Scripture was the foundation that kept Jesus centered. If we want to walk as Jesus walked, then scripture has to be foundational for us as well. It is a primary resource for staying connected to God’s voice. Very often, the main obstacle to a fresh experience of the Bible is our own past experience. People […]
Weekend Wisdom / How to Read the Bible with Jesus as Your Lens, Part 1
If the Bible isn’t a flat text, where every verse has the same weight and authority, then how do we know which verses to give priority to? If the best way (maybe the only way) to read the Bible is to read it selectively, then what determines how we select? Are we only left with […]
Weekend Wisdom / How to read the Bible when it seems like ANYONE can make it say ANYTHING.
Here’s where I’m going to tell you that you really need to read the Bible selectively. I know. That pushes buttons and waves red flags. But stick with me for a few minutes and see what I mean. Christians all say the Bible has authority in their lives. But what does that mean exactly? How […]
Weekend Wisdom / How to read the Bible when you keep getting bogged down in Leviticus
Good Christians read the Bible, right? In fact, Good Christians have read the Bible all the way through… multiple times. Many Christians have, that’s true. And yet in a couple decades of ministry, I’ve clearly seen that the sense of obligation that people have around reading the Bible all the way through is one of […]
Not everything in the Bible is Biblical!
I love The Princess Bride. (Like everyone, right?) This 1987 film is a near-perfect blend of fantasy, romance, and our universal desire for justice framed with sarcasm and a constant flow of quotable lines. One of the petty villains, Vizinni, is a hyperbolically confident know-it-all, unendingly enamored of his diabolical plans. At every turn the […]
Did Jesus treat the Bible like we do?
Not long ago I posted a comment on Facebook. It was meant to be encouraging to my Christian friends. I didn’t expect it to be controversial. I wrote: “Christian: If your theology, doctrine or world-view is based on anything other than Jesus, it’s time to upgrade your operating system. Saying something is ‘Biblical’ is not […]
Weekend Wisdom / How to read the Bible when it seems like nothing but ancient & irrelevant rules.
The Bible is God’s word, right? That means the rules and standards in the Bible are God’s rules and standards, right? Well… it’s not quite that simple. The Bible has quite a number of rules and standards in it. For some people, the rules have been their primary experience of the Bible. In fact for some it’s […]
Weekend Wisdom / How to read the Bible when you know too much.
The Bible is a vital tool for learning about Jesus and building a relationship with God. Yet, many people have a difficult relationship with the Bible. A variety of hurdles keep them from experiencing the Bible in a life-giving way. This summer, to help with this problem, I’m teaching a series called, “How to read […]
Why reading the Bible straight through is usually a bad idea.
February is a month of frustration across Church world. Why? Because that’s about the time when all the people who made a New year’s resolution to read through the Bible from cover to cover get bogged down in the swamp of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Ever had that experience? You started with such good intentions. […]
Has familiarity with the Bible left you bored and jaded?
I don’t remember the first time I heard about Jesus’ crucifixion. I do, however, remember the first time I experienced the story as something more than just words. It was at the University of Cincinnati in the fall of 1989. I was studying architecture, surrounded by art student with every kind belief and background. It was […]
2 Reasons using the Bible to prove your point is often wrong.
If you read comments online, you’ve undoubtedly seen this scenario: Someone is upset about some behavior or other. They hammer out their comment declaring that such-and-such is PROHIBITED BY THE BIBLE!!! Almost immediately someone else retorts, “So is wearing polyester and eating shell fish!” The argument kicks into high gear and nothing is accomplished apart […]
Maybe you need to ignore the rules in the Bible.
From time to time you’ll hear some preacher hold forth on the state of our country. He’ll (It’s almost always a man) point out the terrible ills in society and the ever-increasing immorality. With waving arms, he’ll decry Biblical illiteracy. He’ll say if only there was more Bible reading, more Bible-believing, more following of rules […]