In another place I have written about two churches I have visited that gave a broad weekly invitation for all members to participate in leading worship. I have also written on the related theme of the Priesthood of all Believers. As we hear so often, “The church is not the building, but the congregation.” That... Continue Reading →
An Isolated Apostle – Can God still use him?
Someone in Costa Rica asked me to preach about “John in Patmos.” And I realized that, it’s an excellent subject for bored, shut-in, and isolated people during COVID! First, a little background. John wrote that he was on the island of Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9b).... Continue Reading →
Helping the anxious in times of COVID
People are differently constituted. Some are more prone to fear than are others, just as some are prone to one temptation over other. God has formed us all to be different and we have also arrived at this moment after a life of personal decisions. This is why COVID might have a harsher impact on... Continue Reading →
William Tyndale: My Hero!
I have a limited number of people whom I would call my heroes. In fact, one time in an interview I was asked to name a hero of mine: "Uh...Abraham Lincoln" was all I could come up with. In fact, it was President's Day, and the picture of Lincoln hanging on the wall of the... Continue Reading →
Why would Paul write about the Lord’s Supper?
When we celebrate Communion, we usually read from 1 Corinthians 11. That’s a right practice, but another layer of studying the Bible is to ask, Why did Paul bring this up, here, in this letter? It wasn’t to teach them the ritual, because they had been celebrating communion for years. So, why now? Paul tells... Continue Reading →
The New Testament doctrine of election
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 →
The Critical Text of the New Testament versus the Majority Text
I am committed to using the very best edition of the Greek New Testament. At this moment, I accept as best the Nestle-Aland 28th edition (NA-28; I do not say this to put down the SBL or the Tyndale House New Testaments, but that is an issue for another day). Thus I am dumbfounded by... Continue Reading →
“No, but wait…MY pastor doesn’t tell us how to vote!”
"My pastor doesn’t tell us how to vote! What he does is give out a score card that describes what the issues are [remember that phrase!] and then shows what each candidate stands for. But then he tells us to make up our own minds!" Anyway, that's the word on the street. Let’s look at two... Continue Reading →
My 2019 Reading List – some of my favorites!
Every year I join the Goodreads Reading Challenge (take a look at the wonderful site, http://www.goodreads.com, where you can log your reading). This year, as in the past few years, I have set the goal of reading 104 books, an average of two per week. Some are shorter novellas or tractates, some are long novels... Continue Reading →