The Gospel of John – Logos

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“In the beginning was the Word…” John 1:1 In my last post introducing the Gospel of John, we covered much of the context, quirks, construction, and goals of John’s gospel. We mentioned that John will lean heavily both on Jewish Scriptures and Greek culture as his source material. And here, in the first words of this gospel, we are hit with it. But before we jump into that, I would like to spend a minute explaining what the word gospel actually means. Gospel, euaggelion in the Greek, simply means a proclamation of good …

The Gospel of John – An Introduction

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It’s no secret that I am a fanboy of the Gospel of John. John is an enigma, a contradiction that shouldn’t make sense but does. On one level, John is tangible and simple. A reader, untrained and unfamiliar with the Scriptures, can read John and find him understandable and profound. On another level, John is a tease and a riddler. He slides you subtle clues that easily go unnoticed but – when they are – drive you mad as you search for John’s meaning. The Gospel of John is a love affair; …

Biblical Heretics & The Heresy of Jesus

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I adamantly believe that heresy is dangerous. Ideas have consequences. A doctrine can make or break the believer or the Church. A small degree of variation can result in being miles off course later if never corrected. The Bible is clear that we must guard against heresy (2 Peter 2:1-3). How we perceive the world, ourselves, and others will govern the entirety of our lives. How we engage with possible heresy is also a matter of truth. We should look to Scripture to see how God engages with it in …

When God Lies

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A lie is “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood” according to Dictionary.com. God taught several places that lying is a no-no (Exodus 20:16; 23:1, Leviticus 19:11, Proverbs 19:5; 19:9; 21:28; 24:28; 25:18). Scriptures also teaches that God never lies (1 Samuel 15:29, Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). Numbers 23:19 “God is not man, that he should lie,     or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it?     Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” So, when God says one thing and yet does another …

2010 Joint Service Open House and Airshow at the Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility near Washington, D.C.

Flying Upside Down – Strength and Weakness

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Dallas Willard opened his book, The Divine Conspiracy, with a story of a test pilot. Attempting a steep incline, he pulled up…directly into the ground. The pilot had somehow flipped upside down. While you and I might scratch our heads wondering how someone could not know they were upside down, this is not as rare as you might think. It’s called spatial disorientation and is a deadly threat for both pilots and underwater divers. Marines to Coast Guards, life guards to oil platform workers, and pilots to divers will usually receive …

Nakedness & Perspective: Understanding Genesis 3

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Genesis 3 has been labeled as “The Fall” or some variation thereof. The ESV heading of my Bible says so as well as the NASB and NIV. The way we have been trained to see chapter three of Genesis is as the first sin. And, truthfully, it does enormous insights on sin. But sin does not appear in this chapter – well, not the word “sin.” “Sin” first appears in chapter 4 with Cain and Abel. We have been taught the answer while never knowing the question. For many of us, we see Genesis 3 …

God saves Hagar and Ishmael

God Blesses the Tangents

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“I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” “I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.” These blessings resonate with similarities to that of Abraham and Isaac. However, the first was given to Hagar (Genesis 16:10) and the last to Ishmael (Genesis 17:20). In fact, God’s promise that twelve princes would come from Ishmael intentionally resembles the twelve tribes that will come from Israel. Hagar and Ishmael were …

The Blessing and Kingdom of Sarah

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When we are first introduced to Abram (aka Abraham), we are told that he took a barren woman as his wife (Genesis 11:29-30). In his culture, that would not have been that big of a deal because he simply would have taken a second wife to bear him a son. But Abram didn’t. He only took Sarai (aka Sarah). In a patriarchal society, this would have been genealogical suicide. Yet Abram seems content to forego a descendant in order to remain with Sarai. Given what we know of the culture he …

Saving Sodom

Saving Sodom

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The beginning of God’s world redemption project is Genesis – not the Gospels. Of course, the Gospels are the crux of God’s redemptive work in history, but to begin there would be akin to skipping the first two thirds of a novel or movie. Paul says in Romans 5:6, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (NIV). Then again in Galatians 4:4, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son.” And in Ephesians 1:9–10, “[God] made known to …

Jacob wrestles with God

The Violent Absurdity of Faith

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Faith is often thought of as an all-in or all-out decision. It’s as if there is a clear line in the sand – on one side is faith and on the other is not. You either completely trust God, submitting to His every word, or you don’t. In an era of cliché preachers and obtuse fundamentalists, “faith” has two faces. To some, it is a militant compliance with no (or at least very little) questions asked. To others, it is an emotional optimism ignorant of personal failures and painful circumstances. In Scripture, faith …