Showing posts with label Matthew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matthew. Show all posts

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Of Foals and Fools

As I noted in yesterday’s Mining the Minors instalment, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each penned an account of the triumphal entry. As usual with gospel accounts of the same events, these are complementary, not contradictory, much as any honest eyewitness accounts invariably reflect the personality, preoccupations, purposes and intended audience of the storyteller.

Bart Ehrman, Bible scholar and self-acknowledged unbeliever, would desperately like the accounts to contradict even if they don’t.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Between 14 and 15

The Lord Jesus had just left the temple, prophesying its complete destruction. He sat down on the Mount of Olives, allowing the disciples to come to him privately and ask, “When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Three questions, and it’s not entirely apparent that the Lord answered them in the order they were asked. Over the ensuing centuries, much debate has resulted as Christians tried on various interpretations of his answer, comparing scripture with scripture.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Missing the Obvious

The tendency to read familiar Bible passages the way we have always read them is almost overwhelming, and sometimes we miss the obvious. Our assumptions about the meaning of any word or phrase invariably default to the way we first heard them or had them explained to us. Viewing them more accurately is the task of a lifetime of attentive reading and study.

The dissenting views of other Christians and the proliferation of translations helps. Hearing a text the way someone else hears it forces us to ask which interpretation — if any — is the correct one.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Let Him Deny Himself

Yesterday, I proposed an alternative translation of Matthew 16:24-26 legitimized by Greek usage in the New Testament that applies a little more broadly than the standard interpretation of the passage. I’m not suggesting the “life/soul” distinction that most translators see as key to understanding what the Lord taught is incorrect. What I’m proposing is that we apply these few verses to a whole lot more of our lives than just the moment in which we are willing to die for the faith if called upon to do so.

After all, dying is relatively easy. You only have to do it once. Living for Christ requires dying to self every day and in every way.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Life, Soul and Self

The footnote to Matthew 16:25-26 in my ESV reads as follows:

“The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and twice in verse 26.”

That’s probably as good an introduction to our subject as any. It’s certainly what got my attention.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The People Standing Around

“I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around.”

Sometimes Jesus said things he didn’t need to say. Sometimes he asked questions to which he already knew the answer, or asked to be given things he didn’t require. Once, he even went through a baptism of repentance when he had nothing whatsoever for which to repent.

He had to, on account of the people standing around.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Pretending to See the Future

Watts Up With That lists seven times the global warm-mongers got it spectacularly wrong.

There’s biologist George Wald, who predicted “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years”. Then there’s ecologist Kenneth Watt, who was convinced the crude oil supply would be fully depleted by the year 2000. And let’s not forget the Life magazine prognostication that “in a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution”. That was all in 1970 and so far so good, except maybe in China.

We laugh, but some Christians are not much more accurate when they attempt to read tea leaves.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Snatched Up

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

Tom: So we did the Millennium, IC. Care to walk me through the ‘Rapture’?

Immanuel Can: I thought that was the same as the Second Coming. Next you’re going to tell me that Israel still exists and that I wasn’t predestined to election before the foundation of the world.

Tom: Do I need to put a </sarc> at the end there? Never mind. Sometimes you open a can and the worms just go everywhere ...

IC: Well, one way to manage the worms is to focus on making the distinction between the Second Coming and the Rapture.

Tom: Okay, then.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Gathering the Weeds

“No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”

In a post entitled “Who was Ravi Zacharias?” one of the anonymous writers of the evangelical online answer-blog GotQuestions courageously exhumes the rotting corpse of a subject I’ve steadfastly avoided discussing here, except with generalities and allusions. But maybe now that the dust has settled, the Zacharias scandal can at least serve to illustrate a scriptural principle.

You’d like to hope we can use it for something.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Good Seed and the Outer Darkness

Those of us who love to study the word of God often spend a pleasant hour or two comparing scripture with scripture in meditation, and by seeking to understand its concepts by grabbing our concordances and tracing the way its writers use various words and phrases.

Sometimes this is fruitful. Other times it can be perplexing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Five Brief Thoughts About Forgiveness

I find it is all but impossible to exhaust the Lord’s parables. There are always more principles to learn from them and new ways they might legitimately be applied. So don’t mistake the following for an attempt to fully exposit Matthew 18:21-35. I am just nibbling around the edges.

