Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Argumentum ad Mimema

Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme” in 1976’s The Selfish Gene to describe an idea that spreads by means of imitation from person to person, often carrying symbolic meaning representing a phenomenon or theme. He nicked the word from the Greek mīmēma, meaning “imitated thing”.

Most of us know what’s happened to the “meme” concept since.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Inbox: Israel and Gaza

Lynette writes:

“If you have time, are you able to post a response to one of [Matt Littlefield’s] latest articles?”

We live to serve, Lynette. The article is entitled “Why Can’t Many Christians See Obvious Evil?”, in which Matt takes to task believers who he says can’t see the “obvious evil” in Israel’s attempt to purge the Gaza Strip of its ability to wage war on Israel.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

The Righteous Nation

Isaiah 26 is Judah’s millennial song. The faithful remnant in Israel is looking back to the Lord’s dealings with them, vindicating them among the nations in the great tribulation, and looking forward to the prospect of Jerusalem as a city set apart to God and Israel as the first among the nations during Christ’s millennial reign.

“Open the gates,” cry the remnant, “that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.”

That’s not a Christian sentiment, it’s a Jewish one, and it’s quite a change from what we are seeing today.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

The Real Real Restoration of Israel

In yesterday’s post, we discussed Matt Littlefield’s view that the largely unbelieving Jewish nation occupying Israel today is not the fulfillment of Bible prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel that we are led to expect by Paul’s teaching in Romans 11 and corresponding OT passages. Unlike some students of scripture, Matt is not an abrogationist. He believes the promised restoration of God’s earthly people will indeed occur, only not until Messiah returns.

That would be fine so far as it goes, except it leads him to conclude that any return of Jews to Israel prior to the Second Coming of Christ (such as the one that occurred after WWII and continues apace) is therefore a cheat, a fake, a false fulfillment, an exercise in fleshly effort and/or a lie of the devil. He worries that Christians are being deceived by it.

I think that’s going too far, and I have tried to set out my own position concerning the largely secular Jewish presence in Israel. I believe we are looking at prophetic fulfillment in progress, just not yet fully realized. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

End Products and Works in Progress

Lately, like almost every other Christian I know, Australian pastor Matt Littlefield has been occupied with affairs in the Middle East. Premillennialists may find two of his recent posts worth a read for that reason. Both show evidence of a more nuanced position on modern Israel and its prophetic prospects than some evangelicals have historically taken, but while I find myself agreeing with much of what he has to say, I believe some of Matt’s conclusions are either doubtful or flat out wrong.

There are no end of opinions out there, and it doesn’t hurt for believers to get our ducks in a row about Israel. If you are out there engaging with either the church or the world, the subject is likely to come up.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Taking Sides

A humorous video on YouTube depicts a flummoxed actor trying desperately to come up with the “right take” on the ongoing situation in Israel. As we all know, actors are expected to comment on every serious issue in the news, presumably because popularity = expertise (a questionable assumption at best). Naturally, this actor is looking to express an opinion that will meet with universal approval, and he recognizes that publicly embracing either Israel or Palestine will infuriate ±50% of his fan base.

Whatever to do?

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Rabble Among Them

It’s all about who’s doing the driving ...

“Now the rabble that was among them [Israel] had a strong craving,” the book of Numbers tells us.

The King James translation of this verse is a lot more fun. It reads, “The mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting.” There’s something more than a little amusing about the “fell a lusting” archaism, though the story that follows about this mixed multitude is far from humorous.

Craving led the “mixed multitude” that traveled with Israel to complain, which led to the Israelites around them complaining, and before too long the camp of God’s people was full of weeping and wailing.

Over their diet, of all things. Their very temporary diet. They were on their way to a land of milk and honey, after all.

Sunday, September 03, 2023

More Calf Exercises

Is it my imagination, or do those
tags in your ears say, “Liar, liar”?

It was 722 BC, and God had taken Israel off the board.

As a political entity, the northern kingdom would no longer be active in accomplishing the purposes of Heaven. God continued his work, of course, in the lives of individual Israelites and their families dispersed throughout Assyria’s empire.

The writer of 2 Kings gives the nation this eulogy: “They went after false idols and became false.”

But this is how it goes: when you order your world on the basis of a lie, you further the lie and become a liar yourself. And liars are not much use as anything but cautionary tales.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Calf Exercises

How do you go from “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” to “Up, make us gods who shall go before us” in such an insanely short period?

And yet, I cannot imagine this sort of treachery and double-speak was characteristic only of Israel. “These things happened to them as examples,” Paul tells the Corinthians, “but they were written down for our instruction.”

