Many Christians subconsciously believe in two different Jesus’s. The enemy-loving Jesus of the Gospels and the enemy-destroying Jesus of Revelation. How do they fit together?[Read more…] about There is only one Jesus
Phinheas was a hero in the Old Testament. There are only two figures in Israel’s Scriptures about whom it is said that something was “reckoned to him as righteousness”: Abraham and Phinehas. What made Phinheas a hero? He saved the Israelites from God’s wrath. How? In his zeal for God, he killed an Israelite man who had taken a Midianite woman, with his spear (Num 25:8). This act of killing stopped an epidemic that God had brought on the Israelites for their disobedience. Why is this story important? What does it have to do with Paul and with us?[Read more…] about Phinheas and Hermeneutics
As a father of 4 children, I have learned countless valuable spiritual lessons from being a father and having children. When my youngest daughter bit her brother, I was amazed at how he reacted. It made me wonder about the picture so many Christians have about God and how they understand his mercy, love, and justice. And it led me to many questions: is my son more merciful than God? Can God simply forgive? What is God’s justice like?[Read more…] about Is my son more merciful than God?
Many assume that mercy and justice are at odds as if these are two opposing things, and therefore two opposing characteristics within God. That God desires to have mercy, but he is bound to justice because of his holiness. A dichotomy within the very being of God. Such thinking is based on a wrong understanding of God’s justice influenced by Justitia (Lady Justice) rather than the Bible. Looking at the OT, Jesus, and Paul this article will show that God’s justice is restorative in its nature and therefore consistent with God’s love. God’s restorative justice is an expression of his love and not a quality contrary to God’s love.[Read more…] about Why our modern view of justice is unbiblical—recovering a biblical view of God’s justice.
In Matt 5:17 we read that Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. How does this fit with the many events in which he taught and acted contrary to the Law of Moses? What does this mean for our understanding of the Law and Scripture?[Read more…] about How Jesus radically reinterpreted the Law of Moses and what that means for us
What is the mark of spiritual maturity? How can we know what God truly is like? Does it matter what we believe about God’s character? This article shows the supreme importance of knowing what God is like. Our picture of God shapes our brain and influences our whole life. Therefore, growing in our knowledge of what God is like matters significantly.[Read more…] about Why knowing God’s character is of uttermost importance
How does the wrath of God fit with the fact that he is love in his essence? Is the God of the Old Testament different from the God of the New Testament? In this article, it will make clear that God’s wrath and his judging actions are continuously defined the same throughout the Bible and are an expression of his love.[Read more…] about A Biblical Understanding of the Wrath of God
This article addresses the question of how Paul dealt with violent scriptures in the Old Testament (OT). Analyzing his usage of the OT, I’ll show that Paul intentionally referenced violent OT scriptures, flipped them around by omitting the violent part, and thereby used them to declare God’s mercy and not divine violence and wrath. This way of interpreting scripture bears witness to his own theological journey away from using violence in God’s name towards rejecting divine violence and retributive justice.[Read more…] about Paul intentionally reversed violent Old Testament scriptures