Biblical truth standing on its spiritual head to get our eternal attention.
  • .: Welcome :. is devoted to the pursuit of truth, whether plain or paradoxical, whether simple or sublime, or simply absurd yet absolute.

    Our Lord came down from life to suffer death; the Bread came down, to hunger; the Way came down, on the way to weariness; the Fount came down, to thirst. —Augustine, Sermon 78
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    "It is refreshing to see the truth unfold from God's word about this most important subject."
  • Genesis 3 – Eve’s New Hermeneutic

    Posted By on August 16, 2018

    What methods did Eve use to determine eating of the forbidden tree was permissible? Warning – these might sound familiar.
    1. Perspective Over Revelation – “The woman saw the tree was good for food” (Genesis 3:6).
    2. Pleasure Over Self-Control – “and that it was a delight to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6).
    3. Power Over Submission – “and that the tree was desirable for obtaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6).
    Eve choose: 1) what she observed with her eyes over what she had heard God wanted; 2) what she wanted to physically experience over all the allowable experiences; 3) and the possibility of becoming her own boss. All three still happen today. God’s command to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not hard to understand. But it became easy to misunderstand by Eve’s new hermeneutic.

    Prosperity Gospel vs The Gospel

    Posted By on August 16, 2018

    There is nothing wrong with prospering financially or being healthy in this life (3 John 1:2). But if your spiritual leaders teach that is the goal of God’s gospel, then they are propagating “the health and wealth gospel” (also called the prosperity gospel), which is another gospel (Galatians 1). Notice the Holy Spirit’s emphasis on what and where believers are blessed which is the purpose of the gospel – Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ….” I would love to have no bills to pay. In Christ I don’t.

    Gentle Gentile

    Posted By on August 16, 2018

    I am a Gentile by nature (birth). I am gentle by nature (behavior). To my surprise Gentile and gentle are etymologicallly related via “gens” meaning birth (also where we get “genes”). “Gentle” became associated with high class birth because of the well-born expectancy to be well-behaved. Where is this thought going? Christians, born again from above, should also be gentle as the expectancy of anyone born of God and taking on the attributes of God – “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (NASU Matthew 5:5).

    Ephesians 4:7-11 – Jesus Gave Gifts To The Church

    Posted By on August 16, 2018

    Jesus gave gifts to the church (Ephesians 4:7-11). No one person is a gift on their own by virtue of their personality (although some might have formed personality cults). Biblically though, there are roles people fill that are “gifts” via grace.
    One role is an apostle. Sadly Paul had to continually defend his role even as others went after him personally (2 Corinthians). Preachers (evangelists) and elders (pastors) are two other gifts to the church. Whoever fills these roles, and local churches wherein they work, need to see how the Holy Spirit contextually shows their importance. When we all see what they do and why (4:12-16), and see how they are gospel oriented; we then see what our attitudes should be.
    The Holy Spirit says apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors (also called teachers) are gifts of grace (4:7). People who fill the roles have received favor in order to serve. In showing this the Holy Spirit connects these roles to Jesus descending and ascending because that also served the needs of the Body. Descending could refer to both descending from heaven becoming incarnated, and into the burial cave. Ascending likewise could encapsulate both the resurrection, and ascension back to the Father. That’s a powerful foundation which shows what we preachers and elders need to see, as well as congregations need to understand. Maybe then more men will desire the eldership seeing its connection; and more congregations will pray towards this end to find leaders. Maybe more preachers will stop acting like hirelings; and more congregations will respect them as servants of Jesus for the Body and not their employees.
    Notice how the Holy Spirit through Paul arranges this discussion by grouping these roles as bookends around the inner gospel story: Ephesians 4:7-11:
    A – CHRIST GIVES GIFTS – “But to every one of us is given favor, according to the measure of the gift of Christ;
    B – CHRIST ASCENDED – (Wherefore he says, Having ascended on high, he captivated captivity, and gave gifts to men. Now, this-Having ascended, what is it, unless, indeed,
    C – CHRIST DESCENDED – he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth! He who descended,
    B’ – CHRIST ASCENDED – is the same who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
    A’ CHRIST GAVE GIFTS – And he gave some, indeed, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
    Jesus gave gifts to the church by becoming a gift.

    Luke 2:41-50 – Why We Misunderstand

    Posted By on August 13, 2018

    The very first recorded statement of Jesus was not understood. The story is when Jesus was gone for three days (foreshadowing another time). He stayed in Jerusalem after his parents left to go home (the opposite of what would happen in another time). When they found him, he was astonishing the teachers (foreshadowing many times). Mary asked him why he had treated his parents with what she considered disrespect, Jesus responded, “Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He said to them. (Lk.2:49-50).

