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 …

Social Media, Political Division and Golden Calves

Paule Culture 2 Comments

I, as you, have seen many a friend disengage from social media due to its hostile political climate. Unfortunately, the climate seems persistent on its global warming. Even if one were to free themselves from the social media mire, the bitterness has contaminated the drinking water: radio, tv, newspapers, entertainment, social gatherings, and the like. The canyon dividing this nation is grand and demands all of its people’s capitulation. Society assumes you to be on one side or the other – no matter which it is, you’re on the wrong side according to the other half. …

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 …

Gay Wedding Cake

Christians, Please Bake The Cake

Paule Church, Culture 7 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 …

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 …

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 …

A Brief Rumination: Sprinkled

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From chapter 7 to chapter 10, Hebrews is moving us into the Holy of Holies as Jesus does the work of a priest making atonement for the people. We are then invited to also enter through the veil into the Holy of Holies but the veil has become our high priest’s torn body (Hebrews 10:20). Every year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a high priest would enter through the veil into the Holy of Holies with the blood of a goat and bull and sprinkle the Ark of the Covenant. In …

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 …

Schrödinger's cat in a quantum superposition

Schrödinger’s Cat and the Immortality of Men

Paule Bible Study, Theology Leave a Comment

Is man immortal? More specifically, is the soul immortal? We all know that we die, but what of our souls? Do they go on? Most would answer, “yes.” For most, the soul is an immaterial thing that dwells within a physical machine called a body. This, though a rough generalization, is the view of many religious and non-religious groups, Christians included. Throughout my first years as a Christian, there was a supposition of the immortality of mankind, usually specifically attributed to the soul. I, like many of you, had never been taught differently. However, …

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 …