Neighbors and the Ninth Commandment

The Ten Commandments are a mainstay of modern Christian doctrine, if not Christian doctrine through all times and places. They are a solid set of rules that echo in nearly every Western culture. That isn’t to say that their interpretation hasn’t degraded over the years. The most common point of contention is the third commandment, but the misinterpretation that intrigues me the most is that of the ninth. See, most Christians speed through the final five commandments as a list of things not to do: no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying, and no envy. While that’s certainly true … Continue reading “Neighbors and the Ninth Commandment”

Christianity in the Third Millennium: Conclusion

One could argue that 2020 Anno Domini was the worst peacetime year in half a millennium, and I might be inclined to believe them. Certainly not foremost, but most applicably, I had a few topics that I wanted to discuss. However, many of those were quickly overshadowed when real-world events prompted blog discussions (see “Imperative of Work” and “Fear of a Virus”). Yet more were tossed aside due to bouts of inspiration (“Christianity, the Non-Mystic” and “The Desert and the Well”). I could probably find enough prompts for another year of these, but I’d like to keep some of my … Continue reading “Christianity in the Third Millennium: Conclusion”

The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion

Whether dedicated or foolhardy, I’m a strong believer in engaging others in argumentation. When played right, they help to exercise the mind and shape perspective. However, what should be a search for the truth often turns into mindless attempts to score points, unwinnable efforts where ethos takes the place of logos and everyone’s time is wasted. In an age where debaters are anonymous but more commonplace, Jesus provides useful advice with regards to parsing productive discussions from unproductive ones. The discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3) ended in disappointment. Nicodemus comes to Jesus acknowledging His divine influence, under the … Continue reading “The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion”

Chance: Opportunities to Find God

I find it difficult to listen to God. I can count on one hand the number of times when God spoke to me directly, and even then those times might have been late-night fatigue. I doubt strongly that I’m alone on this; many Christians claim to not have heard God directly even once. While I don’t claim to solve thousands of years of theology, I’ve recently started a practice that works for me. It’s simple and has doubtless been done before, but I wanted to gloss over the how and delve more into the why. Simply, I put on a … Continue reading “Chance: Opportunities to Find God”

Christianity, the Non-Mystic

I recently had a conversation with fellow theologians, and we came across the topic of magic. It’s certainly one thing to argue for or against arcane elements in works of fiction, but I heard some propose that magic exists in the real world. This sentiment, as lunatic as it may sound to the uninitiated Protestant and especially to the outside skeptic, has some background in Christian history. The Catholic and especially the Orthodox faiths are steeped in elements of mysticism. The Bible itself (Deuteronomy 18:11) forbids the casting of spells. So Christianity recognizes but does not endorse the concept of … Continue reading “Christianity, the Non-Mystic”

Law: Equally Weapon and Tool

For nearly two months, there have been large waves of lawlessness and establishment in the United States. Today, then, I wanted to look at the nature of governance from a biblical perspective. From my interpretation of the Bible, I look at the law as fundamentally neutral. Christ makes a clear distinction between giving to Caesar and giving to God. Caesar is absolutely subordinate to God, but those pursuits of Caesar’s government run neither contrary to nor towards those of the Kingdom of Heaven. Pontius Pilate’s ultimate goal was to keep the peace throughout Israel; while he found no faults with … Continue reading “Law: Equally Weapon and Tool”

Fourth of July Special

I understand that people across the nation are concerned, and it’s good to lighten the mood in abysmally dark times. So today, in celebration of the Fourth of July tomorrow, I want to highlight the good in America. For obvious reasons, the United States was never mentioned in the Bible, but the United States encompasses a lot of what Israel was intended to be. The nation of Israel was part of God’s covenant with Abraham, that He would make an innumerable nation through his servant, but the excuse presented to Pharaoh for the exodus of the Israelites was “that [God’s … Continue reading “Fourth of July Special”

The Case for Space

There are a great many things to discuss this week, but the best thing I can talk about, somewhat like the event itself, is a brief distraction. I found the SpaceX launch to be both exhilarating and exciting. Today, then, I want to argue why humanity should pursue space travel, from a biblical perspective. An initial look at the Bible with regards to space will need clarification. Deuteronomy 4:19 warns the nation of Israel against being “lured away” by looking at the Sun and other stars. The Old Testament warns against those who place their haunches amongst the heavens, and … Continue reading “The Case for Space”

Fear of A Virus

The coronavirus has given us a very grim reflection of humanity’s worst traits. It’s shown us how quickly we are led to believe anything and everything. It’s shown how easily our leaders fall for the allure of power. It’s shown how flippantly we dismiss our neighbors as dumb or dangerous. Most importantly, from my diagnosis, it’s shown how fervently we succumb to fear. Far from keeping distance, far from avoiding cities and crowded spaces, we are afraid to leave the confines of our houses for brief weekly neighborhood walks. The hopeful, ill-intentioned or not, have been demonized more than terrorists. … Continue reading “Fear of A Virus”

The Imperative of Work

With the rebirth of the modern plague and the draconian measures taken to stop its spread, jobs have disappeared in the hundreds of thousands. Partially because of this, and partially because of a good sermon I attended a few months ago, I wanted to take a look at modern views on work. Work is often seen as a means to an end. You work, get paid, and get on with life. As a result, people throughout history have been pushing for a shorter amount of work time and more compensation for their work. We have a two-day weekend, and eight … Continue reading “The Imperative of Work”