I was fresh out of university when the editors of the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary asked me to write the article on election. My starting point is exegesis of texts, not systematic theology. You can read the original article in volume 2:441–444; the following is slightly paraphrased. The nature of this article is a panoramic... Continue Reading →
Coronavirus! Do we offer the Lord’s Supper, even when 2 or 3 are NOT gathered? Oh, yes!
I will share my conclusion up front: of course we do! And if we are able to settle that, the main issue now becomes one of logistics, not of theology. First some background. Churches are offering online worship services: Bible studies; small groups. A Mennonite church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is offering drive-through prayer: the... Continue Reading →
‘We must take Revelation literally!’ they say. ‘Except when I don’t do so!’
I have written several papers on how the church of the 2nd and 3rd centuries reported that they experienced the gift of prophecy. For example, only in the early 3rd century did Origen observe that "since [the time of Christ and the apostles] these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of His presence... Continue Reading →
What did Paul mean by “possess your own vessel”?
This material adapted from 1-2 Thessalonians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, from pages 161-66. The book is available from Amazon and as a discount from Amazon, and also from Logos, in Korean and also in Spanish. 1 Thess 4:4 is the most complex verse in the Thessalonian correspondence because of the difficulty of... Continue Reading →
Paul agrees: Christ is Immanuel, God with us
According to Matthew 1:21, "Jesus" (in the form Iesous or Yeshua) means "he shall save." Matthew also states that Christ fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 - "And you shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us." In 1-2 Thessalonians, Paul also reveals how Jesus is the personal manifestation of Yahweh. The... Continue Reading →
Have I discovered a new version of the book of Acts?
Remember that whole ‘invaders from Mars’ radio show that got Orson Wells into hot water, for panicking the cattle and stampeding the humans? In was back in '38, but you may have learned about it in school or seen it on the History channel. Well, on advice from the boys down in legal, let me... Continue Reading →
Christian prophecy and canon in the second century: a response to B. B. Warfield
This was originally published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40/4 (December, 1997): 609-626. TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE. Here is a summary of our conclusion: Many of today’s cessationists rely on Warfield’s decision to tie the end of prophecy to the completion of the canon (with or without the help... Continue Reading →
The Book of Acts: Do the apostles always do right?
Does the book of Acts intend to tell us a historical narrative, or does Luke tell us how we should be living? In other terms, is it principally or simply descriptive, or is it also prescriptive? One approach is that we should follow what Acts says - or follow it more confidently - only when... Continue Reading →
Does ‘Abba’ mean ‘Daddy’?
In short, no, the evidence suggests that in the first century AD and beyond, it just meant "father". Here are the three uses of the term in the New Testament: For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry,... Continue Reading →
No-body knows when you will die or Jesus will come! And it’s a good thing
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thess 5:1-2 "And further, not to know when the end is, or when the... Continue Reading →