30 Tips on Christian Blogging, Part 1

Well, I’m a veteran blogger now. I’ve been at is for nearly 18 months! I’ve learned a little HTML (not much). And I can spell URL. (I’m not sure how to pronounce it, though.)

I’ve read a whole bunch of blogs by other people, largely on church issues and Alabama football (what else really matters?) And I think I’ve picked up a few things on how to do it worth sharing. The readers are encouraged to pitch in with other ideas. (Many of you have been at this much longer than I have!) Continue reading

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Wrap up for the month of May

It’s my custom to review activity on this blog at the end of each month. It’s a discipline that forces me to see what’s interesting to the the readership (and what’s not). It’s always surprising.

The hit count for May is nearly as high as back in March — the highest month so far — at nearly 20,000 hits and up 2,000 from April. I’m really not sure why it went back up.

Memorial Day weekend was really low, evidencing that my readers have lives and spend holidays with their families (my readers are well-balanced people), so I was surprised that the monthly total was actually up.

Here are the most popular posts for the month of May — Continue reading

Learning the Ropes

“Learning the ropes” is a nautical expression from the days of sailing the oceans. Any new crewman has to learn the ropes to know what to pull or loosen to make the ship go in the right direction. Some large boats have 20 tons of rope!

For a new elder or minister, the Restoration Movement ropes are many things, but our institutions are some of the ropes. Where do you go to hire a youth minister? Who can teach you how to run a missions program? Who can help resolve a conflict before it becomes a split? Where should you urge your children to attend college to train for the ministry?

Where do you find good Restoration Movement Sunday school material? Who knows about inner city ministries? or affordable housing? Continue reading

Tools of the Trade

I get emails. I just received this one from a reader, wondering what resources I use in my writing.

First of all, let me say how much I appreciate your writing. I am impressed with your ability to look at things from different perspectives.

I wanted to ask a personal question about the mechanics of your writing — not your thought processes when putting an article together, but what resources do you have available when you write? Do you utilize a large personal library? Do you have a lot of tools available on your computer? Do you do most of your research online, etc.?

You seem to pull information from a lot of different directions and your writing volume is substantial. So I am curious as to how you do it (and envious!). Keep up the good work.

Continue reading

Surprised by Hope: “Resurrection”

Resurrection in the ancient world

In the ancient world, “resurrection” always referred to a bodily resurrection. The word wasn’t used when the topic was the survival of our spiritual essence after death.

The pagans uniformly denied resurrection as a possibility, while some (not all) Jews believed in a resurrection. Most pagans believed in life after death. Few believed in a resurrection.

Of course, everyone knew that resurrections weren’t occurring right now! Therefore, resurrection referred to a physical resurrection occurring in the future, with people living as disembodied spirits while awaiting the resurrection. Continue reading

Buried Talents: 1 Tim 2, Usurping Authority — Definitions

Women or wives?

An alternative translation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is to take gune to mean wife and aner to mean husband. As discussed earlier, the words are completely ambiguous in the Greek, and the distinction can only be found from the context.

Because the Greek language uses the same word for woman and wife, Paul sometimes uses the word in both senses in the same context, assuming for rhetorical purposes, as the language assumes, that adult women are married. This leaves the translation of gune in many contexts very difficult, since in our culture such an assumption is not permitted.

Let’s see if we get a better result by translating gune as wife and aner as husband: Continue reading

Buried Talents: 1 Tim 2, Usurping Authority — False Teachers and Unlearned Women

The traditional interpretation of this passage is that women may not teach in public but may teach in private. Of course, nothing in the passage mentions teaching in public — rather it appears that all teaching by women is prohibited. But such an interpretation is contradicted by Priscilla’s teaching of Apollos (Acts 18:26). It is often argued that 1 Tim 2 is all about the public worship. However, this would mean that Paul was only concerned that women dress modestly at church or that women may exercise authority over men outside the public worship.

Thus, there are several difficulties with this interpretation. First, we don’t allow women to teach men in Sunday School, even though when we consider 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, we declare that women can ask questions in Sunday School, since it is a “private” setting. How it can be that Sunday School is public in the context of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and private in the context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 is beyond me! Continue reading