Gay Wedding Cake

Christians, Please Bake The Cake

Paule Church, Culture 4 Comments

The gay wedding cake debate is old news, except that it is not (it’s in the news again here). I anticipate that similar stories will continue to crop up and, indeed, they already have in the likes of gay wedding flowers. I had resisted in the past to share my views on this due to the heated nature of the topic and the cacophony of voices swirling around it. However, it’s back again and, to be frank, it is aggravating that this stand-off is still occurring. Christians, please bake the cake. Jesus said, “if …

pexels-photo-136349

Shadows of Secrets Past

Paule Bible Study, Personal Leave a Comment

“Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,     and in whose spirit there is no deceit” Psalm 32:2 A lie is a secret hidden behind a story. The story could be words, a shrug, an outburst, a lifestyle, or silence. It is the clothing we wear (or don’t), the product we hold in pride, the reaction we have when criticized, or the silent refusal of stepping out when called upon. Lying can both be proactive and reactive: we sell a bag of goods we are not or protect the real bag …

voting_united_states

2016 Election Advice

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During this heated and divisive election season, I thought it would be beneficial to offer some advice when it comes to November 8th, which is now a week away. These are things that are actually important for all of us to remember. 1 – Take a deep breath. Believe it or not, this is not the worse thing to ever have happened. America, as well as humanity, has faced worse times than this. So, take a deep breath, count to ten, and chill out. 2 – Don’t vilify the other side. …

Azazel, the goat that escapes, the scape goat, scapegoat

Rams and Scapegoats as Human Analogues

Paule Bible Study, Theology 2 Comments

It is no secret that I am a fanboy of René Girard and his work on memetic theory. His book, The Scapegoat, while difficult to read is well worth the effort. Also, a decent podcast interview that covers this topic well is an interview with Adam Ericksen on Theology.fm. With that said, this last Sunday I preached on Leviticus 16. I had to restrain my urge to “nerd out” on memetic theory (aka Scapegoat theory) as it relates to Leviticus 16 and how Leviticus 16 relates to the whole of the biblical narrative during …

Good Samaritan Painting

Textual Context of the Good Samaritan

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Perhaps the most surprising element of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 is not the cultural norms Jesus contradicts  but rather the timing and context into which he spoke it. Sure, the Jews and Samaritans fervently hated each other. Yet, the paradoxical nature of Jesus’ parable is not all of the story. The Good Samaritan is but the ending of a longer narrative Luke started telling in the previous chapter. In Luke 9 we read of the Mount of Transfiguration as a retelling of Mount Sinai (which deserves its …

Pastor Pete Wilson Cross Point Church

Celebrating Pete Wilson – Leadership & Burnout

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This last Sunday, September 11, Pastor Pete Wilson of the mega-church Cross Point in Nashville, TN resigned. His reasons were that he was empty and just needed to rest, what the ministry world calls “burnout.” Talking about the mission and vision of Cross Point, Pete said, “I did not prioritize some other things that were equally as important.” He continued, “Most of you in this church only experience what I do on Sundays, especially those of you who watch online. You just see me when I kind of come up here …

Abraham_Journeying_into_the_Land_of_Canaan

A Nation of Exiles

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In 1 Peter 2:9-12, Peter mixes two seemingly contradictory Old Testament themes. The first is that of the exodus and establishment of God’s people within the promise land. 1 Peter 2:9-10: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. These two verses are rich with allusions to Exodus, …

Judas and Jesus: the betrayal

Judas & Jesus: Love Your Enemy

Paule Bible Study, Theology 2 Comments

Several years ago, there was a woman with a skilled habit of spreading false rumors about yours truly. Surprisingly, she was not my favorite person. One fine Sunday morning, she was standing about 4 rows in front of my wife and I getting her worship on as the entire congregation was singing. This woman raised her arms perpendicular to the floor while her palms were parallel and was swaying her hips to and fro. I can vividly recall glaring at her and contemplating how great of a hypocrite she was. I mean, here she …

Sunrise on mountain road "If you’re searching for God’s presence, find someone without a tunic."

Making God show up

Paule Bible Study, Personal Leave a Comment

Every night we read to our children from the Read-N-Grow Picture Bible and, every once in a while, it catches me off guard. It does a pretty good job of covering most of the Bible but it obviously it has to condense quite a bit. This could sound like a weakness but it actually is its strength. I have discovered patterns and themes from a child’s picture bible that I had not noticed before. Sometimes they are big and span chapters – other times they are short and only cover a few …

A Western depiction of the Pentecost, painted by Jean II Restout, 1732.

Unbabeling Part 2

Paule Bible Study, Theology Leave a Comment

In a previous post, I looked at the specific implication of how the Tower of Babel is being unbabeled today. Thanks to one of my friends (https://twitter.com/eibcb), I want to look at another type of unbabeling. First, we find that the Tower of Babel was a merciful act of the Lord at not only preventing the spread of evil but at also preserving the diversity of mankind. The Lord’s actions were not just to prevent the oppression of people through a singular group of a single tongue but also to preserve the …