Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
For Biblical commentary, use the Bible Study Notes menu above, and for topical comments, use the categories list on the right.
You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
the arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
Writing in Hard Sayings of the Bible, Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser comments:
‘Our problem with any description of God’s displeasure with sin, unrighteousness or wickedness is that we define all anger as Aristotle defined it: “the desire for retaliation.” With such a definition of anger goes the concept of anger and hatred of sin as a “brief madness” or “an uneasiness or discomposure of the mind, upon receipt of an injury, with the purpose of revenge.” All such notions of hatred, anger and displeasure in the divine being are wide of the mark and fail to address the issues involved.…
We’re including under this heading: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
The books of the Old Testament, set to a possibly recognisable tune!!
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and Ruth,
Samuel, Samuel, Kings, Kings and Chronicles,
Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
Job, Psalms and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel,
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
What is a proverb?…
Text: Acts 9:32-43
How do you like your Christianity? Spectacular, or ordinary?
The gospel has been moving out in ever increasing circles.
Peter and John have been sent from Jerusalem to Samaria, 8:14ff. Now Peter is moving to the outer regions of Judea. Visiting the ‘saints’ in Lydda.
First, the healing of Eeneas.
Then 10 miles away, in Joppa, Tabitha/Dorcas has died.
They send for Peter – what did they expect him to do? …
If, like me, you’ve heard of the ‘Eastern Orthodox Church’ but wanted to know a bit more about it, then I offer the following as a public service.
Until 1054 there was just one church and no denominations. In that year of the Great Schism, various tensions reached breaking point and the church split into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
These are complex, and have to do with language (Eastern churches used Greek and Roman churches used Latin), doctrine (the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed was affirmed by the Catholic church but rejected by the Eastern church), liturgy (the Western churches used unleavened bread in the Eucharist, while the Eastern churches did not), and ecclesiastical authority.…
Recently, a couple of Christian friends and I agreed to submit to one another a short statement on our respective understandings of ‘the gospel’, the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ.
It feels as though it should be easy for a person who has been a Bible-believing, gospel-loving follower of Jesus Christ for nearly half a century to give a short, clear, answer to the question, “What is the good news of Jesus?”
But I didn’t find it quite so easy:
For one thing, there is no one place in Scripture where such an answer is given (although 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 perhaps comes closest).…
“When the Spirit comes” – John 16:5-15
It’s a horrible thought to try to imagine life without someone you dearly love.
The disciples were having to get used to the prospect of life without Jesus.
They are sharing one last meal with him. He must leave them, they can expect to be treated with terrible hostility after his departure; but they’ve got to carry on without him and witness on his behalf before a hostile world. …
As a Licensed Reader within the Church of England, it is of some interest and importance to me to know whether the doctrine of penal substitution is an Anglican doctrine.
Well, the doctrine is not clearly espoused in the Prayer Book of 1662, to which all clergy must assent. The nearest it comes to it is this:
‘…who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.’
But in the Homilies (which are commended in the 39 Articles as containing ‘godly and wholesome doctrine’), penal substitution comes through loud and clear:
‘God sent his only son our Saviour Christ into this world … and by shedding of his most precious blood, to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as it may be called) amends to his Father for our sins, to assuage his wrath and indignation conceived against us …
‘… whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ’s body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied.…
In Matthew 8:28-34 Jesus casts demons out of a pair of men and into a herd of pigs.
Verses 29-32 are particularly instructive regarding the character of demons:
‘”What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!”’
A number of points emerge: