CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Difficult Bible Passages Jeremiah 29:11

Aug 27, 2015

Is this in fact a difficult passage? Well, not so much – the difficulty arises when it is rather misused and abused by various believers today. The difficulty arises, as usual, when context is ignored and the passage is used

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Do We Have God’s Heart On This?

Jul 10, 2015

One good test to decide if we really are sons and daughters of the Living God is if we share his heart on important issues. The true child of God will of course think as God thinks and even feel

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Difficult Bible Passages: Matthew 5:22

Jul 7, 2015

The main difficulty about the last portion of this verse is pretty evident: Jesus tells us here not to do something which is done repeatedly in Scripture, and even often done by Jesus himself. This threefold warning found here has

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2 Chronicles 7:14 in Context

May 2, 2015

One of the most famous and most often recited passages from the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Most Christians know it well and mention it often. It says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble

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Truth and Consequences

Apr 30, 2015

With plenty of public discussion over a recent case of capital punishment, I have regrettably noted an incredibly high level of confusion, misinformation, illogic, and just plain biblical illiteracy about these matters. It seems that far too many Christians are

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Polygamy and Scripture

Apr 9, 2015

We expect those pushing radical agendas like the various sexual libertines, especially the homosexual lobby, to try their best to attack and twist Scripture as they seek to rationalise their sordid behaviours. Thus those calling for things like homosexual marriage

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Hermeneutics and Blood Transfusions

Apr 9, 2015

If this seems to be yet another rather bizarre or opaque title, just hold onto your hats: all is about to be revealed. Let me start with hermeneutics. For the uninitiated, this simply is about the practice or discipline of

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Difficult Bible Passages: James 2:13

Feb 21, 2015

The last half of James 2:13 says this: “Mercy triumphs over judgment”. This passage is not so much a difficult passage as it is one which is regularly misused and abused. It is often hauled out to say something which

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The Sword of Romans 13

Feb 13, 2015

My topic here involves how we are to understand the sword – and the state’s use of it – as found in Paul’s discussion of government authority in Romans 13:1-7. Many scholars understand this to be a reference to the

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Difficult Bible Passages: Romans 13:1-7

Dec 3, 2014

I have included this passage of Scripture in my series of difficult Bible texts not so much because it is quite difficult to grasp or interpret, but because it – and what it addresses – has often been the subject

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It’s Time To Get Serious

Oct 8, 2014

I love being in the gospel of Matthew again. And the best way to read it is to pray that it strikes you as if reading it for the very first time, without any preconceived ideas, theology, or spin. Of

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Difficult Bible Passages: Matthew 5:22

Aug 14, 2014

There are two main reasons why this passage is problematic: it seems to forbid something which is done elsewhere in Scripture, and it offers a very strong penalty for something which does not seem that bad. It has to do

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Difficult Bible Passages: 1 Samuel 28

Apr 3, 2014

The episode in the Old Testament about Saul and the witch of Endor raises a number of questions, chief of which is this: Can God use a means which he had expressly forbidden elsewhere? Other questions include: Did Samuel actually

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Difficult Bible Passages: 1 Samuel 16:14

Mar 24, 2014

This is a passage which bothers many folks – both believers and non-believers. It seems to make God the author of evil, or at least make him responsible for particular evil outcomes. The verse says this: “Now the Spirit of

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On Adiaphora

Nov 15, 2013

OK, to save you scrambling for your dictionaries or your Greek phrase books let me spill the beans here: this term means ‘things indifferent’. In theological jargon, it refers to those things which are neither sanctioned nor prohibited by Scripture.

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Surrogacy and Scripture

Sep 17, 2013

As advances in Assisted Reproductive Technologies continue to take place, more and more couples are taking advantage of these new means to have children. Surrogacy is one such method. While there are various types of surrogacy now available, they all

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