What I do find useful is to work my way through the parable eliminating the obvious. Once that is done, I can give slightly-less-confused consideration to the possibilities that remain.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Two Promises

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

In Matthew 16, upon Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus responds with two promises, which we may briefly restate as: (i) “On this rock I will build my church”, and (ii) “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven …”

Tom: There’s more to these promises, obviously, but I wanted to consider a couple of issues. First, whether these are two separate promises, or if the second is merely some kind of amplification of the first, and second, when can we anticipate the realization of these promises.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Doesn’t Always Mean What We Think It Means (8)

Compare the usage of the word “condemn” in the following two passages:

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death.”

“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.”

Assuming you are familiar with both verses in their original contexts, you will probably agree with me that the word is being used to describe two distinct degrees of hazard, one considerably more severe than the other.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Testimony in the Twilight Zone

I’m becoming a believer in snowblower evangelism.

I live in an area where big snowfalls happen several times a year. I mean the kind that are a meter or so (a few feet) deep, heavy and wet. If you’ve ever tried to shovel out a driveway in those conditions, you know it’s absolutely back-breaking work.

The Lord gave me a snowblower. I don’t mean he personally went down to the local John Deere store and picked it up for me, I mean that it came cheap and unexpected, as a kindness from one of the Lord’s people. I don’t deserve it, and I’m very grateful to have it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

14 Inches to the Northwest

I actually wrote this one back in November 2017, but Millennium Tower is back in the news again, so here goes ...

Apparently building your house on something quasi-rock-like won’t cut it.

San Francisco’s Millennium Tower has sunk 17 inches and tilted 14 inches to the northwest since 2006. If that sounds like nothing, bear in mind that this is a 58-storey state-of-the-art concrete monster that drew millions in investment dollars from people like former NFL quarterback Joe Montana.

The problem? Not built down to bedrock.

Does that take you back 2000 years or what?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (16)

Learning to love yourself is not the greatest love of all, but you wouldn’t know that if you ask non-trivial numbers of evangelical Christians:

“[God] has given us permission to love ourselves.”
— Alonda Tanner

“We can’t fully love God or anyone else unless we love ourselves.”
— InTouch Ministries Daily Devotion

“It’s impossible to love your neighbor as you love yourself if you don’t know how to love yourself.”
— Kristine Bolt

Each of these assertions depends on a linguistically-indefensible interpretation of a familiar statement made by the Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Bit in Between

It has long been noticed that of the four gospels, Matthew’s is the most distinctly Jewish.

This being the case, it may surprise you to find that the Gentile Luke actually mentions the temple in Jerusalem — the very heart of Judaism — more than Matthew, a Jew. Matthew mentions the temple explicitly in only five of 28 chapters, and the majority of these references are quite incidental.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: See You in Court, Brother

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

Wow. Christians going to court with one another.

You’d think this issue would be put to bed speedily by even the most cursory glance at Matthew 5:25-26 or 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. But no, believers are keeping their lawyers on speed-dial in significant numbers. It used to be the primary reason was child abuse, but last year it was something new: property rights.

Tom: Here I thought we’d all be meeting in cell groups in homes sooner than later as a result of lawfare trial balloons from the transgender, feminist or gay lobbies. But no, this is even stranger: we’re doing it to ourselves, Immanuel Can; not just as individuals, but whole congregations. And most of it involves issues related to church buildings.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

To Ask or Not to Ask

“When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

“He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”

So then, which is it: are we to ask, or are we not to ask? How does one reconcile the two apparently contradictory ideas in these verses? Is it really possible to pray too much?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Cosmic Accidents and the Chain of Command

Many years ago now, a man I love and respect opened up the book of Matthew and read us the story of the centurion’s faith. You will recall that the Lord commended this Roman soldier as exceptional because he understood that Jesus possessed the ability to heal from far away as easily as he could heal when immediately present, so he didn’t wish to trouble the Lord unnecessarily by asking him to undertake a journey in order to do him a favor.

The centurion expressed his conviction this way: “I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

“Only say the word ...” Wow. That was indeed great faith, and the Lord responded to it.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Two or Three Mistakes

“Where two or three are gathered …”

I’ve heard this little phrase quoted for years in churches all over the place. I’ve almost never heard it quoted correctly, meaning in its context and referring to the situations to which it actually applies.

