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Death in Ecclesiastes… Good Times!

A couple years ago, I received a phone call on a late Thursday afternoon asking if I could be the main speaker at a Men’s Conference two days hence. Something dreadful had happened to the scheduled speaker and they needed somebody fast and furious… without the guns and...
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Getting Isaiah, Part 3: What the Figure is He Talking About?

Okay, so the Prophetic books in Scripture are both awesome and awfully difficult to understand. They have a pesky habit of preaching under divine inspiration about events that they never explain… they didn’t need to; their original audience already knew all about it. Another difficulty that plagues their...
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Getting Isaiah Part 1: The Problem with Getting Isaiah

Let’s be honest. Reading “The Prophets” is hard. Well, reading them isn’t hard, at least not in translation, but understanding them is. I’m talking about books like, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and The Book of the Twelve… what we like to call “the minor prophets.” These books are victims...
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Nazarenes, Rednecks, and Other Well-meaning Slurs

I love puzzles, always have. Growing up, I saw puzzles of all kinds as a natural exercise of my desire to be a detective someday, tracing out subtle clues to help me zero in on bad guys. Becoming a biblical scholar, then, has always seemed right on target...
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Weirdo Fixations and the Heart of True Religion

During my recent convalescence after surgery I received a disturbing letter from an earnest young man who was understandably distraught over his shunning from a congregation for whom he felt deep familial attachments. I know I joke around a lot, but I intend no jest here. His church...
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