I recently finished reading Greg Koukl’s new book, The Story of Reality. In fact, I read it twice – and I rarely read a book more than once. Koukl contends that while most Christians know most of the bits and pieces of the Christian worldview, few know how to put those pieces together in a coherent fashion to form a truly Christian worldview. They may have a lot of knowledge about the Bible’s contents (micro-level understanding), but few understand the overarching Biblical storyline (macro-level understanding). The Story of Reality sets out to tell that story, breaking it up into five major areas: God, man, Jesus, cross, and final resurrection.
March 27, 2017
March 8, 2017
“…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
This verse is often invoked in the context of the marital relationship to teach against male headship. Rather than the wife submitting to the man, it is claimed that Paul argued for mutual submission: the wife should submit to her husband, but the husband should also submit to his wife. This principle is extended beyond the marriage relationship as well to include all Christians. Each Christian ought to submit themselves to each other.
Is that the point of this passage? Is Paul teaching that we should always yield our will to someone else’s will? I think not. While a look at the context will prove this to be so, common sense alone rules this interpretation out. Consider the following: (more…)
February 28, 2017
For many years this proverb has been misinterpreted, probably because the KJV translates it “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What we typically hear preached from this verse is that a church must have a long-term goal and plan if they wish to thrive rather than perish. That may be good advice, but that’s not the meaning of this proverb.
The word vision does not refer to one’s ability to formulate future goals and plans, but is a synonym for the prophetic word which comes from God’s prophets.
“Perish” has also been misunderstood. It’s not referring to churches that will cease to exist if they don’t have a vision, or to the spiritual perishing of unbelievers who will perish in hell if the church does not get a vision for the lost. The word means “to cast off all restraint.” The point of the Proverb, then, is that when there is no prophetic word from God to guide the people, they will cast off all moral restraint and follow their own evil devices.
Keep it in context….
February 16, 2017
Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
We have often interpreted this verse in an individualistic fashion to mean that each Christian should have peace in our heart. This verse is even appealed to in support of the teaching that intrapersonal peace in our heart is a means by which we discern God’s will for our life. Is this what Paul was conveying? Let’s look at the context. (more…)
February 10, 2017
The doctrine of inerrancy holds that the original manuscripts of Scripture were inspired by God, and thus inerrant. Both Christians and skeptics alike have questioned the rationality and utility of the doctrine in light of the fact that we do not possess those manuscripts, and the manuscripts we do possess contain errors.
Regarding the rationality of the doctrine, why God would extend His power to inspire every word down to the very case and voice only to immediately allow some of those words to be garbled by the first few scribes who copied the inerrant text? Why extend your power to create an inerrant text if you’re not also going to extend your power to preserve it in the same inerrant fashion?
February 8, 2017
Unfortunately, someone took the scrolls from the cave years ago. We can only wonder where those scrolls are now.
February 7, 2017
Most American Christians have identified smoking or chewing tobacco as sinful, but what is the Biblical basis for this conclusion? There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not smoke.” So why should we think it’s morally wrong?
The two reasons I typically hear are related to (1) health and (2) addiction. Regarding health, the verse appealed to is often 1 Corinthians 3:17 in which Paul says God will destroy those who defile the temple of God. The temple is understood to be the human body, so anything that destroys the human body is sinful. I’m not convinced this is the right interpretation of the verse, but let’s run with it for the sake of argument. There’s no question that smoking cigarettes is not good for the body. It’s unhealthy and thus unwise, but is this enough to warrant considering it sinful? How many other things do we consume that are unhealthy for us? Are we prepared to call too much consumption of chocolate, ice cream, soda, red meat, and the like sinful as well? These are also unhealthy when consumed too much. One may object that while these things are unhealthy, they do not typically kill the person who consumes them. That may be true of each item individually, but not necessarily as a whole. A person who consumes too much sugar, fat, etc. often develops diseases such as diabetes or cancer, and some die as a result. If we’re not prepared to consider it a sin to eat too much ice cream or drink too much soda, then why are we so quick to consider smoking a sin? Perhaps we should consider both to be sin, but I doubt most would see it that way (you can pry my ice cream container away from my cold, dead hands!!).