On Haman and Pettiness

Our Bible study finished Esther this month, and we decided to celebrate it by watching the 2006 film One Night with the King. It was partly well acted and very well-funded but laughably inaccurate and overall rather bad. You know your film is a poor retelling of the biblical story when it’s based on a fiction book that’s based on the book of Esther, rather than just being based on the book of Esther. Don’t worry; I watched Big Idea’s Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen myself afterward and so did not go to bed angry. While I could fill … Continue reading “On Haman and Pettiness”

Augustine the Evolutionist

[1] For those of you who attended the debate on creationism at the Morning Walk Convention in 2021, you may remember my violation of the debate format by bringing up a quote from Augustine. For those of you who were not there, the debate was a five-person event: two contenders for each side, a representative for each side, and an undecided moderator. As a representative for theistic evolution, I could not come up with any original arguments myself; that was the purpose of the contender. Instead, I was supposed to represent their view to the moderator and only add information … Continue reading “Augustine the Evolutionist”

If you are not with me…

…you are against me! In that famous scene from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker stares at Obi-Wan Kenobi with fierce eyes and quotes… Jesus? In an ever-so-subtle slight against Christianity, Star Wars puts a version of Christ’s words in Darth Vader’s mouth when he says, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” Now, Vader does not take Christ’s full words to heart, for he neglects the command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Yes, it would appear that choking your wife, slicing political … Continue reading “If you are not with me…”

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, 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”

The Meaning of the Word “Is”

God is LOVE. . . . . . GOD is Love. . . . . . God IS Love. The first letter of John states that “God is Love” multiple times. Much has been said of agape, the sacrificial love which describes God’s love for us and how we are to love God and one another. Also, much has been written on the nature of God and who he is, though this truly is an inexhaustible topic that we can never completely comprehend. I think it would be instructive to also delve into the meaning of the small little word … Continue reading “The Meaning of the Word “Is””

Christianity of the Third Millennium

I can see the merits of Sola Scriptura. I can see why so many people choose to adopt that ideology. Just as Jesus seemingly condensed the law into two rules, so a summary compilation of the tenets of the faith, the Bible, condenses the work of millennia. It’s easier to read, and, in theory, it’s all a Christian needs to learn the faith. I posit, however, that adhering to Sola Scriptura alone can lead to dangerous levels of oversight. In 2020 Anno Domini, poverty is considerably less of an issue than in 20 Anno Domini. Is the means of our … Continue reading “Christianity of the Third Millennium”

The Role of Natives and Migrants

Migration is a fairly tricky subject, and arguably uniquely so in our day and age. There have certainly been migration patterns, even involving thousands of people, but economic migration and border-length border control have rarely been so prevalent. With both sides of the aisle slapping the Christian faith on their political perspective, or, rather, slapping their political perspective on the Christian faith, I think that a thorough analysis of immigration would be useful. It’s worth highlighting the difference between the New and Old Testaments. Christianity by design has no nationality, culture, or boundaries. Missionaries travelling across continents are the norm, … Continue reading “The Role of Natives and Migrants”

“Of the People…” Not Found in the General Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible

This is a short one, but I thought I’d chime in on something. While browsing around for some information about the General Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible, I stumbled upon this blog post from the Volokh Conspiracy. Basically, there’s a myth going around that the General Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible contains the sentence, “The Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Eugene Volokh, the author of the blog post, noted that this “smacked of myth,” and I am writing to confirm his suggestion. About a year and a half ago, the … Continue reading ““Of the People…” Not Found in the General Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible”

Book Review: The Old Testament is Dying by Brent Strawn

“The world only exists out of the merit of the discourse found when small children study.” –Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 245:7 “Welcome, OnScript superfans–and now we know that includes Dr. Brent Strawn,” the podcast host began. (OnScript is a podcast on the Bible that invites Biblical scholars to talk about their work.) At the end of the podcast, the host light-heartedly quizzed his guest, asking him to identify where a couple Biblical quotes came from. The guest identified the first correctly: “Then the king told his attendants, ‘tie him, hand and foot, and throw him outside into the darkness, where … Continue reading “Book Review: The Old Testament is Dying by Brent Strawn”