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Showing posts from 2012

To Rid the World of Evil...

I think most decent folk, when thinking about the evil in the world, wish they could do something about it. However, most people seem to have a very broad idea of what constitutes "evil". And they are right...evil has been summed up as "knowing what's right and still doing what's wrong" and "sin" (thank you, Facebook friends!). I have heard others describe it as "anything that opposes God" or "anything that opposes good". These definitions are right...but they are huge. If it behooves me to do something about evil, I find it pretty overwhelming to think of my foe as "anything and everything that is the opposite of good"! So...perhaps I should narrow my definition a bit.

Maybe I cannot fight every strand of evil that is in the world. But I can do something about some of the evil. A couple other definitions my friends provided of evil were "malicious, deliberate and conscious immoral act, it's where the motive …

The God Who Has Revealed Himself to Me

For a New Testament Theology course right now I am reading an introductory overview of the development and methodology of biblical and systematic theology. Biblical theology deals with the message of the Books of the Bible within their historical settings. My reading deals with the idea of special revelation - namely Scripture, one of the primary modes through which God has revealed Himself to humanity. Scripture reveals God by describing and sometimes explaining His activities in human history. Various acts of God, not attributable to human achievement or failure or skilled leadership (such as God's miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery, for example), tell us about the character and intentions of God.

Reading this, I can't help but think about the "acts of God" in my own personal history - divine interventions that have revealed God to me as He would have me to understand and know Him. One of the most near to my heart of these experiences was when I…

Jonah's Easter Message

I have always loved the Book of Jonah. Every time I read or think about it, I realize something new. Other times, I have been able to deeply identify with the screaming emotions exhibited by this ancient man of God. To give an example of one of the things I have learned from Jonah, I have always thought his story resembled that of Saul/Paul in Acts 9:1-19. Both were on their way to do their own thing, believing they were servants of God, when the Lord intersected their path and dramatically changed their mission to proclaim His message to people whom each prophet loathed. Both were schooled in obedience. Both were granted special insight into the wondrous grace of God.

Today as I was sitting in church listening to the Easter message, I again thought of Jonah, and this time in a new way. The Assyrians, the people to whom Jonah was sent, were the epitome of barbarism in the Old Testament. They were utterly cruel and oppressive and powerful. All others would agree, the Assyrians were jus…

The Mean, Nasty God of the Old Testament: Was He Really All That Bad?

I dare say, it seems to me that most people, Christians included, view the God of the Old Testament as a pretty loathesome fellow. Some would never admit this, but let's face it...most of the time we view His treatment of people in the Old Testament, and even His own chosen people, as impatient, inflexible...and even perhaps inconsistent, or moody. For what it's worth, I do not think it is fair or accurate to view the God of the Old Testament as being different than the loving Father God as revealed by Jesus in the New Testament. He is, indeed, one and the same. Here are a couple of thoughts for your consideration.

Allow me to reintroduce you to the Prophets - the Old Testament harbingers of doom, gloom, impending judgment and just plain dourness. We will start with Jonah, who just so happens to be one of my favorites. And yes, you might have guessed he would be one of my obvious picks. After all, God basically forced him to go call the people of Ninevah to repentance. The peo…