We’re still reading them today, so maybe we can learn a thing or two.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Population and Prophetic Fulfillment

In Deuteronomy 30, Moses is coming to the conclusion of his address to a new generation of Israelites on the brink of conquering Canaan.

On the one hand, his message is a prophecy of total failure. The curse will come upon Israel. God’s people will be driven out of their land to dwell among the nations of the world for generations. On the other hand, it is also a prophecy of guaranteed success. Repentance will bring restoration and prosperity the like of which Israel has never seen throughout its entire history.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

The Coming Kingdom

The little band of Jewish disciples who followed the Messiah in “the days of his flesh” asked to be taught to pray. The Lord’s answer was in the form of a pattern prayer, one that was appropriate at that time while the kingdom of God was being announced as “at hand”.

But repentance was required of those who would be the King’s subjects and, for the most part, that was not forthcoming.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Mining the Minors: Hosea (1)

Time for a one-paragraph summary of our 59 posts in this series to date. Ready? Go!

The prophet Jonah preached to the Assyrians in Nineveh around 760 BC. Their repentance delayed the destruction of their empire by a century or more. That delay left Assyria available for God to use when he judged the ten northern tribes of Israel for centuries of injustice, pride and unrepentant idolatry. Less than a generation after the prophet Amos delivered the word that Israel was about to lose its kingdom for the foreseeable future and that its people would shortly be dispersed throughout the Assyrian empire, the city of Samaria fell to the Assyrian army.

We continue to move through the Minor Prophets chronologically. The next messenger on our list is Hosea.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Anonymous Asks (170)

“How should Christians regard Jews?”

This is a fairly important question to consider. Historically, there has been little agreement within Christendom about it. Today, there is increasing polarization within the evangelical ranks concerning both the religion of Judaism and the nation of Israel.

The two “poles” look something like this.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Inbox: Less Serious Side Effects

Our old friend Dave B. writes:

“I’d be curious to hear your opinion on the ‘expert’ claims that those vaccinated develop less serious side effects, should they catch the dreaded COVID virus. Is this legit?”

Dave, you ask the best questions. I’m game to share my current opinion about the effectiveness of the vaccines so long as we all recognize it is just that, and that new data is emerging daily.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (38)

Spiritual fulfillment is not literal fulfillment.

That doesn’t make it less important, of course. We might reasonably make the case that spiritual fulfillment of the prophetic word can be more life changing and longer lasting than its literal counterpart. Examples will follow. The point to keep before us is that the prophecies of scripture often have multiple fulfillments — or perhaps we might say that there are multiple aspects to their fulfillment.

Every prophetic fulfillment of either kind has some connection, however distant, to the work of Christ. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. But one cannot fully comprehend the scope of his wonderful work without acknowledging both the literal and allegorical ways it illuminates and resolves the sometimes-obscure utterances of the ancient Hebrew seers.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Does the Church Really Have to be Israel?

A recent YouTube video from Australian pastor Matt Littlefield is introduced with this statement:

“Since the middle of the 19th century there has been a large movement in the Church to make a distinction between Israel and the Church, as two separate peoples. This distinction is unbiblical. The Church has to be Israel, otherwise the New Testament makes no sense.”

Can we amend this to “makes no sense to me”? Those are two very different claims.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (15)

In our early twenties, my cousin and I would get together once a week or so to study the Bible and debate theology. Our discussions were mostly amiable but a little frustrating for both of us. Because we attended churches that held very different views about the meaning of Bible prophecy and the future prospects of God’s earthly people, our underlying assumptions about the meaning of the texts we studied together were sharply at odds far too frequently for comfort.

One regular bone of contention was the meaning of the word “Israel”. My cuz used it figuratively, I used it literally, and back and forth we went. We never did resolve our debate. Funnily enough, I am still thrashing this out on a regular basis, just with different people.

And ... here it is again.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Devotion of Youth

“I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride ...”

Bible students familiar with the books of Exodus and Numbers, in which Israel’s failings during their period of wilderness wandering are thoroughly documented, may be excused if they find these words from Jeremiah unlikely and supremely generous. I suffer a similar bout of cognitive dissonance when I read Peter’s words about Lot: “That righteous man lived among them day after day ... tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard.”

Really? The guy who slept with not one but both his daughters? The guy who voluntarily chose to live among the Sodomites? The guy whose wife was so in love with that corrupt society that she turned back and became a cautionary tale so memorable that “pillar of salt” references still appear in secular literature from time to time almost 3,700 years after it happened?

That Lot?

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Be Careful What You Wish For

What are the limits of the patience of God? More importantly, how many of us are wise enough to discern those limits and stop short of them?

