Archive for 'Theology'

Finding Philip!

Finding Philip!

There are three Philips in the New Testament, all mostly forgotten. None were mentioned in the great faith chapter in Hebrews (11) but two out of three lived with a faith in Jesus worth finding.

Philip the Apostle.

First, there was a Philip from Bethsaida (a fishing village) among the 12 disciples. He was the pragmatist who calculated how much it would cost to feed a crowd (John 6:7). Later, Philip asked Jesus to show them ...

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Joseph of Nazareth
(A Righteous Man)

Joseph of Nazareth <br>(A Righteous Man)

“Honey, you were right.”

I’ve had to say those words to my wife. Every time I do, her hearing suddenly goes weak so I have to repeat it. She threatens to write down the date but never does.

Every couple knows what I am talking about, including healthy ones that don’t keep score.

Long ago, before the first Noel, a Jewish carpenter named Joseph was famous for being right. The Bible introduced him as “a righteous ...

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“Let those who love the LORD hate evil.”
(Psalm 97:10)

“Let those who love the LORD hate evil.” <br>(Psalm 97:10)

Donald Trump recently announced that he loves Mexicans. In context, he was doubling down on his previous controversial comments about illegal immigrants. I respect the distinction and I recognize the hope he places in the power of the word “love.”

When marriage was redefined by the Supreme Court, President Obama pronounced that we all finally realized that “love is love.” National opinion remains divided over whether love won or lost, but everyone is apparently still for ...

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A Primer on Proverbs

A Primer on Proverbs

“I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it.”
Harry S. Truman (1884 –1972, the 33rd US President)

Where can you get good advice these days? Talk TV? The news? The net? Consumer Reports can advise you on buying a car. Books with advice on handling the opposite sex are falling off ...

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Bible Study Basics

Bible Study Basics

The Beginning:

The creative handiwork of God is where the Bible begins, revealing that life is God’s gift and it is good. We build houses, cars and roads for a purpose, so why shouldn’t God be purposeful in “building” us? I know of no resource better than the Bible for understanding the purposes of God and inspiring us to pursue then at all cost. It opens the window of heaven to shed its guiding light on ...

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“What is Truth?”
(A Case Study in Pragmatic Politics)

“What is Truth?”<br>(A Case Study in Pragmatic Politics)

Pontius Pilate was a politician. He was the Roman governor of Judea and like many first century Romans, he was a pragmatist. His job was to keep the peace and he had five infantry cohorts and a cavalry regiment under his command (5,000 men) to maintain order.

The Jewish rulers who convicted Jesus of blasphemy needed Pilate’s authority to get a death sentence. And they were willing to disturb the peace. The accusations the ...

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Loving Sinners

Loving Sinners

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil.”
(Psalm 97:10)

True love, this side of heaven, cannot escape the struggle against evil. For Christians, this painful struggle begins inside as repentance begins its work in us. Then it emerges as confrontation with the destructive forces of evil around us.

When evil grows, love shrinks. Jesus warned, “Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12). Thus, the good fight against ...

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Looking Good

Looking Good

Besides being greedy, Judas Iscariot was a fake!

One day, when Mary (Martha’s sister) poured a pound of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair, Judas resented it. To make himself look good, he expressed his objection by asking, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” (John 12:5).

His question sounded noble on the surface but Judas was just masking nefarious motives. Actually, ...

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BAPTISM: “For the Forgiveness of Sin”

BAPTISM: “For the Forgiveness of Sin”

A hymn written by Robert Lowry in 1876 begins with a good question:

    What can wash away my sin?

The answer is immediate and accurate:

    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What about the water of baptism? Doesn’t it wash our sins away too? Be careful. The real sin-cleansing power comes from above and works only through the blood of Jesus. Baptism has no power or meaning apart from Jesus’ blood. The water itself is neither ...

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Was Jesus Religious?

Was Jesus Religious?

Would you like to be spiritual without being religious? First, I commend your desire to be spiritual. Second, I commend you to Jesus as inspiration for not leaving the religious part behind. Here are seven points to ponder about Jesus:

  1. Jesus was raised by very religious parents who kept the Jewish laws and customs of their day. Mary followed the purification terms of her religion and the whole family showed up at the temple on time ...
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