Bible word of GodThe Bible is inspired, down to its words and letters. It is God’s revelation to mankind. So it requires our special attention. Jesus gave God’s revelation his full devotion. He said that “the things I say are exactly what the Father told me to say” (John 12.50 ERV).

The Bible is detailed. In spiritual matters, we ought to sweat the small stuff. Paul even makes an argument based on a word in the singular: Continue reading

The Big Question tonight in our Bible reading group, before we read the Lord’s letter to Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7): If God were writing you a letter as he looked over how you spent 2011, what would he write? At the end, I told people to sit down and write the letter they think God would write to them.

• Another quatrain on the Christian Poets site today: “Just When All Seemed Smooth.” Just four lines, so pop over and read it. Will do you good. Continue reading

The Jews avoided using God’s name in an exaggerated reverence. They put verbs in the passive voice to avoid pronouncing his name.

And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit;
Revelation 9:1 NRSV Continue reading


Ever since Cain, there has been talk of doors. Jacob had a vision of a door to heaven. Doors were a part of Passover. And doors appear in the Bible’s final book, as a figure of God opening to John a vision of his sovereignty and control of the spiritual powers.

After these things I looked, and there was a door standing open in heaven!
Revelation 4:1 NET

Paul wrote of open doors of opportunity, but here the open door is to understanding God’s action in the world. It indicates, again, that the book of Revelation, like the entire Bible, is just that: a revelation of God’s project.

That voice that John heard is for us as well, “Come up here.” Enter the open door. Understand what God is doing. See the strong arm of the Lord.

And be comforted in your sufferings for him and strengthened for faithfulness to the end.

BibleWith the communications revolution and the arrival of the Internet, we’re drowning in data and information. The problem is fitting them into some sort of system or structure so that we can understand them.

Facts are not mere facts, but have meaning. God doesn’t do things aimlessly. He has a reason for doing what he does.

For Adam was formed first and then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:13 NET Continue reading

When in the book of Revelation Christ addresses himself to the Asian churches, he follows a general order of items. This, yes, pattern is suggestive, that Christ works by a pattern, and lays down a pattern of work, worship and behavior for his people. (See previous post.)

In his addresses, he invariably includes toward the end of each message this phrase, reminiscent of what he said while on earth: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (2:7 etc., NET). Continue reading

This sounds like it would come from what some term a conservative legalist, but surprise! it comes from a liberal’s liberal.

What is offered in the letters [of the book of Revelation], therefore, represents a pattern of affirmation and correction, challenge and comfort, supporting the weak and challenging the complacent, which is the foundation of our pastoral and preaching ministry. (emphases mine)

The quote comes from Christopher Rowland, “Revelation,” Global Bible Commentary (Abingdon, 2004): 562. The one-volume commentary is a showcase for liberation and feminist theologies. Continue reading

You know that when you were pagans you were often led astray by speechless idols, however you were led. 1 Corinthians 12:2 NET

What is spirituality? This was a critical question in Corinth. Paul establishes the criterion: spiritual is he who hears God’s revelation through the Holy Spirit when he speaks about Jesus (v. 3). Continue reading