As C. S. Lewis said, some Christians are careless about the devil; some are too consumed with his existence.  So here’s a word for the preoccupied. I just heard a fine Holy Week sermon titled “It is Finished.” One of the references to Jesus’ crucifixion was, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made... Continue Reading →
God’s Kingdom: right in front of your nose! Luke 17:21
A while ago, someone commented on this passage from Luke 17:20-21 –  Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within [ἐντός/entos] you.” (I quote the NKJV here, since that resembles the Spanish... Continue Reading →
One God, Three Persons
The next time Dan Brown tells you that the Roman emperor Constantine invented the trinity; or the Jehovah's Witnesses tell you we worship a "three-headed God" - and they have been showing that fuzzy black-and-white photo for decades! - send them back to the history books! Especially this:“The Church, although scattered through the whole world,... Continue Reading →
The Cross and the Nails
Paul said in Colossians 1:19-20 - “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” The nails in Jesus’ time were handmade. And so, after... Continue Reading →
My 2020 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. In addition, my commentary on 1 Corinthians (Spanish version) just... Continue Reading →
“Simple Christmas” Advent Devotions
Our mission, WorldVenture, has produced a package of daily Christmas devotionals, meant to help during times of pandemic. It's a free download. One of them is mine, for Day 17. Please download and enjoy! Where, O Death, is Your Sting DAY 17 My favorite Christmas book was written in the early 300s. No holly, ivy... 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 →
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 →
What if Jesus were in your small group Bible study?
When I was in Israel, we got on the bus and went west from Jerusalem, and in a short while the guide said, “By the way, there is the location of Emmaus.” Today it’s just a stop on the highway outside our bus window. In fact, one of my favorite Bible passages is from Luke... 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 →