There is a lot of discussion (at least there is in the online circles I move in) about claims to a doctrine of “headship” that is biblical and that means husbands should take a leadership role with respect to their their wives. Or possibly that men should over women more generally. In a recent discussion someone objected to my presentation of these issues “Headship”: What did Paul really mean? by pointing to the fact that the Bible seems on a “literal” reading to support this idea, by using “head” in e.g. Eph 5:23. This is my response.  Read More →

While Paul’s test case, whether Christians may eat meat that has been offered to idols is of little importance to most Christians today. When was the last time someone offered you such meat? His principle is still helpful and useful. This podcast illustrates how to spot the principle in this passage and begins to suggest how it may be applied.  Read More →

As part of my seminar on Bible abuse at Easter Camp I talked about how a couple of sorts of context (cotext or social setting and culture) help us understand Jesus parable of the Big Feast (Luke 14:16ff.) more sharply. This podcast is a quick version of that focusing on questions of context. [Updated with screencast version from 2010 original.]  Read More →

Often Bible readers focus on things that are not the message the writer was trying to communicate. This is hardly “faithful” reading. So what is the danger and how do we avoid it? Putting the issue another way: Are you building you theology on rock or sand? BTW this and the previous video about Ezekiel’s spacemen are a change of style. Since I started putting these podcasts on YouTube (as well as MP3 audio) I have been doing simple screencasts. In these I’ve combined video with captions. What do you think of the change?Read More →

I’ve been asked about the prosperity gospel, which claims that not only does God want to bless us, but that if we do the right things God will bless us. In the context from which it was asked it’s a really important question, in my context too it’s a question that matters. Here’s part one of my answer. Basically it is not about a prosperity law but God’s grace! And as a bonus I confess that on this John MacArthur has it right 😉 1 The better you know me, the better probably you will understand how unusual this is…   Notes   [ + ] 1.Read More →

The New Testament use of the Old Testament often seems arbitrary or bizarre to modern readers. Here I’ll suggest that Paul’s use of Genesis in Galatians 4 (while not only strange but also unfair to Hagar and over kind to Sarah) fits with thew intent of Genesis. I think this is an interesting example of God using even human weakness (Paul’s favoring of his ancestress) to reinforce his truth… what do you think?Read More →

People like “old time religion”, “Give them more hellfire and damnation pastor!” the elders plead (somehow it is always “them” not “us” in this case), churches were full when preachers really put the fear of God into their audiences! But is ‘hell’ an important Christian doctrine, should every preacher touch on torment every month or two? On the importance of hell in Scripture I suggest a close look at the Bible (which we’ll begin here, with Gehenna in Matthew). On preaching I suspect it’s a case of WDJP or you’d better have one hell of a good reason 😉Read More →