    Despite the virgin birth, visitors from shepherds with a marvelous story, and encounters with two strangers at the temple, Mary and Joseph still didn’t see the whole picture. But Jesus already knew.

    The lesson for us is when we misunderstand someone, or when we are misunderstood, it is often because of us not understanding nor seeing the big picture. This scene in Jerusalem should not have been seen separately from the experience in Bethlehem. So, when we misunderstand, we must look at ourselves to see if we are the one who isn’t seeing the whole story.

    Luke 18,19 – The Rich Young Ruler and Me

    Posted By on August 11, 2018

    The Rich Young Ruler is a safe; non-threatening example for us since we don’t have to sell everything…or is it?
    In close proximity, Luke records Jesus telling him to sell everything to give the money to the poor (Luke 18), while Jesus is satisfied with Zaccheus’ offer to give ONLY half away (Luke 19). So giving away everything is not required. Whew!
    But what is Jesus doing with each? He who knew the hearts of all is finding what each needs which differs from person to person. What the ruler or tax-collector needed to change is not what “I” need. Getting personal is getting scary. What do “I” need to change? Do “I” even know?
    Consider this called “Change Me”:
    Change me, God,
    Please change me.
    Though I cringe,
    Resist and resent.
    Pay no attention to me whatsoever.
    When I run to hide
    Drag me out of my safe little shelter.
    Change me totally.
    Whatever it takes.
    However long You must work at the job.
    Change me–and save me
    From spiritual self-destruction. (The 12 Step Prayer Book, volume 2, Bill P. and Lisa D., C 2007.)
    Change is not safe; but it is the only safe choice to make.

    Ecclesiastes 7:2 – 2 Funerals. 1 Wedding. And Church

    Posted By on August 11, 2018

    Two funerals. One wedding. And church. Sounds like either a bad movie or a worse joke. But recent ones all had several things in common.
    Some people dressed up. Some were more comfortable. Lots of family and friends gathered. Even a few tears were shed. God”s word was read. Everyone sang.
    To the unaccustomed, funerals, weddings, and church are a strange comparison; but it is because of God in each that when believers get together the same things happen.
    I know Solomon said, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, since that is the end of all mankind, and the living should take it to heart.” (CSB Ecclesiastes 7:2). But I’m thinking that feasting was held with “under the sun” thinking and not “God is everywhere” thinking. Oh yea, one other similarity in the two funerals, one wedding, and church – despite strikingly different places, the same joy in the Lord is found. And that’s no joke.

    Ephesians 5:14 – Sound the Alarm!

    Posted By on August 11, 2018

    I set the alarm. Then I hit the snooze. Twice. Then I reset the alarm for later. But this is not about resetting the alarm. Again. And again. It is about the alarm itself. We set them because we need them. But….
    Do we set it to go off gently, gradually getting louder until we are comfortably awakened?
    Do we set it to something annoying and loud to startle us awake?
    Do we set the alarm across the room so we have to physically get up to turn it off?
    Do we assign some kind of brain teaser that has to be solved to finally turn it off, waking us up physically and mentally?
    Some of these probably describe your morning experiences. But apply them to spiritual alarms, people personally confronting us, even preaching. What kind of spiritual alarm do we need to awaken spiritually? Have we ever proverbially thrown the spiritual alarm across the room? Or do we simply prefer not having one thinking, “I will wake up on my own”?
    NASU Ephesians 5:14: “For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”

    Luke 1 and Acts 1-2 – Similarities from the Same Author

    Posted By on August 8, 2018

    Luke wrote both Acts and the gospel account given his name. In reading today I was struck with so many similarities between Luke 1 and Acts 1-2. In both: 1) the Holy Spirit is active; 2) forgiveness of sins is emphasized; 3) the throne of David is mentioned; 4) but this last one is what really surprised me – We all are familiar with the tongue speaking in Acts 2. In Luke 1 we don’t have tongue speaking, but we do have Zechariah’s tongue being set free so he could speak. There are probably more, but this is just a taste of how we can also learn more.

    Acts 13:4-12 – Puns Are Scriptural

    Posted By on August 8, 2018

    Puns are scriptural! Paul was confronted by a magician (as was Peter) (Acts 13). His name was Elymas and Bar-Jesus. Now the text says “Elymas” means “sorcerer” (v.8). Paul is going to play with the other name but not in a fun way. Think, what an affront to Jesus to have this Jewish false prophet and sorcerer be named “Son of (meaning of Bar) Jesus.” So when this sorcerer opposed Paul, he called him “You son of the Devil.” That play on words from son (bar) to son (huios) shows exactly who Elymas was. And Paul did it with a pun.