Why Movie, When you can Spiritual?

“Why would we go to a movie when we could do something spiritual like pray, read our Bibles, evangelize, or serve the body?” Most of us have heard or used this logic before. I’ve heard (and used) other subjects instead of movies: television, video games, board games, sports, beverage choices, or any hobby. I certainly can remember using this line of reasoning too.

The Problem

The line of reasoning, on the surface, appears holy and god-exalting. I mean, when we really weigh reading Scripture and watching a movie, who would say a movie is godlier than Scripture? The problem often presents itself when this reasoning is used to denounce and judge a person for watching television, movies, or any other “fun” activity.… Continue reading

Psalms and Hymns: Preach the Psalm Headings

The psalm is a hymn that is sung to an instrument, either a lyre or a psaltery. According to the spiritual or analogical sense, the poem is a contemplation of truth that happens not only in the mind but also in the music as with measured harmony. The psalm denotes actions that are done according to right reason; so as one sings he follows the way of an effective life; he sings who follows a life of contemplation.[1]

Didymus the Blind (ca. 313–398 AD) was an Alexandrian exegete whom Jerome admired. Origen influenced Didymus in his exegesis and theology.… Continue reading

Intellect, Worship, and the Irreducible Complexity of the Christian Life

(This is an article I wrote a couple years ago in a different context. The specific target audience at that time was Christian scholars, and I’m developing the point that the Christian life must be motivated by adoration of Christ. But the point of the article is that the principle at hand applies to all Christians, not just intellectuals. So I offer it for your edification here on PS23.)

kyrie eleisonWhat does it mean to adore someone? We romanticize adoration: “I just adore her. She’s such a wonderful person!” Or we trivialize it: “What an adorable puppy!” Now these are normal developments in word usage, so I’m not complaining, but it does present the possibility that when we come to the idea of adoring the Son of God our understanding of adoration may be somewhat diluted.… Continue reading

Reading the Bible Prayerfully

clockHappy New Year, dear reader!  It’s that time of year where we all make commitments that we know we’ll never keep.  I’m only kidding of course (sort of!).  Although there is nothing inherently different about the beginning of a new year from any time throughout the rest of the year, the turn of a new year is a good opportunity to re-evaluate the direction of our lives, reset our priorities, and even make some reasonable commitments to pursue growth in the coming year.

A couple of helpful posts have been written in the last week about these things here on the PS23 blog.… Continue reading

Blow the Shophar! It’s a New Year!

screenshot-2016-12-27-11-29-09Are you thinking about making any New Year’s resolutions? You know what folk wisdom says about that: “New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out the other.” We all know that most of the leaves we turn over in January have already started to fall by the end of the month. Therefore, let’s turn to the Word of God for instruction. Let’s see what Scripture declares about the concept of New Year. Does God’s written revelation provide any basis for Christians to celebrate the arrival of a New Year? According to Leviticus 23:23–25 and Numbers 29:1–6, the Lord commanded Israel to observe the Feast of Trumpets—also known as the New Year.… Continue reading