At The Table

Thinking about Jesus, culture, and everyday life.

Category: Bible (page 1 of 4)

Reason and the Resurrection

The idea of the resurrection of has been criticized and mocked from the very earliest days of christianity. Jesus debated with the Sadducees – a group of Jewish scholars who generally dismissed the possibly of the miraculous or supernatural. When Paul spoke with the Greeks in Athens, they listened to his argument, up until he got to the fact that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Then they just mocked and dismissed him.

There seems to be an element of appeal in this dismissal of such fantastical notions. A reasonable rootedness in reality. There is indeed a goodness and virtue in such a gesture. It’s so much easier to believe in magical stories that explain away some of the big questions of life. The modern mind needs reason and foundation. There is no room for blind faith here. We have grown out of that. Continue reading

A Better Reason For Change

Its now been nearly a year and a half since Tim Challies started his series of blog posts on productivity. The beginning of that series of articles was a new chapter in my own personal growth. I knew that my life needed a great deal of growth in the areas of discipline and productivity, and so I took that as my opportunity to try and tidy things up. As I look back, its amazing to me how long it has taken to really see some of the deeper fruit of change. And yet, I also realize that the lessons I am learning are foundational and will stick with me for a long time. The first is one that I have already written about. It is this: that real change takes time. Today I want to take it a step further. Continue reading

The Blessed Hand of the Ready Writer

Beloved, when you and I have seen or heard anything which God has revealed to us, let us go and write it, or make it known by some other means. God has not put the treasure into the earthen vessel merely for the vessel’s own sake, but that the treasure may afterward be poured out from it, that others may thereby be enriched. You have not been privileged to see, merely to glad your eyes and to charm your soul. You have been permitted to see, in order that you may make others see; that you may go forth and report what the Lord has allowed you to perceive.

John no sooner became the seer of Patmos, than he heard a voice that said to him, “Write!”. He could not speak to others for he was on an island, he was exiled from his fellow brethren, but he could write and he did. And often he who writes addresses a larger audience than the man who merely uses his tongue. It is a happy thing when the tongue is aided by the hand of a ready writer, and so gets a wider sphere, and a more permanent influence than if it merely uttered certain sounds and the words died away when the ear had heard them.  (C. H. Spurgeon)

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Rejecting The Ultimate Gift

Is the God of the New Testament really that different from the God of the Old? This is the claim of many people today. The central idea that was made in the previous post was the fact that, when we read a little more carefully, we see that, in the whole Bible, God is a God of grace. The story of God’s relationship with the Israeli people highlights over and over the central reality of his grace and mercy as the one and only reason for all that they had. This is coupled with the fact that the main command of the Old Testament is not that people obey a long list of moralistic laws and rituals. Rather the heart of God’s message to the people is that he be the central object of their love and affection. Making anything outside of him the object of their worship inevitably sends them tumbling down a destructive life of self centeredness.

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Grace Before Obedience

It seems to me that one of the sources of the most misunderstanding of christian thought and teaching is the Old Testament. This is especially true of the first four books of the Bible. The lack of careful reading in these sections has lead to broad and inaccurate generalizations. One such generalization is that the God of the Old Testament is completely different from the God of the New Testament.

It is stated that the God of the Old Testament is the God of law and judgement while the God of the New Testament is a God of grace and mercy. One section that completely debunks this idea is the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is an address of the people of Israel before they enter the promised land. This is a section where God takes an important moment to stop, reflect on all that has happened, and point forward to that which he desires to do for these people. Deuteronomy is a reflection of all that has come before. It is a moment when God reminds Israel of their history and identity, and his role in it all.

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