Trust Your Translation

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One of the most common questions I get asked about any given passage of Scripture is “what does it really say in the Greek/Hebrew?” 99.995% of the time my answer is “just what it says in your translation.”  It is very, very, very, unlikely that your pastor will make a linguistic discovery in the text of the Bible that millennia of scholars, pastors and theologians have missed. And there is no dark conspiracy among translation committees (of major translations) to obscure the text of Scripture. The best advice I can give you is the advice always give those who ask me what the text really says.Continue reading

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Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 3 (Final)

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Three fairly significant biblical examples appear to support a believer’s participation in the military:[1]

  • Jesus’s approval of a king who waged war against wicked people (Matthew 21:33–41).
  • In Luke 3:14 John did not command them to resign from military service, but to be content in that position with its wages. Their behavior was to be just and honest — even while remaining soldiers.
  • In John 18:36 Jesus stated that it would have been proper for His disciples to defend His kingdom with swords if it had been an earthly kingdom.

In addition, New Testament writers employ a variety of military metaphors to describe the character of the believer:[2] the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), being a “good soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and waging spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).… Continue reading

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Elephant & Godly Maturity

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“How do you eat an elephant?” It’s a strange question, especially when talking about maturity. But it is a vital question when addressing the topic. How? Keep reading to find out. 😊

I am a pastor of teenagers. For many this means that I am not a real “pastor” (see Babylon Bee), but I don’t listen to them. I have been given the role to shepherd the hearts of these young adults, and that makes me a real pastor.

Now, being a pastor for youth, I have learned much about their state of mind. The #1 thing I believe they want more than anything else they pursue is to be treated as older than they are.… Continue reading

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The Five Solas & Your Spiritual Health

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This month marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation; 500 years since a Roman Catholic priest and professor of theology published and presented ninety five propositions (“95 Theses”), expressing his points of contention regarding the sale of indulgences.  Martin Luther’s straightforward invitation to debate the practice of selling indulgences set in motion a dramatic recovery of the biblical Gospel, which had long been obscured amid centuries of innovative traditions in the Roman Catholic Church.

Since the days of the Reformation, efforts to summarize the key doctrines that under-girded and supported it have often led theologians to the themes of what eventually came to be known as the “Five Solas.”  The Five Solas are five biblical doctrines that the Protestant reformers were committed (despite their many differences) to recovering through their teaching and to applying in the establishment of new churches following their divisions with the Roman Church.… Continue reading

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Reprise: The Believer and Halloween

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pumpkinAlthough written over two years ago this post is still relevant; this topic still comes up every October. In The interest of full disclosure, we don’t have any pumpkins on the porch this year.

Halloween has become one the biggest holidays on the American calendar, spending over $6 billion last year on decorations, candy and costumes. What was once essentially a children’s holiday has become a cultural juggernaut, and as it has, Halloween has become an increasingly controversial and at times divisive topic in the Christian community. But it doesn’t have to be, and to that end I humbly offer a few thoughts.… Continue reading

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