The Fork in the Road: A Different Gospel, Part 3 (Gal 5 part 1)

Chapter 5

We skip to chapter 5 for the sake of space.

1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

V. 1 recalls that Paul had said in chapter 3 that the Law enslaves because we can’t obey it. Even if we only add circumcision as a salvation requirement, it destroys the gospel. Paul won’t allow even the first step toward legalism.

2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

You see, if you add one command, well, you have to add them all. Continue reading


BibleWorks 8.0: Now That I’ve Read One of the Instructions

BibleWorks 8 is definitely growing on me. Much of the awkwardness is gone, and my skills are growing. But I had to actually read one of the instructions — but just one.

The program bugs seems to have cleared with a couple of program updates — and I keep getting new free stuff. I just got Philo of Alexandria in the latest download! Very cool. Continue reading

A Different Way to Do Teen Ministry Campus Ministry Church, What This is Not ministry. Some congregations have seen the problem with overly segregating teens from adults and so have responded by having families do events and projects together. It’s a good idea. But it’s not the best idea. I mean it has some serious problems —

* Many teens come to church at the invitation of a friend and have no parents in church at all.

* Many teens have only one parent in church.

* And some teens have multiple step parents — leading to some very complex problems defining “parents” and “family.” Continue reading

At Last, Absolute Proof that the Churches of Christ Existed During the Renaissance

Thanks to the Sacred Sandwich.

The Fork in the Road: A Different Gospel, Part 2 (Gal 3)

Galatians 3

In a truly astonishing passage, Paul explains that our salvation is found not in the Law of Moses (no surprise) but in the covenant with Abraham (big surprise) —

(Gal 3:2 ESV) Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Paul is speaking particularly of the Law of Moses, but he contrasts it with “faith.” Continue reading

Re Marcion readers:

A few days ago, I began receiving several posts from someone arguing in favor of Marcionism, a Second Century heresy related to Gnosticism. The posts struck me as anti-Semitic and blasphemous, and so I blocked the sender — and I told him this.

I asked the readers if anyone wanted to engage in a debate with the commenter — because I just don’t have the time (or the inclination). No one volunteered, and so I continue to block the comments.

I continue to receive Marcionite comments, which I continue to block or delete — and now they are coming in from multiple addresses (but I suspect from the same person). Therefore, it’s at least possible that when I delete these comments, I delete a comment I shouldn’t have. I apologize if that happens.

Dear Marcionite commenter:

Please stop. There are thousands of blogs. Someone else will surely be glad to chat with you. I do not have the time or energy at this time to engage in this debate — and your persistent commenting is taking far too much of my time to police. If you continue, I will mark your comments as spam, which will block you on all WordPress blogs.

Business Advice for Church Leaders: Cash Reserves for a Church get emails —

Hi Jay. I frequent your blog and enjoy your thoughts. Although I don’t always agree I find your blog very thought provoking and helpful. For example, we now serve communion from the back of the auditorium!

I also have a copy of your tax and financial advice for elders. Do you have a recommended percentage of contributions that should be kept for emergencies? We try to be prudent about this but I also don’t think we should hoard money. My father, who once served as an elder, recommended at least one months contributions. What what be your advice? Continue reading