In the last post, I started a series on the ethical dilemmas surrounding Joshua’s conquest. In this post, I’d like to set some groundwork by looking at two important facets: the people and the land, or the Canaanites and Canaan. The Canaanites. Many critics such as Richard Dawkins will describe...
Throughout church history, Christians have believed that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. This teaching is such an important part of Christianity that when heretics arose from time to time, overemphasizing or denying one or the other of these realities, they were identified as heretics and “dealt...
The Bible is filled with women who were prostitutes, adulteresses, or downright sexually promiscuous. It’s striking, however, that a large majority of them are depicted as objects of grace rather than judgment. As much as the Bible condemns fornication, it also offers the solution to it: grace. That relentless, unconditional,...
As we wrestle with the issue of Christians and violence, it’s interesting to note that prior to Constantine (4th Cent. A.D.), Christians were basically pacifists. Few Christians ever joined the military and rarely would a believer pursue a vocation where killing someone else would expected. (There’s no evidence of...
Sin touches everything around us. And as bad as that is, the problem is worse than sin being everywhere. Sin is not just “out there.” Sin runs through each of us. Everything we see “out there” is stained by sin. But even the eyes through which we see the world...

Wine

Okay, here we go. That all too debated and culturally driven topic of alcohol. I just made tenure, so I thought I’d stick my neck out and throw this out on the table since I’ve got nothing to lose. What does the Bible say about the consumption of alcohol and...
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). “If we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:15). If you pray for something, you’ll get it. Isn’t...
As a Greek prof, I have fun “cold busting” my students reading contraband Bibles: namely, English translations. Some give me the old lame excuse: “But I was reading the Old Testament.” On cue, I launch into my lecture about how reading the Greek Old Testament is just as valuable...
The last two posts have summed up some key New Testament passages that are foundational for the New Perspective on Paul (Rom 3:28-30; 4:12-14; Gal 2:11-16). Dunn and others have argued from these passages—and this is the most basic center of the New Perspective—that since first century Judaism was...
No matter how many times I read the Bible, no matter how many times I teach a class on it, I see things that I have never seen before. For instance, until recently, I had missed a fascinating (and convicting) connection between Jacob and Joshua. Towards the end of his...
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