Romans 11:26 and the Battle Over Context

How does Romans 11:26 fit into the overall argument of Romans 9-11? We know that when Paul says, “all Israel will be saved,” he is finishing an argument that takes up three chapters of his letter to the Romans. What does he mean by saying that? Can we look back on those three chapters of … Continue reading Romans 11:26 and the Battle Over Context

What are Israel’s Irrevocable Gifts?

When Paul said, "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable," he was talking about Israel (Romans 11:29). But what gifts did he have in mind? Is the calling yet to be fulfilled? Are there any clues in the text of Romans 9-11? This is the first in a series of posts looking at the … Continue reading What are Israel’s Irrevocable Gifts?

Power in the Pursuit of Love – 1 Corinthians 13 in Context

1. The All-Purpose Chapter Love never fails. In other words, love always works. This is a biblical truth. “Love never fails” is a quote from 1 Corinthians 13:8. It is always the right time to love. Love is always appropriate. In fact, one of its characteristics is that it does not behave inappropriately. According to … Continue reading Power in the Pursuit of Love – 1 Corinthians 13 in Context

Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life” Summed Up in Six Key Quotes

Take a book and boil it down to a handful of short, memorable quotes that best express the ideas of that book. This is a not an easy task, especially for a great and greatly quotable book like Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life. Nevertheless, this is what I have tried to do in this … Continue reading Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life” Summed Up in Six Key Quotes

Paul vs. the Debaters of the Age: Some Background to the Corinthian Letters

In the beginning of 1 Corinthians, Paul issued this challenge: "Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:20 ESV) When we understand what was happening in Corinth in the first century, both … Continue reading Paul vs. the Debaters of the Age: Some Background to the Corinthian Letters

Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and the Backroom Deal That Fell Through

Frank Morison didn't believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He thought it was a myth. He studied the Gospels because he wanted to write a skeptic's account of the passion narrative. As he studied, he became convinced that he was dealing with eyewitness accounts of a true event. The book he ended up writing … Continue reading Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and the Backroom Deal That Fell Through

Diotrophes’ Disease: The Love of Preeminence

"Every talks about Jezebel, but nobody talks about Diotrophes." I once heard a preacher say something like that. This was at a time when it was very common to hear or read a message about the Jezebel spirit. The point the preacher was making was that Jezebel is not the only bad example in the … Continue reading Diotrophes’ Disease: The Love of Preeminence

The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries

The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries is a collection of essays in which scholars look at how different commentators have approached the Sermon, from John Chrysostom to John Stott. Here are some of my favorite parts. Chrysostom: The Philosophy of Christ Was Jesus a philosopher? Certainly many early church fathers tried to present … Continue reading The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries

How to Entrust Your Soul to a Faithful Creator While Doing Good

1 Peter 4:19 I've been thinking about why Peter used the term "faithful creator" in this verse: "Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good." (ESV) So why "faithful creator"? I think it might have to do with this earlier statement from 1 Peter … Continue reading How to Entrust Your Soul to a Faithful Creator While Doing Good