What did Jesus mean? — “Salt of the Earth”

In a post at First Things, called “Salt of the Earth” Peter Leithart challenges Christians to consider the negative metaphorical implications of Jesus’ saying. Was Jesus, in fact, pronouncing judgment on a sinful world through saying, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13)? First of all, he notes what many have observed: that JesusContinue reading “What did Jesus mean? — “Salt of the Earth””

Fundamental mistakes in reading Genesis 1-2

Many of the debates people have about Genesis 1-2 and creation stay on a rhetorical level: “literal” vs. “metaphorical,” “historical” vs. “mythic,” concordant with modern science or representing Ancient Near East cosmology, and so on. Today I’d like to bypass all of that and look at a few interpretive issues in the text itself thatContinue reading “Fundamental mistakes in reading Genesis 1-2”

Damaris Zehner: The Perspicuity of Scripture? Hmm.

The Perspicuity of Scripture?  Hmm. By Damaris Zehner I teach English at a community college campus in rural Indiana.  This semester I have a remedial reading and writing class, required for those students who did not score high enough to take freshman composition.  At one extreme are the students who are competent but bad atContinue reading “Damaris Zehner: The Perspicuity of Scripture? Hmm.”

Peter Enns: Is there payoff for the church in reading the Bible critically?

Note from CM: In October, we reviewed Peter Enns’s excellent book, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It. In that review I wrote, “Enns repeatedly encourages us to stop defending the Bible as something we want it to be so that we might read and benefit fromContinue reading “Peter Enns: Is there payoff for the church in reading the Bible critically?”

Dan Jepsen: Do some interpretations of Genesis 1 deny creation ex nihilo?

Note from CM: This is part two of a three-part series by Pastor Dan on Genesis 1. You can read part one HERE. * * * Do Some Interpretations of Genesis 1 Deny Creation ex Nihilo? by Daniel Jepsen As I have tried to argue in a previous post, creation ex nihilo is in manyContinue reading “Dan Jepsen: Do some interpretations of Genesis 1 deny creation ex nihilo?”

Why Is the Gospel of John so Different?

First Things First Restoring the Gospel to Primacy in the Church Part Six:  — Why Is the Gospel of John so Different? • • • “The last of the four Gospels appears among the rest in a manner reminiscent of the appearance of Melchizedek to Abraham: “without father, without mother, without genealogy” (Heb. 7:3). EverythingContinue reading “Why Is the Gospel of John so Different?”

Savior of the Suffering (Mark)

First Things First Restoring the Gospel to Primacy in the Church Part Four:  Savior of the Suffering — Mark Jesus-shaped Christianity will grow out of the soil of a Story-shaped Gospel. The more we immerse ourselves in the Story and get to know the Gospels, the greater the impact the Gospel of King Jesus willContinue reading “Savior of the Suffering (Mark)”

The Torah of Jesus (Matthew)

First Things First Restoring the Gospel to Primacy in the Church Part Three: The Torah of Jesus — Matthew • • • Jesus-shaped Christianity will grow out of the soil of a Story-shaped Gospel. The more we immerse ourselves in the Story and get to know the Gospels, the greater the impact the Gospel ofContinue reading “The Torah of Jesus (Matthew)”

Getting to Know the Gospel Better

First Things First Restoring the Gospel to Primacy in the Church Part Two: Getting to Know the Gospel Better – Introduction • • • “It may be patently obvious, but it’s not to most: they called these books ‘the Gospels’ because they are the gospel.” (Scot McKnight, The King Jesus Gospel). I suggested in lastContinue reading “Getting to Know the Gospel Better”