Bible


But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you   Recently updated !

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Persecution of Christians

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.”  

This is something most Christians would have read.  Hopefully, we also remember.  But, do we really believe it?  Maybe we believe it, as long as it’s for someone else and not for us.  You know -NIMBY – not in my back yard.  Or even in my neighborhood.  

The thing is, Jesus said this would happen.  As Christians, how are we supposed to respond when Christians are persecuted?  Let’s start by getting some context for the opening line.

persecute - prison cell - specifically, persecution of Christians

Before the rooster crows, but was it once or twice?

So which one is it?  Was Jesus telling Peter the rooster was going to crow once, or twice?  Does it matter?

Well, yes it does matter.  You don’t want to give someone a “free pass” to say there’s a discrepancy between the Gospels, and therefore there is an error in the Bible.  There should be at least an attempt to see why this apparent discrepancy might exist. 

However, first and foremost we need to see if it’s really even different.  Conclusions are no better than the assumptions upon which they’re based.  So, we really cannot just assume the verses disagree without verifying it.


Are We Alone?

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Science vs. God

Are We Alone?
While science looks for an answer, the Bible actually provides one.  No – we are not alone.  The puzzling thing about that answer is that too often we want nothing to do with it.  Instead of asking whether findings are evidence of the God of the Bible, He is ignored while we look for someone / something else.

are we alone? the question prompted by this object in space

Why is Christmas so scary? What it’s really about. 2

Christmas.  It’s the time when we hear so much about how it brings out the best in people.  It’s time to give gifts.  It’s time to be nice to other people.  All those things.

Scary stuff – isn’t it?

And then there’s the baby – Jesus – the true “reason for the season”.
A little baby.
Very scary.

Don’t laugh.
It’s true.


The problem of “Ask and you will receive”   Recently updated !

This entry is part 21 of 21 in the series The problem of ...

Yes, John’s Gospel really does record Jesus saying “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”.  And you know what?  If that was the only thing Jesus said – it might even mean what too many of us think it does / should mean.  But there are two problems with that line of thinking.


Is God sitting this one out? Or is it us sitting it out?

When we want something to happen but it doesn’t, sometimes we say “God is sitting this one out”.  But is it really true that God is sitting it out?   Is it ever true?  
When we don’t get what we want, it’s east to blame it on God.  We just claim that God is sitting it out.  It’s easier that saying that maybe it’s our fault.


The Universe Should Not Actually Exist, Scientists Say. And yet …

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Science vs. God

God said He created the universe.   Science says the universe should not exist.  And yet it does indeed exist.  And you, the reader, along with me and those very scientists, are living proof that it does.


Is it true that God is “never gonna let me down”?

A person who attends church regularly – but still doesn’t know the back story behind the song – it’s perfectly reasonable to think that this song is written by someone who has had their life blessed by God and is celebrating that.  Which she is – don’t get me wrong.  But does the person singing the song know that Sarah wrote this song, not in spite of what happened in her life – but exactly because of what happened – and what God is doing for her?  I doubt that very much.


Joseph – “The sun, moon and eleven stars bowed down to me”

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Protected from the Bible

Ge 37:9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
Cool.  Maybe.  Depends on what it means.  Why would the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bow down to someone – even if it was possible?
Maybe it would be good to put some context around this.  It’s from Genesis – chapter 37.  It was said by Joseph – you know – the kid with the coat of many colors. Why are we looking at this?  Because of a question that came up in a class – about what the sun and moon represent.  Were they about Joseph’s father and mother?  Or did they represent something else entirely?  And, if it’s not about Joseph’s parents, then doesn’t that even put the eleven stars into doubt – were they really about his brothers?  Let’s find out.


Friday the 13th is Christian?

… That’s why Christians call the Friday commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion Good Friday – not “horrible friday”.  One more time – not because of the way Jesus died, but because of the fact that we made Jesus’ death necessary by our own actions.  It’s Good Friday, because that death is what saves us from God’s judgement.


You dwell in a tired sigh

There’s room for plenty of tired sighs. Let’s add another line to this:
you dwell in a hopeless cry,
you dwell in a tired sigh.
Is that more like it? Does that describe your situation even better, that hopeless cry? Question: who is in that hopeless cry / tired sigh with you?


Are there assault weapons in Heaven? 4

Do you really think the God you claim to believe in and follow would be pleased about the part you play in this whole assault weapon industry?  Maybe you make them for sale to individuals.  Maybe you sell them.  Maybe you protect the right for people to have them – at the same time protecting our “right” to be killed by them?  Maybe you own one, claiming one of the reasons above for having it.  Would God be pleased with you?


Searching for hope – but not finding it?

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series State of the Bible

“The results show that Americans overwhelmingly believe the Bible is a source of hope and a force for good even as they express growing concern for our nation’s morals.”
This is an interesting quote.  The bottom line is that “many” Americans are searching for something that Americans “overwhelmingly” believe is in the Bible.  However, even as that’s happening, they also think the country is going downhill.  What does that mean?


The problem of inerrancy

Someone asked a while back on one of the posts if I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. The implication was that no reasonable person could possibly believe such a thing.  After all – who could possibly believe that the earth was created in six literal days? Or that people walked with dinosaurs?  My answer would be something along the lines of – exactly where does the Bible say either of those things?  In fact – it doesn’t. The problem isn’t errors in the Bible – the problem is errors in people’s interpretation of the Bible.  If someone wants the Bible to say something – they’ll find a way to make that happen.  It’s human nature to do things like that.  And it’s not just with the Bible.   Look at statistics.  Having taken a few graduate level statistics courses and programmed several statistical analysis models – including for a motion picture studio and a US Navy contractor – I think I have a bit of a background to confirm an old saying – there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.  While they are purely mathematical in nature – they say what they say – the way people interpret […]


Another sad day. And yet, … 2

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Learning from dogs

However, there’s another choice – remember the sadness, acknowledging the hole left in our lives – but also remember all the happy times, the things they brought to our lives, and the things they brought and continue to bring to other people’s lives.  


Our accuser could be Moses?

Genesis – including the creation account – was written by Moses.  It was the beginning.  If we don’t believe it, then we’re calling it a lie.  And once we begin to call God a liar, how can we all of a sudden claim to believe anything at all that He says?  If we can’t accept the things are are plainly visible, how can we begin to accept the things that aren’t visible at all – let alone the things that will happen in the future?


The problem of – With all your mind. Or not?

This entry is part 20 of 21 in the series The problem of ...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Jesus added “with all your mind”.   That wasn’t in the Old Testament.  Was that an error?  A mistake?  Or did Jesus add the mind for a reason?


Jesus spoke in parables. But what is a parable?

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Parables of Jesus

Again, we see the part about not to be taken literally, but even more so, we see obvious and intentional exaggeration which takes the non-literal part of the definition even further.  Therefore, when we see complaints about things that obviously aren’t “true” – we need to examine the very real possibility that they were never meant to be true in the first place – but that they were an extreme example that was even exaggerated in order to make that wake-up call and jolt the hearer into paying attention and hopefully getting the intended meaning of the parable – as opposed to trying to figuring out what’s wrong with the literal words of the parable.