Reading Romans

Something always bugged me about Paul’s letter to the Romans. Growing up in the atmosphere of Evangelical churches, principally Baptist, I absorbed the accepted narrative of what was going on in Romans. Paul wrote a letter to the house churches in Rome. It is Paul’s “Theological letter” meaning it is this treatise on the Gospel, meaning how to get saved. Sure, Paul always has some practical application for believers signaled by the transition in 12:1 … Continue reading

The Sacrifice

When we think in terms of the sacrifice made for us nearly 2,000 years ago, we naturally think in terms of the sacrifice made by the Son. Braveheart. He gave His life for you and me, and the enormity of that fact should never be obscured by the passage of time or by our familiarity with the event. With that object in view, please allow yourself to consider this: Who would YOU die for? Your … Continue reading

Biblically Challenged

It’s truly amazing how often the Bible is challenged by the biblically challenged. I was asked to speak in a Religion 101 class at an area junior college years ago. I thought it would be fun, and after outlining the essential doctrines of Christianity and giving evidence for the reliability of Scripture, a student looking to trip me up raised his hand and asked, “Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions?” It was a precious moment … Continue reading

Grace Is Amazing

I am constantly amazed at the large number of people who do not truly understand the biblical concept of grace. Since grace is, of course, spoken of in Scripture, it is part of the vocabulary of most churches and even cults. The shorthand definition we most often use is “unmerited favor.” A longer more descriptive definition would be “a kindly attitude toward the undeserving.” But as we read the literature or talk with others, we … Continue reading

Dayenu: It Would Have Been Enough

This week is our annual national celebration of Thanksgiving, and for some reason my thoughts turned to an ancient song (about a thousand years old) referred to as Dayenu. This Hebrew word’s approximate English translation is “It would have been enough.” Dayenu is traditionally sung or recited at both Orthodox and Messianic Passover celebrations. Although we as a people still celebrate Thanksgiving, it seems that in many ways we have lost the ability to be … Continue reading

The Good, Good News

Ron’s blog last week, “N.T. Wright’s Long Farewell,” drew comments which seem to indicate that some believe salvation is achieved the old-fashioned way: We earn it. Yes, Jesus may play His part in saving us, but we must contribute to the process – do our part. After all, we are asked, didn’t Jesus Himself say that? Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to … Continue reading