Historically, particularly in eastern Christianity, this parable has been understood to be about a son who wastes what his father has given him. The English word “prodigal” means “wastefully extravagant.” We are all familiar with the scandal of the younger son’s request, “Give me my inheritance.” His share was indeed his, but he should await … More The Wasteful (Prodigal) Son
I was invited to contribute an article for a popular Christian magazine about reading the Bible better. I suggest “What this verse means to me is …” can be a very poor way to start a Bible study discussion. It implies a verse can mean one thing to one person and something else to another. … More A Scroll with Seven Seals
The lex talionis (Latin for the law of retaliation), popularly known as “an eye for an eye,” was the ancient law to curb escalation. Culturally, when someone hurt your brother, you killed that person. If someone killed your brother, you killed him plus a couple more. This “reciprocation+some” might have been intended as a deterrent, … More Lex talionis
Opponents of Jesus ask a question trying to trap Jesus: 15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to … More Render unto Caesar
Vengeance is wrong, right? After all, Paul states: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18, NASB). Yet, when we see a great injustice, such as the slaying of innocents, terrorist bombings, the killing of children, our hearts cry out to see vengeance done. Is that … More Vengeance
All of us are familiar with Jesus’ teachings about peacemaking: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peacemaking is a path to being called children of God (Mt. 5:9). Likewise, Paul exhorts us to peacemaking: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18). And then along comes Veterans … More Peacemaking and Honoring Veterans
Our new book, Rediscovering Jesus, has made it as a finalist in InterVarsity Press’ 2015 Readers Choice Award in the Academic category. We would appreciate your vote at www.ivpress.com/readerschoice . Click the link, scroll down and select our book. As a sign of our appreciation, follow this link to take 30% off your next order, courtesy of InterVarsity press.
Is it possible to do that right thing for the wrong reason? Yep. We can do right wrong. Jesus noted this problem. The Pharisees fasted and tithed. Jesus said those were right things to do, but the Pharisees were doing them for the wrong reason (Matt. 6:16-18). As followers of Jesus, we need to do the … More Doing Right Wrong
Yesterday in the car, I heard a Christian artist introduce his (wonderful) song by quoting this opening line from Ps. 121. The artist then adds that his help doesn’t come from mountains. He has the gist of the Psalm correct: I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? (Ps. … More I lift up my eyes to the mountains
The 10 Commandments of Christian Leadership Development. Eric shared some great tips for those wanting to develop into Christian leaders. What makes you a leader is that some folks are following. If no one is following, then I’m not a leader. Becoming a leader is about becoming someone that others want to follow.