October 16, 2017

Difficult Scriptures: John 1:35-38

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them,“What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), […]

Our Misogynist, Genocidal God, And Other Supposed Problems With The Bible

There are some Old Testament representations that can understandably give us Christians headaches, especially when we want to represent the Bible as inspired of God, authoritative, and trustworthy. We affirm (for good reason) that God is good and loving, and yet it is hard to reason through what seems to be endorsements of cultural sins […]

Difficult Scriptures: Mark 8:35

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self (Mark 8:35, The Message). There are times I like a verse or passage from The Message better than any other translation, and this is one of them. You may be more familiar with the way most other Bibles […]

Difficult Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8, NASB). The devil? The devil made me do it. Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Just how does the devil devour one? Where does he go to prowl? Does Satan still bargain […]

Difficult Scriptures: John 6:52-69

The Jews began to quarrel with each other. They said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus told them, “I can guarantee this truth: If you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have the source of life in you. Those who eat my […]

Difficult Scriptures: John 20:22-23

Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  (John 20:22-23, NLT) Another great moment for me in Arizona was meeting Rich and Gail McNeeley. They are a wonderful couple who, along with two of their […]

Difficult Scriptures

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NASB). Perhaps the most difficult thing about this verse is not interpreting it correctly, but living it out. Just how does one deny himself as Jesus […]

Difficult Scriptures: Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10, NIV) What is so difficult about this Scripture? I mean, the psalmist is saying … uh, he’s telling us to … uh … Ok, what do you say? How are we […]

Difficult Scriptures: The “Genocidal” God?

By Chaplain Mike Some of the most difficult stories in the Bible are those which portray God ordering the annihilation of entire nations or groups of people. This appears prominently, for example, in the Book of Joshua, when the Hebrews defeated the Canaanites on various occasions to take control of the Promised Land. How do […]

Difficult Scriptures: The God Who Smites

God loves us.  We learned that in Sunday School.  So how do we explain God smiting people? I’m thinking of four incidents, three in the Old Testament and one in the New.  In each case people were struck down, usually with death, once with leprosy.  The Bible is very clear that judgment was from God […]