The Living Soul

A quick explanation of what the English word “soul” means in the Bible from the folks over at The Bible Project. Continue reading “The Living Soul”

Timely Truth

One of the most popular descriptions of the Bible is that it is a repository of “timeless truths.” It is a sentiment that is often assumed even outside explicitly Christian circles. Even though I am a Christian who takes the Bible seriously as the word of God, I have come to find this description quite unhelpful for a number of reasons. Continue reading “Timely Truth”

A New Love for the Old

The Pilgrim’s Pensieve #26

Yesterday I suddenly realised that I love the Old Testament. Continue reading “A New Love for the Old”

The Pilgrim’s Pensieve #25

Lost Direction

My first ever post in this series was more or less my manifesto. Coming from a Pentecostal/Charismatic background I’ve seen the movement’s brilliance but also its shortcomings, which I have personally experienced and been harmed by. I am not willing to throw out the baby with the bath water but the movement does need a reformation. On my part I do not hold any pretensions that I can save Pentecostalism but I do want to recover for myself a biblical vision of a charismatic faith. I’ve made quite a lot of progress pursuing some tough questions even though many still remain. Continue reading “The Pilgrim’s Pensieve #25”

Is Easter pagan in origin?

BIG Questions

It pops up repeatedly on social media this time each year.

A graphic on Facebook proclaims that “Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility.”

A meme on Twitter touts, “The real reason Easter exists: meet the Germanic goddess Eostre, her existence began with the Anglo-Saxon Pagans.”

Attempt to fact-check suchclaims via the internet, and you’ll find as many contradicting “historical facts” as you’ll find fish in the Aquarium where I work. (Even dictionaries and other purveyors of etymology can’t seem to agree on the origins of the word “Easter.”)

So didpagan cults celebrate something called “Easter” prior to Christianity?

Ultimately, the answer to that question really doesn’t matter. Because, regardless of what title we assign to this coming Sunday, the BIGGER question is this: “did the resurrection of Jesus Christ that Christians celebrate on Sunday actually happen?”

“But Matt,” a skeptic may…

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Confessions of an Ex-Dispensationalist or the Rapture Left Behind

It seems it’s becoming a tradition on this platform that during important liturgical seasons in the church calendar I post material that has nothing to do with it. I am not deliberately trying to be contrarian but it always seems to turn out that way. This time around I want to talk about the rapture, something that is usually not discussed during this period but then again it does not have its own designated period. However, I do think Easter is probably the most appropriate time to talk about it. I have never discussed it here before but this time I have been prompted to do so by a recent conversation I had with a friend. Continue reading “Confessions of an Ex-Dispensationalist or the Rapture Left Behind”

Leaving Behind the Rapture

Renowned New Testament scholar and theologian, N.T. Wright once remarked,

Little did Paul know how his colourful metaphors for Jesus’ second coming would be misunderstood two millennia later.

He was talking about the popular misunderstanding of scripture that is the rapture.  Continue reading “Leaving Behind the Rapture”