Anyone familiar with the gospels recognizes that testing the patience of God is dangerous. Satan once took the Lord Jesus to a pinnacle of the temple and reminded him of the promises of God in the Old Testament about the protection of those who make the Lord “their dwelling place” in the hope that Jesus would jump in order to make a point. The Lord responded by quoting the Law of Moses: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Foreigners and Citizens

The Law of Moses has much to say about how the people of God were to treat foreigners.

Though there is some overlap in the Hebrew terminology, context makes it clear foreigners were of two very different types. There was: (1) the person of foreign origin who resided among the people of God, often referred to as a sojourner; and (2) the true foreigner, whose place of residence was elsewhere.

The latter term is sometimes translated “alien” or “stranger”.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Ezekiel and the Future of Palestine

To whom does Palestine really belong?

The student of history encounters arguments for both sides, most of which transparently serve the agendas of their writers and pass themselves off as factual while trading largely on sentiment. But any careful reader of scripture understands that the Jewish claim to the land of Palestine goes back a whole lot further than May 15, 1948.

Having been unilaterally gifted the land then called Canaan via God’s covenant with their forefather Abraham around 2000 BC, Israel has spent more time in exile from the land of promise than actually living there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Amillennialism and Isaiah 60: Five Problems

I’ve been enjoying reading amillennialist Dean Davis at Come Let Us Reason.

Really. When I say “enjoy”, I’m not being snarky. It’s actually of considerable interest to me to see someone set out specific details of an allegorical reading of Isaiah 60, among many other passages Dean exposits as consistently as seems possible within the restrictions of the amillennial schema.

This is something few in his position do effectively.

Mr. Davis makes an effort to work through the chapter on a verse by verse basis, rather than doing the traditional hand wave and dismissal of any further clarification with the words “But it’s spiritual!” It’s nice to see any fellow believer take his preferred method of understanding the word of God seriously enough to examine the scriptures extensively and in minute detail. Many hours went into this, and I respect that.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Why Your View of Prophecy Matters

Does is really make much difference how you view Bible prophecy?

Most Christians would affirm that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable; that’s fairly fundamental. It follows that the study of prophecy is also profitable, though whether its details are easily deciphered or have immediate application to the lives of all readers is another question altogether.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Two Psalms

The Psalms are not only richly poetic but deeply personal. That may be one reason so many Christians relate to them on an emotional level. When saying goodbye even temporarily to someone we love, the natural instinct is to reach for a psalm. Psalms touch our hearts in ways much of the rest of God’s word may not.

Let me be very honest about that: I suspect much of the time the Psalms touch us so powerfully because we don’t really understand what they are about to any great extent. Figures of speech will do that; they universalize thoughts that may actually be quite specific. So we feel free to grab bits and pieces of the Psalms here and there to apply to our own experience without worrying too much whether we are violating some principle of exegesis.

They just feel right, and so we are at home with them. Even if at one level they are not really ours.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Mystery Beasts and Inscrutability

The forty-first chapter of the book of Job has thirty-four verses in an English Bible. Thirty-two of those describe a mystery beast you and I have never seen and almost surely never will. The remaining two are about God.

I think those two are probably the point of the chapter, no? At least it’s as good a guess as any.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bring on the Philistines

“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.” ’ ”

A little Bible history may remind us what a mealy-mouthed, disingenuous endorsement this really is. At this point, David has been ruling as king over Judah in Hebron for a full 7-1/2 years, while the tribes of Israel now buttering him up have been engaged in bitter civil war against him, with Ish-bosheth son of Saul as their chosen king and the tribe of Benjamin as the power behind the throne.

Unfortunately both Ish-bosheth and his powerful and popular general Abner are now dead. They won’t be governing anyone or delivering them from their enemies.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

From One End of Heaven

“He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

There are various schools of thought about what the Lord Jesus meant with this rather difficult statement. The phrase “from one end of heaven to the other” is admittedly an unusual one. A literal reading may lead us to think of people being plucked out of the skies all over the world and gathered to one place. For what reason, we wonder? And who exactly is this “elect” of which the Lord is speaking?

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

That Wacky Old Testament (15)

If ... the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.”

Flogging is a barbaric practice, or at least so goes the conventional wisdom. It has been officially abolished for almost a century in most Western countries. Yet, as the above-quoted passage shows, public flogging was at very least passively sanctioned under the Law of Moses, a fact that may cause the occasional squawk of disbelieving protest from well-meaning liberal Christians.

Do they have a point? Let’s consider.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

The Examination Process

Not all tests are alike. Not all have exactly the same purpose or method.

Even God’s tests are not all designed to demonstrate exactly the same thing.

