I grew up with that gospel chorus (by James M. Gray, president of Moody Bible Institute) and I think I know where he was coming from. But let’s carefully unpack its repeated motif: I 'm only a sinner saved by grace or we could say - I am [present tense] only [no more than] a... Continue Reading →
True or False: you can spot a cult, because its members shave their heads and wear long robes
The answer of course is False. In fact, you might look around inside a cult group and see your neighbors who look absolutely normal and fit into their neighborhood and sing recognizable songs and still be in a cult. Let's break things down into groups: A - Doctrinal Error. They stray from historic Christian teaching.... Continue Reading →
Testing 4 Truth, #4 – Athens and Jerusalem
For the first time ever in our blog’s 10-year history, we feature a series co-written by me, Gary Shogren; and our long-time friend, Tod Hannigan. Tod will do the heavy lifting on the philosophical end. This chapter is by Tod, who reports that, "Personally, the most difficult article I have written." “It was the best of... 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 →
“If it feels true, it must be true, right?” [Series: Testing 4 Truth, #2]
Make sure you check out other postings in this series!Chapter 1 "Am I in a CULT?" - Chapter 3 Welcome to Post #2 in our series on “Logic.” We are uncovering wrong ways of thinking, that is, fallacious logic. A fallacy is: You try to show that X is true; what you are trying to... Continue Reading →
Testing 4 Truth, #1: An introduction
For the first time in our blog’s 11-year history, we will feature an occasional series written by me, Gary Shogren; and our long-time friend, Tod Hannigan. Tod will do the heavy lifting on the philosophical end. Sign up for this blog if you want to get notified when new Testing 4 Truth posts come... Continue Reading →
Has church become a “show”?
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 →
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 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 anyone read the Bible “unfiltered”?
So I hear: "I GET MY DOCTRINE FROM THE BIBLE AND WITH NO HUMAN INFLUENCE." While I of course respect the intent of the claim, and while I have a robust belief in the Spirit's guidance, I have to qualify it: EVERY CHRISTIAN IS INFLUENCED BY MERE HUMAN TEACHERS, AND EVERYONE READS THE BIBLE UNDER... Continue Reading →