Reading Herem Non-Violently

Joshua is a hard book. It’s basically a story of war and conquest, of the tribes of Israel entering the Promised Land and eradicating and displacing the peoples living in the land. Anyone who has taken the trouble to look dispassionately at it quickly comes across some very difficult passages.

I argued here that […]

Blessed are the Merciful

1. Where does mercy come from?

The first three beatitudes in verses 3–5 describe the emptiness of the blessed person: poverty-stricken in spirit (v3), grieving over the sin and misery of his condition (v4), and accepting the hardships and accusations of life in meekness without defensiveness (5)..

This condition of blessed emptiness is followed in […]

Men of God: As Fathers

1 Corinthians 4:14-21

What does this passage teach us about how to be a father? What is this biblical model?

1. Affirm Your Love

Paul writes that the purpose of this passage was to admonish his readers as beloved children. Any correction or guidance that we give to our kids must be done from […]

Marks of a Great Church: Posers and Fakers – Get real!

Revelation 3:1-6

Great Church

Love God | Love Each Other | Make Disciples

That those who have not "soiled" their clothes will walk with Jesus "dressed in white" (3:4) is significant. In the temples of Asia and elsewhere, worshipers dared not approach deities with soiled clothes- the normal apparel for approaching the […]

Marks of a Great Church Jesus: Her glorious coming King

Revelation 1:9-20

Setting the Scene: The Cast

John

Some people in Asia Minor celebrated a monthly "emperor’s day" in honour of the divine emperor.  By contrast Christians, who might suffer for their refusal to worship the emperor, celebrated a different day in honour of the true and ultimate king.  It was […]

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