Friendships Are Deepened
Friend is a happy word. It makes us feel safe. It evokes a sense of support, love, security, connection and more.
If you have a good friend you’re better for it. It’s a comfortable place to be, or so the thinking goes, and the Bible makes statements that support these flowery ideas:
- A friend loves through all kinds of weather – Proverbs 17:17 (MSG).
- This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends – John 15:13 (MSG).
- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor – Ecclesiastes 4:9 (KJV).
- Better is a neighbor (friend) that is near than a brother far off – Proverbs 27:10 (KJV).
- A sweet friendship refreshes the soul – Proverbs 27:9 (MSG).
But these verses represent the ideal. They describe friendship at its best. Can we really expect that? Is any friendship 100% no fault? Or does reality send another message? Read more
God Uses Illness
To Heal Us
In Different Ways
Mention John chapter 11 and most people think of Resurrection. No surprise there. The chapter records Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and most sermons on that chapter focus mostly on that event. It’s the dominant topic. It’s hard to study the chapter and not think about resurrection but it’s also obvious. Maybe there is something else in the chapter we should look for.
If we poke the context a little other lessons might surface. Read more
Clarify The Question
Before You Answer
I’ve had many discussions about eternal security and the conversations often migrate to “what-if” questions, the philosophical nuggets that get thrown in after all the verses have been dissected without reaching a resolution.
Eternal Security is, again, the topic here and I mention it because the “what-ifs” unwittingly open the door to some very interesting questions:
Here’s how it works. Read more
Dogma Tells Us
What To Do
Philosophy Tells Us Why
I frequently take a philosophical approach to the Bible. I wasn’t taught to do this, it just came naturally, but it isn’t thought of as the right approach so some take offense.
Hand slaps aren’t unusual.
I’ve been called both liberal and unbelieving but there are many reasons why philosophy can be very useful in Bible interpretation. I’ve listed several below.
And I’m philosophical about it. Read more
God Has The Power
To Save Us
And Keep Us Saved
Just to be clear “Eternal Security” is a teaching that says:
Once a person is saved they can never lose their salvation. Or in other words, there is no sin they can commit that will cancel out God’s saving grace.
Or to say it more succinctly: Once saved, always saved.
Some people believe eternal security and some people don’t. I am one that does.
But when you promote this idea one of the first objections involves “what-if” questions. “What if a person does this or that terrible thing?” The assumption is there must be a point beyond which either God’s ability or willingness to save ends. For example:
- What if a person commits serial murder, e.g., Ted Bundy?
- What if a person commits genocide, mass murder – e.g., Hitler?
- What if a person traffics in slavery?
It’s hard to argue against such emotionally charged questions. A salvation that can endure such egregious sins sounds too good to be true. Makes one indignant. Not only that, it runs counter to human experience, seems a bit too “pie in the sky-ish” to accept and those who disagree, or have serious insecurities about it, struggle to find a place to fit in.
No Pat Answers
Admittedly, the questions are good ones and there are no pat answers. I nor anyone else can give you a quick hit that resolves the issue just like that. Read more