Some Old Testament examples may better demonstrate this.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Those Latter Days

While every Christian thinks it desirable for individual Jews to be brought into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through faith, I continue to be astounded at the number of evangelicals who reject the possibility of any future blessing for Israel as a nation. The number of expositors and online commentators who insist that the Old Testament prophecies of future glory for Israel have either been abrogated once and for all when Israel crucified its Messiah, completely fulfilled in the Church, or both, is truly mind-boggling.

In some hopefully rare instances, the popularity of this prophetic view is probably a natural by-product of the anti-Semitic spirit that has always been at work in the world. Jews have been hated and persecuted for centuries, many times without any cause at all. Sadly, that is no new thing, even among Christians. One hates to think Judenhass would poison anyone’s eschatology, but history tells us we cannot entirely rule it out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Inadvertent Agents of Blessing

A little over 600 years prior to sending his Son into the world, God began to make obvious preparations for his next step in reconciling a fallen world to himself through Jesus Christ.

These weren’t God’s first steps in his program of salvation, of course, and for the most part they were not seen as movements forward at all by those who played a part in them, but they are obvious to us in hindsight, looking back over the centuries.

After all, how would the gospel have spread so effectively throughout Europe and Asia in the first century if there had been no Judean Captivity?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Heart Behind the Sword

Christians struggle to explain Cain’s wife. Christians struggle to explain Lot’s wife.

Meh. Those two are a comparative walk in the park. You want tough? Try explaining Ezekiel’s wife. No bonus points for falling back on “Well, God is sovereign and there are things about life we can’t really understand.”

Yeah, and the sun is hot and water is wet.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: The Greatest Threat

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: Wow. Brian McLaren. I’m not the biggest fan of his work, to be sure. I read his book A New Kind of Christian, and thought it touched on quite a few important issues, but made the most unfortunate hash of them imaginable. But for charity’s sake, let’s assume that’s the ancient past, so full steam ahead.

“The greatest threat to Christianity is ... misguided Christians, just as the greatest threat to Islam is misguided Muslims and the greatest threat to Judaism is misguided Jews. Religious insiders can do harm to their religion in ways that outsiders never could. This is especially true in a pluralistic world, where religions are credible to the degree they bring benefits to outsiders.”
— Brian McLaren

What does he mean?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tick Tick Tick …

In my Bible, Psalm 114 has only sixteen lines, but it makes a powerful point: Where God is personally present, big events inevitably follow.

Now, it’s obvious that in one sense God can be said to be present everywhere. David asks, “Where shall I flee from your presence?” The answer: Don’t bother. You can’t. God is present in the realm of the dead, in heaven and in the uttermost parts of the sea. Holding the universe together requires that sort of presence.

But that’s not the sort of presence I’m talking about.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Better Idea

My head is a tangle of ideas this morning, so let me set about trying to untangle them for you.

Thread One: Dr. Emidio Campi is convinced that “the Christian message of salvation becomes futile unless its implications are extended throughout the whole of human life, into political, social and international structures.”

Thread Two: John Calvin’s view of the Church, which provoked the aforementioned rather ecumenical outburst.

Thread Three: Psalm 80, an Asaphian meditation on the restoration of Israel.

Whew! How would you like a bowl of that for breakfast?

Saturday, December 09, 2017

A Homily That Isn’t

I was about to refer to what follows as a homily, but I must correct myself in advance: properly speaking a homily is a commentary that follows a scripture reading. In this instance no scripture has been read or even referenced:

“The Church was not established in this way so that we could put all settings on autopilot, and wait for the Second Coming. As we look at the history of the Church, we see that we must constantly learn, generation after generation, what it means to be Israel.”

In this case there’s a perfectly good reason the word of God has not been called upon: I cannot think of a single verse of scripture that legitimately supports such a statement.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

On the Mount (1)

I’m working my way through the Sermon on the Mount again (Matthew 5-7). It’s a pretty pivotal piece in Christ’s teaching ministry, and one that seems to invite scrutiny on multiple levels.

Infogalactic’s entry on the Sermon lists eight different categories of views about it, the most commonly held of which is that it “contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship”. Augustine called it “a perfect standard of the Christian life”.

I struggle with that. See, the Sermon is fundamentally Jewish; and while Christianity has its roots in Judaism and would not exist without it, the two are not interchangeable.

If we miss that, we’re missing more than we might think.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Idolaters in the House

“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
— Jeremiah 29:7, NIV

“Never seek their peace or prosperity …”
— Ezra 9:12, ESV

Two instructions: both from God, both to Israel. To the casual reader they may appear to be diametrically opposed, but they are not. The commands occur at very different times in Israel’s history under very different circumstances, and are issued with respect to very different groups of people.