When I’ve heard it quoted, almost invariably it is used to suggest that any local gathering of the church, no matter how small, is important enough to the Lord that he will, in some spiritual way, be present and involved with that situation. And really, I can’t say that isn’t true. But I can say for sure that that isn’t what this particular verse was given us to teach us.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Limits of Toleration

“When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him while he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ ”

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ ”

We live in a society that enshrines “tolerance” as its highest virtue. At least, it thinks it does.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Forgive or Die

“I can’t forgive him,” the young man told his counselor.

Understandable, I think. I don’t know all the details, but it seems the speaker has been quite horribly mistreated and cannot bring himself to feel forgiving toward the person who has hurt him so badly. He simply can’t let it go.

More significant is the young man’s concern for his own soul, since he has read the very words of the Lord Jesus himself and has concluded that if he cannot feel forgiveness toward this individual who has had such a negative effect on his life, then he cannot be saved.

And “forgive or die” is a pretty scary ultimatum to face when your feelings won’t play along with what your Christian friends are telling you is the right thing to do.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Too Close to Home

Robert Barron comments on the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew:

“Many devout believers find the brutality and violence of the story hard to take. In a very secularized society where people have lost the sense of God, you have to shake them into awareness with a shocking story with very exaggeratedly-drawn characters, with macabre and violent shocking action.”

Barron goes on to tell his listeners not to interpret the parable in a straightforward, literal way, or to compare this “crazy king” directly to God in every respect. He suggests the Lord was just using strong language to get our attention, to “grab us by the shoulders and shake us awake”.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

I Am the One

“I am the one you warned me of
  I am the one who’d never, never lie.”
— Blue Oyster Cult, 1988

Not my favorite band, for sure — but I do admire their theology.

At least in this instance.

So often we begin by thinking that evil, if it exists at all, is a thing “out there”. It’s in the world somewhere, not inside me. Me, I’m pretty good. Not perfect, maybe. But not so bad that God can’t overlook the difference (that is, if he’s really loving) and accept me as spot-on.

Then we live for a bit.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Immediate and Greater Context

Over at Stand to Reason, Alan Shlemon is back on the subject of the importance of reading in context. I too am convinced that context is probably the single most crucial way to accurately determine the intended meaning of any verse in scripture, so as you may imagine, I find myself agreeing with almost everything Alan has to say.

In discussing the Lord’s much-misunderstood promise that begins with the words “For where two or three come together in my name,” Shlemon asserts that “Jesus begins and ends by talking about how to respond to a sinning brother. Therefore, the meaning of verse 20 must be restricted to that context, making it unlikely that it is about God being present among believers.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Produce Department

Among the most oft-repeated principles of scripture ever enunciated by our Lord is this: that we are what we do. It is our ongoing patterns of behavior that most accurately reveal the condition of our hearts and our relationship to God.

That is not to say that our words and thoughts are inconsequential; both will be subject to God’s judgment. But words can be poorly expressed and easily misunderstood, while thoughts are often fragmentary, incoherent, transitory and quite invisible to the world. Patterns of behavior serve as much more accurate indicators of the condition of our hearts than either of these.

We might say that genuine followers of Christ are regularly found in the “produce department”. They are characterized by spiritual fruit rather than just fine words.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

That Day and Hour

The return of the Son of Man to earth has been promised, prophesied, anticipated and longed-for — and equally disbelieved, sneered at, feared and ignored — for almost 20 centuries now. And when he comes again it will be at an hour nobody will expect. Though there are many facts concerning his return detailed in Bible prophecy, he will catch the world totally by surprise.

The exaltation of the Lord Jesus to his earthly throne — a throne that belongs to him both by right of birth and because he has fully and perfectly earned it — will mark the end of our current world order. This is no small event, and we could hardly expect to be let in on its specific timing.

But what is more than a little surprising is that the One who is coming also disclaims any knowledge of the time of his own arrival on earth … and further, seems entirely unconcerned about the dilemma this fact poses for any number of theologians.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Prophetic Trajectories in Matthew

Matthew 10 recounts the commission of the twelve disciples to take the good news of the kingdom to all the cities of Israel.

There is a specifically ethnic character to this set of instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” instructs the Lord.

