We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 (NIV) Optional How restrictive is an anchor? Not much. It’s an optional item of marine equipment, but not in the sense that it’s dispensable. It would be a foolhardy sailor who set out without one. But an anchor doesn’t get … Continue reading Shackle, Stake, or Anchor?
Dead Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, STOP! How many resolutions to read the Bible come to a halt at the third book? Leviticus can be a difficult read. It’s repetitious, its culture seems alien, and there’s so much blood. Why? Burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, sin offerings – all of them produced lots of blood and all ended … Continue reading Why is Leviticus so bloody?
An old Italian proverb, “traduttore, traditore” meaning that a translator is a traitor is as applicable to Bible translations as to any other text. Each language arises from a culture, with its individual traditions and images, which determine the precise meaning of even the simplest of terms. When a country lady from Bavaria says “haus” … Continue reading Luther’s deliberate mistranslation
Two successful businessmen and community leaders were secret admirers of Jesus. Consider their dilemma as they helplessly watched events unfold during one fast-moving and fateful week. (This poem may be used as a meditation for Easter season.)
To declare that Jesus wasn’t a Christian is not just a familiar truism – Christ couldn’t be a follower of Christ. But I want to challenge another oft-repeated truism. People say, with apparent wisdom, that Jesus didn’t found the church. I disagree – and Bethany is part of my reasoning. Most Christians believe that the … Continue reading A church like Bethany
If this isn’t the strangest story in the gospels, it must come close. Apart from the unusual setting, the limited audience, the peculiar light, and the mysterious appearance of two long-dead men, Jesus capped the mystery by telling his companions not to tell anyone what they’d seen. In the face of such an extraordinary story the shortage of apostolic references to it is surprising and provokes several questions.
Fundamentalism is a risky strategy for maintaining faith in the Bible because one tiny hole in a rigid belief system could deflate the entire balloon.
The Christian faith is built on history, so we need to be sure that its history is true. It matters that Christians can trust the four Gospels. But can we? It’s not the kind of question we can brush aside with glib, fundamentalist answers – not if we want the world to take us seriously. … Continue reading Gospel truth
“I really ought to give more time to prayer.” “I should be reading the Bible more.” When I hear people expressing these sentiments I often have mixed feelings about what they’re saying. I’m not suggesting that they have no need to pray, or read the Bible, or whatever exercise of faith they aspire to. But … Continue reading Happy Holy Habits
C S Lewis, one of the 20th century’s leading spokesmen for Christianity, wrote many bestsellers, including the ‘Narnia’ children’s stories. Both his life story and his books were turned into films. He died almost 60 years ago, but he was still alive when I first started reading his books. I never met him face-to-face, but … Continue reading Authentic Gospels