The differences are instructive, I think.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Who Hardened Whose Heart?

Sovereignty discussion time.

Scripture is rife with examples of the peculiar streak of human perversity that sets itself against the will of God to the bitter end. But even with all that competition, Pharaoh and his Egyptians must surely rank in the Top Ten.

Or do they? What about this verse:

“Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. And the Lord made his people very fruitful and made them stronger than their foes. He turned their hearts to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.”

On the face of it, Christian determinists would seem to have good reason to jump on the words of the Psalmist and say, “Aha, you see, it says that God ‘turned the hearts’ of the Egyptians to hate his people. They didn’t have a choice!”

Except they did. Let’s look at why.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Does God Need An Editor?

For a new believer taking his first pass through the Bible, nothing tests one’s faith in the words “all scripture is ... profitable” like the first nine chapters of Chronicles.

Even to scholars, these passages are formidable. If there is anywhere in scripture with more unpronounceable Hebrew names per square inch of text, I have yet to come across it. Try reading just one chapter aloud and you’ll see what I mean. And hey, let’s get real here: exactly how does it help me as a struggling Christian to know that Tarshish and Ahishahar were both sons of Bilhan?

It almost makes one wonder if God’s word might have benefited from a slightly more ruthless editor.

Almost.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

More Calf Exercises

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A Non-Binary Proposition

God took a nation for himself from all the peoples of the earth. If you’re Israel, that’s what you might call a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, there was lots of good stuff that came with being uniquely God’s. As Paul puts it to the Romans, “to [Israelites] belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises”, and he goes on to mention the patriarchs and Messiah. Being a Jew was a tremendous privilege.

On the other hand, as another Jew once put it, “With great power there must also come — great responsibility.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Judeo-Christianity

I once took an inter-cultural understanding class at my local Reformed synagogue.

Now, I should probably explain. For those who don’t know, the Reformed Tradition in Judaism is the most “open” and modern segment of the Community. Quite a number of Reformed Jews are former Gentiles, or married to Gentiles. In fact, you could easily meet, or being going to school with, or working with a Reformed Jew, and never know what his or her religious practices were at all. They’re very well integrated into Western life.

The class was intended to further improve understanding between the most tolerant Jews and the rest of our society. The rabbi who taught the class was charming, intelligent and personable. He was also very helpful in laying out the practices and traditions of modern Judaism to a Gentile audience. He knew his stuff, and I liked him. (I’m sorry to say I hear he’s passed on now.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Paying Attention

God, to the prophet Balaam:

“You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

Now check out when this statement is made. It’s at the tail end of almost 40 years of what must have seemed like absolutely pointless wandering, basically filling in time. It’s made about a people who had just spent years watching their parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts die in the wilderness for their disobedience.

Blessed, huh?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Choosing Sides

Ah, Numbers 16, the famous Korah chapter.

I cringe when I read it, I cringe when I read other people writing about it, and I’ll almost surely be cringing as I write about it myself.

And yet it’s there, and New Testament writers have no problem drawing on it for the purpose of instructing Christians, despite the fact that many of us feel it would be awfully convenient if the chapter would simply go away.

Since it won’t, let’s look at it carefully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Rabble Among Them

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Greatest Identity Crisis In History

Ron Cantor says Messianic Jews are the most hated people on earth. That can’t be fun.

Much has been written about the difficulty of living between two countries (not to mention while living for another world entirely). This particular exchange of ideas occurred elsewhere, but is too relevant, useful and thought-provoking to be buried in a thread of hundreds of comments.

I’m sharing it here with permission.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Inbox: Poor Image Management

One possible reaction to Exodus 32
Qman wonders how we can answer Bible students who find that reading about the judgments of God described in the Old Testament leaves a bad taste in their mouths and inclines them to think unfavorably of God.

It’s a good question and a common problem.

The more I read my Bible (and the older and crustier I get), the more tempting I find it to respond to questions about God’s character dismissively.

Not constructive. Got to work on that.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

On Being Distinct

The golden calf episode at Mount Sinai was a moral disaster for Israel.

Idolatry was bad enough, but national idolatry on such a scale so soon after formally accepting the privileges and responsibilities of being called by Jehovah to be a people uniquely his own gave the lie to everything Israel was supposed to stand for. It made a mockery of Israel’s promises and a joke of its testimony to the nations around it. God struck the people with a plague, and Moses struck them with the sword of the House of Levi, killing three thousand.

Basically, a disaster.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Calf Exercises

 The most recent version of this post is available here.