At this time and for this specific purpose, the Lord equips his servants with a tool kit you and I do not possess in taking the message of gospel to the world today: he “gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.”

Sunday, November 01, 2020

An Unnecessary Insertion?

In Matthew, the Father declares that he is “well pleased” with the Son three times.

“Three?” you say. “I can think of two.”

Sure: the baptism of the Lord Jesus and his transfiguration. But there is a third reference to the Father’s pleasure in the Son found in Matthew 12. It’s a familiar quote from the book of Isaiah.

“Oh, a quote. That’s kind of cheating.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

That Guy Outside Starbucks is NOT Jesus’ Brother

God bless the poor.

In fact, I don’t even have to ask him: we’ve been told he will; at least inasmuch as their poverty is primarily one of the spirit.

But we should pray for the poor, of course, and share as we are able. We should care, we ought to avoid partiality and we need to act. Our faith does not amount to much if it does not make us compassionate in a very practical way toward those in need, and toward those who may have started life at a huge disadvantage, or have encountered trials and troubles we have never experienced.

But that guy outside Starbucks who invades your space — the one with the tatty green or brown jacket, bad breath, body odor and uncomfortable social habits — while he may be made in the image of God and deserving of whatever we are able to do for him for that reason alone …

Sorry, that guy is just not Jesus’ “brother”.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Knowing Our Limitations

A few days ago we ran a post about the will of God and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the process of researching what God’s will meant to the Lord Jesus and his apostles, I came across a verse that initially perplexed me, then later seemed to provide some interesting insights into the subject. I did not bother to mention it in the COVID post because it was one of those theological rabbit trails, heading off through the forest from where we were at the time to somewhere entirely different. But the questions raised by the verse certainly merit a full post’s worth of consideration, and then some.

I’ve been mulling it over ever since, so let’s lay out the problem that occurred to me and see where it takes us ... carefully, of course.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Thank You for the Failures

God wants to save “all people”, or so we are told.

Some readers understand that concept very broadly. They see that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”, and conclude from it that God would prefer it if every single human being on the planet were to turn from sin and self to Christ, who is God’s only way of salvation.

This may very well be true, though I don’t think it’s exactly what Paul was telling Timothy.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: Unpardon Me

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

Matthew, Mark and Luke all make reference to a sin that will, in Matthew’s words “not be forgiven”. Mark calls it an “eternal sin”.

The reference has been a source of distress down through the centuries to Christians who fear they may have committed it and be irreversibly destined for perdition.

Tom: Personally, Immanuel Can, I’ve always thought the unpardonable sin was lazy exegesis, but I haven’t got much scripture to back me up there.

Immanuel Can: Lazy exegesis? Bad, yes, but probably pardonable if you repent. Now, being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan … that’s a whole different category: expect perdition.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Inbox: To the Youth Group

Last week, a youth leader we know sent the following email to the young people in his local church. I thought it made a great point, and he was kind enough to allow us to share it here.

Good morning everyone,

Students, your March Break 2020 is drawing to a close. I wonder: if someone had asked you on Saturday, March 7th how you would describe your March Break today on Saturday, March 21st, would your description have been anywhere close to how it actually unfolded?

The dramatic shifts in just two weeks get me thinking that there is probably something in the Bible that can provide some wisdom for us to shape our lives to. Of course there is, so the tricky part is to limit ourselves to just two selections for now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Forgotten Virtue of Shame

“You’re body-shaming me,” lectures the tubby, well-propagandized primary school girl, heading off her mother’s forlorn attempts to get her to order a salad instead of yet another side of large fries.

“Fat shaming is dangerous,” opine the editors of Psychology Today. Well, we can certainly concede that certain forms of it are impolite.

Wikipedia says the term “slut-shaming” is a derogatory expression used by feminists to “reclaim the word slut and empower women and girls to have agency over their own sexuality.” I’m not sure that’s world’s most helpful agenda, but there you are.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Biblical Procedure for Church Discipline?

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

From time to time we come across believers referring to this famous passage in Matthew as the “biblical procedure for church discipline”.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Anonymous Asks (66)

“Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?”

I’m going to answer this as if it reads “earthly brothers and sisters”. In other words, literal siblings, children from the womb of the same mother. We all know of situations in which the words “brothers” and “sisters” are used figuratively in everyday language, particularly in a religious context. In this case we will not bother talking at length about New Testament figurative uses of “brother” or “sister”, as the answer is obvious enough to make this a very short post indeed.

