Poussin, Nicolas - The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

Jesus – The Gentile King

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The book of Joshua is an uncomfortable book for most. In it we find the complete annihilation of entire communities. The modern reader is forced to wrestle with the utter brutality of it all. I feel, as the modern Christian, trapped with only two seemingly polar opposite options: boldly side with the ethnic cleansing (usually through the guise of faith and justice) or play ignorant and hope no one brings it up*. In the midst of this tension, what intrigues me is how the New Testament redeems some of these brutal Old Testament …

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, …

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 2 Comments

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 …

Hebrews Infographic

Epistle to the Hebrews – Infographic

Paule Bible Study, Brief Ruminations Leave a Comment

My church recently preached through Hebrews and I made a infographic thingy for our sermon series. And I thought I would make my info thingy available as a free download (link below to a 8000 pixel wide graphic). You also may listen to our Hebrews series, of which I preached a couple of weeks, here. While I hope this would be relatively explanatory, I assume that you would need to trace the lines, look up the verses (in their context), and maybe even listen to our sermons to understand and appreciate the graphic. At …

Allegory of the theological dispute between the Arminianists and their opponents

The Theology of Jerks and Idiots

Paule Church, Theology 2 Comments

You’re wrong. Not sure what about, but you are. Something you believe is wrong. It’s doubtful that anyone would publicly profess that one hundred percent of everything they believe is irrefutably true. While most would agree with the premise, in practice we inherently assume the validity of all we believe and teach. In some sense, it is difficult to maneuver around it. We can not go on living in constant skepticism of our own fundamental beliefs. However, many have developed a dysfunctional habit of staunchly opposing all contrary viewpoints and fighting over every ideological hill. Untold bodies are spread …

Tower of Babel and Confusion of Tongues

Tower of Babel and Unbabel

Paule Bible Study, Culture, Philosophy, Theology Leave a Comment

The Tower of Babel is an epic story of the global separation of people and it is contained in only nine verses of the biblical text. I have been chewing on it for several months since I last taught on it at my youth ministry, specifically on the implications of technological development across languages. I will be leaning on the work of Rabbi Fohrman, who discusses the technological aspects of the story, and on my friend Marty Solomon, who also borrows from Fohrman to elaborate more on the movement and organization of sin from Genesis 3 to …

You do not understand the Samaritan woman at the well.

Rethinking the Samaritan Woman

Paule Bible Study, Theology 5 Comments

Note: This is a longer article than normal. While writing I found myself chasing what I assumed were tangents only to find that they were actually an intricate thread that wove back into the classical story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I have considered splitting this into two parts for ease of reading but I did not want to lose any stream of thought from the first half into the second. Also, there are many “common” points and details I gloss over for the sake of minimizing the length. I might turn this into …

7 Reasons Christmas Might Be More Important

Paule Theology Leave a Comment

Visit a Christian church any time of the year and the Cross will most likely be mentioned, as it should. The sacrificial death of Christ is obviously a climatic point within the arch of Scripture. However, churches often stop at the Cross and neglect to discuss much about the resurrection. I mean, yeah, we do but the weight of our message and time spent is unequivocally centered on the death of Jesus and not His resurrection. Then, once a year, we really emphasize His resurrection just as, once a year, …