I’m packing for Chicago. Bond law seminar. Yep, just that boring.
Worse yet, I’m on a couple of the panels to talk about chapter 9 bankruptcies. Pretty arcane stuff.
But I love Chicago. I mean, any town famous for steaks and pizza is a great place to visit.
I’ve posted ahead through Friday. There may be a gap when I get back. Don’t know. And my participation in the comments may wane. Or not. Depends on the quality of the internet connection, how much work I have to do at night, etc., etc.
And, yes, my back still hurts, travel is not fun, but I promised to be a speaker, and I need the CLE hours, and I’ve already paid for it, and pain is but a state of mind …
So why was it moral and right for God to command the deaths of the Canaanites? To kill so many in the Flood?
I know this is going to sound a bit harsh, but here’s the reality of it all. These people were all destined for destruction anyway.
I mean, they were disobedient, God-less, and destined for the destroying fires of gehenna.
And if God could justly and morally give them the punishment they deserve at Judgment Day, why not during this life by flood or the hands of Israelites.
In fact, given that God did not send them to perpetual conscious torment for their sins, he was merciful in merely shortening their lives on earth, rather than sending them to hell. Continue reading
Third argument: No one deserves to live.
There’s this popular meme circulating among Christians about the “sanctity of life” – invoked to oppose war, guns, and so on. It sounds very Christian, very religious.
And so when we read in the Bible about God taking a life, God seems to violate this principle. Clearly, God has taken countless lives. Therefore, God does not hold to the sanctity of life. Does that make God bad?
Well, no. You can’t start with evangelical pop clichés and then judge God Almighty. That’s not how it works. God judges us; we don’t judge God. Continue reading
One of the most popular arguments against God is the fact that the God of the Bible orders the deaths of many people, even entire nations.
In short, the accusation is made that God is guilty of genocide, genocide is a particularly nasty sin, and therefore God cannot be good.
And there’s plenty of evidence in support of the claim. Not only does God tell the Israelites to kill the people of Canaan to make room for the Israelites to claim that land, he floods the entire world to kill off all mankind other than Noah and his family. Continue reading
Here goes nothing.
I’m back to the email plugin that served us all very well the last 5 or 6 years, the database of subscribers has been reinstalled, and it should work just fine. Really.
No, seriously …
Please let me know if anything goes wrong.
PS — If you unsubscribed to protect yourself from the flood of emails, your email should be restored — because the back up predates the fiasco. If not, please re-subscribe.
If you unsubscribed because you really wanted to unsubscribe, you have to unsubscribe all over again.
As part of the conversion of my site to Wineskins’ platform, we hit a snag sometime this morning.
I really don’t know what happened, but the webmaster installed a new email plugin and suddenly I had readers receiving dozens, even over 100 emails, from my site — and I didn’t even post anything today.
So I’m very sorry for filling your Inboxes with repeat emails. I was not aware of the changes being made, still don’t know exactly what happened, and it may be a day or two before my email service is fixed.
I’m going to have to hold off on posting anything of substance for a day or two, waiting on my email database to be restored.
Again, very sorry for the mess. It shouldn’t be long before it’s fixed — but these Internet transitions have a way of messing up when you least expect it.
I get emails –
I’m in something of a quandary, and I’m looking for potential solutions. I have come to respect your writings, insights, and views, so I thought I might ask for some advice.
I’ve been on a journey lately that appears to be taking me away from my non-institutional roots. I have studied and pondered, and reasoned my way away from much of the command, example, necessary inference dogma and isolationist mindset that I have seen questioned for years.
I attend a very small non-institutional [NI] congregation in [deleted], there are very few of us here, and while I love the people dearly, I am miserable every time I seem to find myself dragging toward another session of graceless, twisted proof texts and even more graceless yelled sermons. Each one ends with a modified 5 step plan (“live faithfully” is added to hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized) with no mention whatsoever of grace. Continue reading
Astonishingly, near the end of Hebrews, the writer makes a contrast between the obsolete, inferior worship at the Tabernacle and compares this to the worship of God that takes places in heaven itself.
Therefore, he urges us to ”offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Heb 12:28 ESV).
Now, the natural human tendency is to interpret “worship,” “reverence,” and “awe” based on our own culture and experiences. Therefore, where I grew up, this was speaking of being quiet in the church auditorium while awaiting the beginning of the service. And sometimes it referred to teenagers not whispering during church. Continue reading
Although Tabernacle imagery appears in several places in the New Testament, the most prominent place is the book of Hebrews. We need to start in chapter 8 –
(Heb 8:5 ESV) 5 The [priests who served at the tabernacle] serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
Astonishingly, this verse is often cited as a proof text for the idea that Christians should copy a pattern. After all, it’s argued, Moses was told to copy a pattern.
But this argument ignores the entirety of the book of Hebrews. The whole thing. Because Hebrews is built on a series of arguments that Jesus is superior to the Mosaic system. Hence, the writer is arguing that Moses’ following a pattern is evidence of inferiority and insufficiency. Continue reading
At Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses very detailed commands on how to build the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle was a portable temple. It was a tent but a tent where the Israelites worshiped God.
It was the center of Jewish worship for hundreds of years after the exodus. It wasn’t until David moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and Solomon built the Temple that the Jews stopped worshiping at the Tabernacle.
Although the Tabernacle was replaced by Solomon’s Temple, Jewish and early Christian thought was heavily shaped by the Tabernacle. Why? Well, because God dwelled among the Israelites there. Continue reading