The story arc

Have you ever read a book which follows the life of a main character, yet there doesn't seem to be a story? This character does a variety of things, things good and bad happen to him or her, but they are just disconnected happenings without a point. Evidently, the writer had no idea how to … Continue reading The story arc

Some clarifications and an illustration

The Bible translation produced in 1611 was never given an official name. In England, Scotland and many other places it is referred to as the Authorized Version, but that name does not appear in the Bible itself. The text now in common use dates from 1789. Typographical errors had crept into the various printed versions. … Continue reading Some clarifications and an illustration

Self-surrender

The story of Joseph is one of the most thrilling in the Bible. A misunderstood boy is rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery. Then he is falsely accused, put into prison and forgotten. Someone promises to help him, but he too forgets as soon as he is out of prison. Yet in the end … Continue reading Self-surrender

Mixed up about the Gibeonites

God had miraculously led the children of Israel through Jordan and to victory over Jericho and Ai. Before them now were the mountains; the nations in those mountains greatly outnumbered the Israelites and they were men of war. These were the people who had so frightened their fathers forty years earlier; the challenge before them … Continue reading Mixed up about the Gibeonites

Confusion about the Gibeonites

Four years ago I published a post entitled Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism. The first two paragraphs read as follows: Moralistic, therapeutic deism, a term first used by Christian Smith, seems a fitting description of much of what passes for Christianity in North America. The followers of this religion believe in a God who wants them to … Continue reading Confusion about the Gibeonites

The challenge of Islam

[This post is my translation of a portion of Robert Dubarry's commentary on the book of Revelation. I bought this book many years ago from a Montréal bookstore. It is undated, but I believe it was written about sixty years ago. M. Dubarry was a French Baptist pastor; I can find next to nothing about … Continue reading The challenge of Islam

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

There are two ways of reading the Bible. One way is to see it as a repository of morally edifying stories. One can label that the pietistic approach or the moralistic, therapeutic deism approach. The other approach is to see the Bible as a history of how God revealed, step by step, the redemption story. … Continue reading Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Wicked women of the Bible

One was a Canaanite woman who disguised herself as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law. Another Canaanite woman was a prostitute. A Moabite woman crawled under the covers with a man while he was sleeping to hint that she wanted to marry him. The fourth was an Israelite woman who bathed on the roof of … Continue reading Wicked women of the Bible

Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

Moralistic, therapeutic deism, a term first used by Christian Smith, seems a fitting description of much of what passes for Christianity in North America. The followers of this religion believe in a God who wants them to be good, wants them to feel good about themselves, doesn’t need to be consulted except in case of … Continue reading Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

Jephthah and his daughter

"And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, … Continue reading Jephthah and his daughter