Listen to “Christian” Music Discerningly

Mountain

Modern Music

There is a segment of Christianity that preaches the sinfulness of bringing modern “worldly” music—with all of its drums and electric guitars—into the church.

I personally see no scriptural basis for the idea that any musical style is inherently sinful.

However, I do have a serious problem with much of the lyrical content of “Christian” songs today.

More on the Church as a Puzzle

Puzzle

My recent post comparing the church to a puzzle has generated a lot of feedback. Donald Borsch Jr. expanded on the idea at his blog, The Unapologetic Prophet. And Alan Knox reposted my observations at his blog, The Assembling of the Church.

I thank you both, and I thank also the many who have commented.

One of the commenters, David Bolton, let me know of a similar analogy he had previously written about.

Salvation: The Origin of Death

Graves

Today, I’m getting back to the salvation series. We’re examining Scripture to answer the question of what it is we are saved from.

I recently looked at salvation in Job, and found that this oldest book of the Bible speaks of salvation from afflictions and salvation from death (both by preservation and by resurrection).

I promised that I would go back and examine the origin of death and afflictions from which salvation is needed.

Just One Piece of the Puzzle

Puzzle

I really will get back to the salvation series soon, but this is on my mind today, so I want to post it now.

There’s a song that is currently very popular on Christian radio. It’s called “Here I Am” by Downhere, and it includes the following lyrics:

In this mess, I’m just one of the pieces,
I can’t put this together but you can.

That got me thinking about the church as a puzzle. Each member is “just one of the pieces,” and God is the maker and assembler.

Quick Reference Guide to Job

Job

I just examined salvation in Job. I will come back to the salvation question, but I figured that now would be a good time to bring up a related side-issue.

Job can be a tricky book to interpret properly. This is because multiple long passages were spoken entirely by men who were ultimately rebuked by God for what they said (Job 42:7–8).

Thus we simply cannot trust many individual verses in Job.

Salvation in Job

Job

We’re exploring the question, “What are we saved from?” I want to go through the Bible with you, examining the concept of salvation and how it is applied.

I’m going to start our examination in Job, as it is most likely the oldest book in the Bible.

Words Used

Multiple different words are used that all relate to salvation. I’ll try to avoid describing all the Hebrew in detail, but suffice it to say that I am primarily interested in words that relate to the Greek word soteria (from which we get soteriology—the doctrine of salvation).

Salvation: What Are We Saved From?

Saver

Christians talk a lot about salvation.

We talk about “being saved.” We talk about those of us who are “saved.” We talk about how we are saved. We talk about who saves us. We talk about what saves us. We talk even more about what doesn’t save us.

But I almost never hear Christians talk about what it is we are saved from. It seems to me that this should be our very first point of discussion.

Where Is Yahweh in the New Testament?

Jesus

God’s Missing Name

I previously wrote about God’s missing name in the Old Testament. I discussed the fact that God’s name occurs thousands of times, but most modern English translations simply render it as “Lord.”

In a comment on that post, Jochánán asked the question, “Why is there no word about JHVH (or Yahweh, pick one) in the NT?”

What’s the Difference Between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?

Mustard Seeds

Two Kingdoms?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all include references by Jesus to the kingdom of God. However, Matthew also includes references to the kingdom of heaven. This has led many theologians to draw a distinction between the two.

The kingdom can be a confusing topic in the first place. But we make it even more confusing by trying to separate the various terms used.

Stop Worrying

Flowers

Worry is perhaps one of the easiest sins we permit. Yet it is no less of a sin than any other.

When we worry, we demonstrate a lack of trust in God. We essentially say that God is incapable of caring for us.

Instead, we place our trust in our own ability to provide for ourselves. Or we place our trust in someone or something else to provide for us. In either case, our trust is not in God where it belongs.

The Curious Case of God’s Missing Name

Burning Bush

A Problem

The vast majority of English translations of the Bible share a common problem. They completely leave out God’s personal name from the Old Testament.

It is certainly present in the Hebrew manuscripts. His name occurs thousands of times. But chances are your Bible just renders it as “Lord” in all caps.

Superstitions

The history behind this poor translation is a rather interesting one. It started with a Jewish superstition that prevented them from speaking God’s name out loud.