The Wheel

Like some giant game piece, the wheel stands waiting for me to give it a spin. When I do, the bright red arrow will go around and around and come to rest on only one of two choices: self or sacrifice.

That was my thought process as I laid in bed the other night trying to fall asleep. It wasn’t hard to figure out the message; the two words on the wheel said it all. Continue reading

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Filed under Resurrection, Sacrifice

Shame on the Name

Several weeks ago, at the conclusion of a sermon I was listening to on-line, the pastor closed his prayer with a phrase “and let us not bring shame on the name of Christ.” Because the sermon was about the crucifixion – an experience that was all about shame and humiliation—he wasn’t trying to accuse his church members of something. I believe it was a way for him to make clear, if we’re not careful and attentive, how we conduct ourselves as Christ-followers has the potential for bringing shame on the name of Christ. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics, Gospel of Matthew, Sermon on the Mount

Culture and Western Eyes

Every so often I run across a book that challenges me regarding how I study my Bible. Those types of books make me stop and wonder – “How could I have not seen that piece of the puzzle?” One such book is Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien.

I understand and work by the premise there are certain essential principles when it comes to studying the Bible: Continue reading


Filed under Bible, Bible Study, Ethics, scripture, Uncategorized

The Workings of the Mind

I’m no brain expert. Furthermore, I’m not at all sure how God has designed the mind in such a way as to filter out some things and not others. What I have learned is this; similar to what they use to say regarding computers, “garbage in—garbage out (GIGO).” For example, as one researcher notes: Continue reading

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Rethinking the Calvinist-Arminian debate


Before I do my weekly post, I thought this piece was worth sharing both for those interested in the debate and those who may stand outside the debate and wonder what all the fuss is about.

Originally posted on Dunelm Road:

One of the hottest theological topics is Calvinism and Arminianism. The debate divides churches, and denominations like the Southern Baptists have been at odds over it for some time. One thing that bothers me about this whole discussion is that it seems to operate from a mistaken understanding of divine and human agency.

In his excellent introduction to the volume Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment, John Barclay outlines three models of divine and human agency, two of which are relevant to this issue:

1) Competitive: In this model divine and human action negate each other. When God acts the human is passive; when the human acts God is passive. Barclay writes, ‘Divine sovereignty and human freedom are mutually exclusive; human freedom must be understood as freedom from God’ (p.6).

2) Non-contrastive transcendence: According to this model, divine sovereignty indicates that God works…

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