So let’s get the metaphorical usage out of the way quickly.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The People Standing Around

The most recent version of this post is available here.

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, August 21, 2019

Sons and Supplicants

“You are the sons of the Lord your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.”

Even today there exists a fair bit of confusion around the Mosaic prohibition against Israelite men — priests especially — shaving their foreheads, beards or temples. There are a variety of rabbinic views on the issue.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Quote of the Day (41)

In a week when the usual suspects have been howling for a “disproportionate response” to the downing of a U.S. navy spy drone, it’s refreshing to find a commentator who prefers violent provocations be met with no response at all.

Don’t worry, this is not about the Strait of Hormuz or what constitutes Iranian airspace. The provocation is storyline-only, and the response to it is disproportionate only if you fail to consider the circumstances in which it occurs.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Anonymous Asks (30)

“Is the unforgivable sin knowing the Holy Spirit and accepting his existence and then opposing him, or is it having Satan in you without you knowing about it and then claiming it’s the Holy Spirit, and vice versa?”

Well, that’s quite a mouthful. Let’s try to unpack that.

There are a couple of things about this question that show the person who asked it is at very least headed in the right direction in his thinking. For instance, he grasps that the unforgivable sin is closely related to the person of the Holy Spirit. That is definitely true.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Things Ovine and Caprine

Schindler’s List was a very successful 1990s movie about a German businessman and member of the Nazi party who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish refugees during WWII. While the screenplay certainly received the Hollywood treatment and has been criticized for a taking a variety of storytelling liberties, one of which was being overly sentimental, the story upon which it is based is said to be substantially true.

So there is a real-world precedent for the scenario I am about to lay out for you.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: Two Promises

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Building Blocks of Reality

The Old Testament is full of hints, winks and nudges. Or so it seems to me.

For example, I cannot read Abraham’s words to Isaac, “God will provide for himself the lamb,” without marveling at the subtlety of the wording. It works as a double entendre in either Hebrew or English. Was Abraham a straight man or a prophet? I can’t tell you, but I love that line. From thousands of years down the road we look back and say, “He certainly did.”

That’s not a comment on our cleverness, of course.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Deprived of this Grace

I’ve been struck lately by the relevance of the Lord’s kingdom parables to the whole issue of John Calvin’s concept of election.

You may have noticed that the Lord’s disciples appear to be not entirely comfortable with the whole ‘parables’ concept. We know this because they have to ask the Lord to explain the parables to them, and enthuse about it when he does. They obviously find themselves on surer ground when he speaks “plainly” than when he tells stories that require interpretation.

But the Lord explains the reason for parables to them in this way:

“To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’ ”

On the face of it, this sounds terribly determinist, doesn’t it.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Other Cheek

Turning the other cheek is never all that much fun, but lately I’ve begun to see Christian restraint as something more than merely tactical.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus famously told his followers, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

He did not tell them why, but we may reasonably infer that, like the instruction to love our enemies, turning the other cheek displays our family resemblance to our heavenly Father. (And, of course, there’s the bit in there about reward, but the less said about that the better; we wouldn’t want to look mercenary, would we?)

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Misconceptions About Christian Forgiveness

From Psychology Today, on the subject of forgiveness:

“Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger toward others to eat away at us.”

Read that quote carefully and consider: is that the way you think about forgiveness? Would you conclude forgiveness is complete when the person who has been wronged is finally able to feel the prescribed emotions about their victimizer?

If so, what happens if despite best efforts you are unable to “muster up” the appropriate emotions? What if your feelings absolutely refuse to play along?

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Conditional Forgiveness in Matthew

Can we be saved if we refuse to forgive someone? Rose says:

“No, we cannot. The Bible tells us that unless we forgive, including ourselves, we cannot be forgiven in the Kingdom of Heaven, through Our Heavenly Father.

Forgiving is not to condone someone who has wronged us, but for our own salvation, so that we may be forgiven, saved.”

Now, this is certainly a response we might expect to hear from a young Christian (the “including ourselves” is a bit of a giveaway; our alleged moral obligation to forgive ourselves is a relatively recent fiction), but it’s not really the sort of answer you’d expect to find in an evangelical Bible commentary.