Category Archives: Christ

Re-envisioning the Manger: 7 Common Misconceptions about the Nativity of Jesus

A few fun facts about the ancient world and the birth of Jesus. 1.  Mary wasn’t necessarily about to give birth any moment on her way to Bethlehem. The classic image of Mary riding on a donkey about 11 months pregnant probably wasn’t the case. Luke 2:4-6 – “4 So Joseph also went up from theContinue Reading

Birds, Rocks and Thorny Places

Parables are like ogres, which are like onions…they have layers.   One of the layers that adds rich meaning to the reading and understanding of Jesus’ parables is packaged in identifying with the different characters in the story. This is quickly and easily seen in the parable of the prodigal son where most of usContinue Reading

Open Tombs, Fight or Flight and Making Sense of Mary in John 20

When you are young you do foolish things…things you look back on and wonder “What was I thinking?” or think about all the bad things that could have resulted from your decisions. We had a youth group that went through a season of seeking out scarey experiences. There were nights we would leave Wednesday nightContinue Reading

Moralizing Scripture…the Rush to Application and Misappropriating the Text

When you teach the Bible there should be a desire to find the application to our everyday lives. The quickest path to finding application is to moralize scripture. Moralizing scripture is finding good moral lessons in the verses we are readying and using the scriptures to teach people who to behave better. That is notContinue Reading

The Difference Between Righteousness and Self-Righteousness

Jesus was 100% righteous. He lived without sin and never defiled himself in any way. Jesus was also right 100% of the time and knew it. If anyone had the right to beat people up with their own righteousness it was Jesus. But he didn’t. Then there’s us. We aren’t righteous apart from Christ. WeContinue Reading

The Power of Experience

The Gospels spend a tremendous amount of time on the Passion and Resurrection narratives. As N.T. Wright wrote in Surprised by Hope, “Take away the stories of Jesus’s birth, and you lose only two chapters of Matthew and two of Luke. Take away the resurrection, and you lose the entire New Testament and most ofContinue Reading

Finally Read Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

I finally got around to reading Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright on the trip to Bakersfield this weekend. The book could have been called “Surprised by What the Bible Actually Says About Heaven and Resurrection and What That Has to do with the MissionContinue Reading

What Did Jesus Mean When He Talked About Causing “Little ones to Stumble”?

Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. ” – LukeContinue Reading

The Book of Ruth Resolves the Insanity of Judges

In a previous post I went through some reasons that teaching Judges is extremely difficult. Judges is one of those books of the Bible that I can’t imagine Beth Moore teaching a series on. I can’t see it not because she lack the ability but because it wouldn’t appeal to her core audience. It isContinue Reading

Jesus Healed Them Anyway

In Luke 6 we get three groups of people. It starts with Jesus’ disciples. From that group Jesus selects the 12 apostles. After that selection, Jesus and all his disciples go out to the plain to preach. When he gets there the crowd grows from just being Jesus, his apostles and other disciples to alsoContinue Reading

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