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Let’s put the X back in Xmas

I am not sure how many of you already know this, but I love Xmas… not just Christmas, but Xmas. I think we should all love Xmas. You see, ink and parchment were expensive back in the days of the early church and for centuries afterward. The Greeks...
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Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

I received an email this week from one of my students in India. She wanted to know if I could give her a biblical defense for celebrating Christmas. I said that I could and couldn’t. On the one hand, “Christmas” was not a known part of some church...
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Mark 1:1 Makes No Sentence at All

Look at Mark 1:1… look reeeeeaaaaal close and careful. It reads in the ESV, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Seems simple enough. A literalist rendering of the Greek is, “Beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ son of God. The three of words aren’t actually...
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Induction… not just for Science Nerds Anymore

When I speak of “Doing Biblical Theology” I intend the use of an arsenal of tools for ascertaining the intended theological message of a biblical unit of literature. I just wanted to make that clear in case you thought I was attempting to market an improved version of...
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Have You Tripwired Your Mind?

It seems to me that a phenomena I have been witnessing for years in ever increasing regularity goes well beyond prejudice right into manic meltdown. All that is needed to create it is to mention certain topics to the wrong person while being the wrong person… one whom...
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Saul Loses the Girl and Gains a Doomed Throne

In recent posts, I’ve been considering biblical variations on the type-scene, “Foreigner at the Well.”[1] Perhaps you are tired of reading about it… you have been reading about it haven’t you?  I’m sorry; is my insecurity showing? Let’s try this again with a little more confidence. Thou shalt...
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I’ll Have One “Foreigner at the Well” with a Twist

In my recent post, “Wells: The Singles’ Bars of the Ancient Near East,”—I just call ‘em like I see ‘em Folks! Don’t judge me—I discussed the beauty of the ancient type-scene, “Foreigner at the Well.” We discussed how every culture has popular literary scenarios drawn from elements of...
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Good Tassels Gone Bad

The giving of the tassel to the Israelites in Numbers 15:38-41 is a powerful symbol of God’s love and acceptance, a divine gift to aid them in their struggles against sin, and an ever visible reminder of their privilege and responsibility as a kingdom of priests.[1] The shocking...
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Lions, Gazelles and Switching Hats

I recently reread Dr. Mark Yarhouse’s article in Christianity Today called “Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon.”[1] While I appreciated his candor and data, my mind drifted, as it often does, to other considerations. I started switching hats while I read, asking different questions of the subject matter depending on...
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Wells: The Singles’ Bars of the Ancient Near East

One of my great-uncles, a true good-ol’boy from west Texas, once said to my great-grandmother, “Mamma, it’s hard to find a good woman like you out there.” She replied, “There are plenty of good women like me out there. They  just don’t hang out in the places you...
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Government Entitlement Programs are Psychologically Dysfunctional

In an earlier post, “Progressives Don’t Want to Help the Poor to escape Poverty—Entitlement Programs aren’t Charity or Charitable ” I began a discussion on the misguided equalizing of Biblical laws of charity with modern entitlement programs. The problem with this equation is one part poor understanding of...
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Confessions of a Troglodyte

I regard myself, perhaps wrongly, as a decent communicator, even if a bit snarky at times. I’ve dedicated most of my ministry energy to explaining complex ideas in biblical studies to determined church attendees. I’ve always liked to think that I could explain anything to anyone… until now....
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Hallelujah: Call “of” Praise or Call “to” Praise

After discussing, in my recent blog post, “Hallelujah is a Sentence,” that the biblical “term” Hallelujah has grammar and that we should both be aware of that grammar and use the phrase accordingly in our worship songs, I received two types of criticism. Let’s call them sniveling and...
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