It’s here in the U.S., in the Western world more generally, where so much less is at stake that we offer up such pathetic reasons (at least I suspect God considers them pathetic) for not joining together with fellow believers on a regular, weekly basis. And almost all of the excuses are anthropocentric rather than Christocentric.
When ancient authors put quill to papyrus (or parchment), we need to remember that they had a limited amount of space, a limited amount of time, a limited number of goals, and often a very specific purpose for which they wrote.
As a professor at a seminary, I have the great privilege of training men for pastoral ministry. Every year new faces come in, full of excitement and trepidation. What most of them don’t realize is how dangerous their calling truly is.
If Scripture teaches that we have both a brain and a mind (or inner man), then categorizing depression solely as a dysfunction of the brain and turning to medicine first will unavoidably impede the important heart-work that God-ordained suffering is meant to produce.
What I mean by “not to be blessed” is not blessed in the way we think we should be. Or the way we want to be. God is so wise that sometimes he withholds blessings from us because he knows we couldn’t handle them.
Students of Bible prophecy have generally overlooked an important tool for understanding this chapter; mainly, the archaeologist’s spade. Archaeology has a direct bearing on this passage from two different angles.
As one reads the Old Testament, he will undoubtedly notice the mysterious references to the angel of the LORD. Is this an angel like Michael who was sent out by the LORD? Or is this some kind of manifestation of deity? Who is the angel of the LORD?
When I think upon the fact that God gave his son so that all the world could be saved—not just me—I realize that I do not always act like that is the case. How often do I think about my felt needs over the needs of the planet?
He’s got one of the shortest books of the Bible named after him, but even Paul’s letter has more to do with Onesimus than him. I’m talking about Philemon, someone heaven knows, and we should know as well.
Many pastors, writers, and even seminary professors rely on the “JEDP Documentary Hypothesis” to explain how the book of Genesis was originally written. In contrast, the “Tablet Theory” suggests that portions of Genesis were originally written on clay tablets by men who personally experienced the events described.