This morning I read a portion of 1 John and happened to remember a rather odd teaching I heard a long time ago. It ran like this: Everyone knows 1 John 1:9, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ However... Continue Reading →
Pastor, tell your flock the truth about itself [Studies in 1 Corinthians]
It’s summertime, let’s stroll down the boardwalk! Inevitably there's someone drawing chalk pictures of self-conscious passersby. His caricature is a sketch of a person which exaggerates some aspect of one’s appearance or character. At the beach, it’s meant to be fun; on the editorial page it might demean. In some hands, it is a weapon:... Continue Reading →
“Help! I can’t stop sinning!” [Studies in the New Covenant]
The Bible says that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). That’s why, when we come to Christ, we experience rapid changes in our conduct. People start telling us, “You’ve changed, you’re different.” Different, yes: but we haven’t become... Continue Reading →
Do you really “preach the Word”?
It is no simple thing to preach the Word of God. Powerful dark forces are arrayed to draw us away from our task. They sometimes succeed in doing so, even without our awareness of it. I bring this up because this week I saw several FB references to “what [famous North American preacher] Rob Bell... Continue Reading →
Rediscovering God in the Age of Therapy, Part II
II. COUNSELORS AND THE LANGUAGE OF HEALING We will now turn our attention to the second question: how do our contemporary counselors use healing nomenclature? The answer is not a simple one, but a survey of two influential “disease” models may help us to find the roots of the therapeutic culture. We begin with the... Continue Reading →
Rediscovering God in the Age of Therapy, Part I
This article was originally published as “Recovering God in the Age of Therapy” by Gary Steven Shogren, in Journal of Biblical Counseling 12, No. 1 (Fall 1993): 14-19. Note: I wrote this as a lecture in 1992, to comment upon Christian literature of the 80s-90s. I have not attempted to update the examples, since they... Continue Reading →
Is sin “missing the mark”?
Have you been told that the "sin" literally means "missing the mark" in the original Greek? In fact, it does not. The verb "hamartano" (αμαρτανω) was sometimes used in pre-Classical and Classical Greek to refer to missing a target. Homer uses it in the Iliad to speak of a man who failed to hit his... Continue Reading →