On reading Psalm 93

The Lord is “robed in majesty,” yes, and high and lifted up, but the scripture he has given us: it is given through our own mouths, and portrays our own plight, is right down here on the ground with us, in the mud and the blood and the gore.

SKANDAL! A Sermon on Mark 9:42–50

For American Christians today, Mark 9:42–50 conveys a stern warning from Jesus about confusing Christianity with nationalism and destroying the credibility of the gospel in other ways.

“Social-justice warrior” as a term of abuse

Have you heard “social-justice warrior,” or the abbreviation “SJW,” used as a term of derision? I always think, when I hear it so used, that there is no clearer way to announce that you either are unaware of or reject the Bible and its God than to use SJW as a Schimpfwort, a hate-word, aContinue reading ““Social-justice warrior” as a term of abuse”

Why Christotrumpians admire Putin

The people who reduce the Trump-Biden choice to anti-abortion versus pro-abortion are victims and perpetrators of the same malignant fallacy as those who reduce the Russia-Ukraine situation to anti-transgender-rights to pro-transgender-rights.

Illegitimate totality transfer (on praying Psalm 44)

Warnings from biblical lexicography James Barr was for many years, I think, the scholar most feared by other members of the biblical-studies guild. He had a knack for spotting and exposing fallacies that were widely accepted by his peers as standard practice. Probably the best-known example of his work was his book The Semantics ofContinue reading “Illegitimate totality transfer (on praying Psalm 44)”

Reading Matthew: Make disciples

Beginnings and endings of books can help us grasp and remember what the books mean. Recently I finished reading through Exodus and left some thoughts on what that book means in light of its ending. I have also just finished reading through the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew begins with a genealogy that grounds the meaningContinue reading “Reading Matthew: Make disciples”

Reading Exodus: Holiness means obedience

‎When you’re reading a text, some parts carry more weight than others. Even if every word matters, some words shape how you understand other words. If we’re reading well, and trusting the text, we could say that every word affects how you understand every other word. But in practice some words—some parts of the text—affectContinue reading “Reading Exodus: Holiness means obedience”

What to do with suffering

How I make sense of the pain I saw in the hospital last week.