Bible Posts

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I’ve been hearing an idea a lot this week. “God is on the throne!”

This comes from Psalm 47:8, and I’d like to suggest it as a misquoted passage: “God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.” NLT

We often reassure ourselves that “God is on the throne” when the candidate or party we voted for loses. We throw up our hands in despair but encourage one another that this new leader we don’t like can’t do that much anyway.

Or, we use it to separate ourselves from the results. As in, “Who really cares who won, God is on the throne.” This particular usage relies heavily on privilege and the assumption that we are above the consequences of the election. It’s also a coping mechanism that often downplays how we really feel.

Neither of these uses captures the intent of Psalm 47:8.

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Bible Enneagram

Bible Enneagram

Like most people, I’ve taken a number of personality tests over the years. One of my favorites is called the Enneagram. While I don’t necessarily hold the same passion for it that many in the Christian community do (I’ve never done a sermon series on it), I find it helpful. More than the obvious strengths and weaknesses, it shows you what you look like when you are healthy, when you are stressed, and when you are unhealthy. The goal isn’t to be a different number, it’s to be the healthiest version of yourself.

My friend Tyler recently asked me what numbers I’d guess for different people in the Bible. It’s a fun mental exercise that challenges both your Biblical understanding as well as your understanding of the Enneagram system. For those of you who are familiar with the nine different personality types, I give you my very subjective list with an example or two for each number:

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Lk. 22:36)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I decided to dust off an older series and share my take on a significant passage that is often misquoted. I’m prompted to blog this after I recently received an email from someone asking for help understanding this passage.

The misquoted passage says: “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!” (Luke 22:36).

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Bible Reading Plan

Bible Reading Plan

Are you one of those people who make New Year’s resolutions each January? If so, you might have considered attempting to read the Bible more strategically this year. For most people that try it, it’s hard to know where to begin and how to tackle it. People usually just pick a plan and then dive in. Depending on which plan you choose, you may get bogged down in some Old Testament section or fall behind in your reading. Either way, you often end up giving up altogether. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been there before. (I see those hands).

I’ve tried tons of different reading plans over the years (and even finished some of them!). Here’s a key lesson I’ve discovered: developing a habit of studying the Bible is more important than completing it in a set amount of time.

I’ve enjoyed different aspects of different plans over the years. Some were more intensive than others. For the first time, I’m offering you a plan I’ve created myself. It’s a variation on one of my favorite plans I’ve done in the past (see: Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System). I love the premise of his plan but it requires reading ten chapters a day. That’s a lot. So I’ve created a modified version that does five chapters a day using his as a starting point.

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Easter Reflections

Easter Reflections

I’ve always been a fan of words. The right words communicate subtle nuances in addition to the obvious message. But we can also arrive at misunderstandings through words as well. Consider a popular expression which Christians use at Easter (you’ll likely hear it this weekend if you attend a church service): “He is risen.” To which the reply is, “He is risen indeed.”

It’s worth noting the language the New Testament writers used when describing the resurrection. They often describe how Jesus was raised to life. Depending on the context, it might read as “be raised,” (Mt. 16:21, 20:19; Lk. 9:22, 24:7) “was raised,” (Jn. 2:22, 21:14)  “been raised” (Mt 17:9, 27:64), or specifically that “God raised” (Acts 2:24, 2:32, 3:15, 3:26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 13:34, 13:37). Those are just the examples through the book of Acts.

The point is that Jesus didn’t do it Himself. We might imagine Jesus naturally rising from the dead on His own timing and power. Like it was the inevitable reaction to His dead body lying there for three days. “Oh look, He is risen!” Yet that’s not how the text reads. The Father raised Him to life through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s actually a beautiful picture of the Trinity. Consider a couple of passages that highlight this aspect:

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Does God Exist Outside of Time?

Does God Exist Outside of Time?

“Yes!” If that’s your default answer to the title of this post, you’re not alone. In fact, I would have even answered this way until just recently. A handful of years ago I was exposed to the open view of God and the idea that parts of the future could be open to possibilities (see: God of the Possible). Therefore, those parts of the future were also open to change and to the effects of our free will. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable with this view of God’s foreknowledge as it appears at first glance that He’s lacking something. Yet we also have to acknowledge that Biblically, as with stories of people like King Hezekiah, God sometimes changes His mind and what He intended to happen (see: 2 Kings 20:1-6). That doesn’t fit well with the typical Christian’s theology.

Now there are a number of ways I can explain how the open view of God makes the most sense to me. Yet I always did that with a shared assumption that God existed outside of time. I’ll admit this makes it trickier to understand how God’s created timeline could somehow be clouded or open to Him. What I hadn’t considered until just recently was that this very assumption is worth challenging.

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