it was the revelation of God proved right and trustworthy. For the … Continue reading

Posted in Genesis, God on Trial, Gospel, Jesus, Romans | 1 Comment

Slide Show: July 26th, August 2nd and August 9th

Over the next three Thursday nights I will be reporting on Archaeolgy, Jesus and the Bible. The work at Gezer will be woven into all three, but the focus is on integrating history and the biblical text for the sake … Continue reading

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Gezer and Jesus

Can the archaeology of the ancient city of Gezer (pronounced geh-zur) improve our knowledge of Jesus and the New Testament? Yes, it can. However, to properly go from Gezer to Jesus requires historical integrity, Biblical concentration and Archaeological effort. The … Continue reading

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Field Work, Lab Work, Publication Work… And How Jason Pondered a Wookalar Hole

We are nearing the end of the field excavation for this season. We are not wrapping up our work, but ramping up for the analysis phase and for next year’s expedition. I won’t summarize the season here, but I want … Continue reading

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Restoring Solomon’s Casemate Wall

Conservation work is a part of archaeology. Excavation removes layers to uncover the past, while conservation preserves what is uncovered. Today I want to show the major conservation work being conducted on the Solomonic casemate wall we excavated last year; … Continue reading

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Supervisors at Gezer. A Broken Jar on Day 20 of our Dig

The first time a person goes on an archaeological dig, it’s all mysterious, magical and enchanting. No discomfort — small or great — can diminish the thrill of the daily excavation. The constant rhythm of trowels, the serpentine routs traced … Continue reading

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Actually digging… More of the Iron Age

From my last post on Actually Digging… I introduced the topic of the Iron Age. Today I will show you the context of some of our Iron Age work, which is a wall and a gate. The Iron Age wall … Continue reading

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Actually digging… Walls, Coins and a sneak peak at the Iron Age

Most of the posts in my Gezer web log have focused on the results of or the basis of archaeology, but today I want to report on the actual field activity. In the first photo, you see that we have … Continue reading

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Kids and Guns in Israel and the West Bank

For the first time, I made it to the West Bank to visit Bethlehem and Herodium. Herodium is archaeologically significant for the research I am currently doing. But that’s not why I am writing today. Instead, I want you to … Continue reading

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Actually Digging…

Where I am digging, and what it looks like. In the posts about Gezer leading up to this point, I have been describing the Iron Age debate and the United Monarchy of Israel. Last year when I worked at Gezer, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Gezer | 4 Comments

Is the Bible a Reliable Source of History

The Archaeology Debate: “Is the bible a reliable source of history?” This question is at the root of a controversy in the archaeology of Iron Age Israel (remember, the Iron Age encompasses King David). Related to it, is the question, … Continue reading

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The Bible and Water Systems

Conflict is for control, and to control a population’s water is to control their life. What I want to explore today is the relationship of water to life and water to war. Portions of scripture are dedicated to the use … Continue reading

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Digging Gezer, 2007, Preparing for the Field. Part 3

The Possibility of a Scandal:        The Relationship between  Religion and Israeli Archaeology

Posted in Archaeology, Gezer, Preparing for the Field | 1 Comment

Digging Gezer, 2007; Preparing for the Field. Part 2

The Power of Archaeology Before I explain why I dig at Gezer, first I have to set the dilemma. Given a feel for life on a dig, then the question is ready to be asked: Why Dig Gezer.

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Digging Gezer, 2007; Preparing for the Field. Part 1

The Tel Gezer Expedition is returning to Israel this summer to continue our quest for the Historical Solomon. That’s a rather simplified statement of our mission, but every journey starts somewhere, and as you try to imagine why we are … Continue reading

Posted in Gezer, Preparing for the Field | 1 Comment

Israel, Jesus and the People of the Last Days

This article was originally published in the Louisburg Herald, March 21st, 2007. Produced before and around the time of Jesus, the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal a sect of Jews who imagined that their community was the beginning of the restoration … Continue reading

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