One of the serious problems we who follow Jesus face is the compartmentalization of our lives and our faith. Our cultures direct us toward thinking in compartmentalized ways because so much of our lives are compartmentalized. We have our work life which extends from 8 to 5. We have our family life, which happens if … Continue reading The problem of compartmentalization
The time for racial reconciliation is always now. However, for many of us, our assumptions about race actually hinder racial reconciliation. Those of us who are white tend to have a Reaganesque view of race (and poverty). Well, I suggest that the time is now for us to reconsider some of our fundamental assumptions (our … Continue reading Race in America: Reflecting on our Assumptions about Race
In Colossians 2 Paul urges his readers to be set free from the elemental spirits of the world (ta stoicheia tou kosmou; Col 2:8,20). 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. … Continue reading Paul and the Elemental Spirits in Colossians and Galatians
When I was in my early 20s the incident with Sarai and Abram regarding Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 16 was taught as a disaster. Sarai and Abram sinned by his going into Hagar. That this was a low point in their faith surfaces subtly in the first section of Genesis 16. The Hebrew verbs … Continue reading More on Hagar and Ishmael
July 4th is just around the corner. This is a good time to celebrate the founding of our nation, and as followers of Christ it is a good time reflect on how we are doing as a country. But rather than thinking about us as a country, let us think about how we are doing … Continue reading July 4th is coming. How are we doing as a Church?
The biblical stories are meant to shape our perspectives, values, and choices. In my last post I explained why and how English translations have misunderstood God's promise to Hagar, leading often to an Arab-demeaning reading of that passage. Now here is an excerpt from Gordon Wenham's commentary on Genesis to show why Hagar's story is … Continue reading The Broader Significance of God’s Promise to Hagar
God made an incredible promise to Hagar in Genesis 16:12. However, the true meaning of the promise gets lost in translation. This is because our English translations typically render this verse in a pejorative manner. The sad thing about this is that these renderings have led to Arab-demeaning understandings of the text. This trend in … Continue reading God’s Promise to Hagar in Genesis 16: Resolving a problematic text