COVID-19 & the Book of Job

In the interview below, Old Testament scholar John Walton shares profound and challenging insights from the Book of Job and how it pertains to the global pandemic. Continue reading “COVID-19 & the Book of Job”

A Definite Gospel (Part 1)

Among Christians, the gospel is considered foundational and we like to think that we know what it is. However, when you pay attention to how believers talk about it, there is some fuzziness regarding what it exactly is. Part of the reason for this imprecision is the fact that the gospel is central. Practically every theological issue orbits around it with varying degrees of separation. It is therefore quite easy to bundle issues into the gospel, especially if they are closely related, even though they might be quite distinct. Continue reading “A Definite Gospel (Part 1)”

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for Today

One of the most well-known phrases in the New Testament about music is that we should sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” which is found in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. We need to know what this little phrase means to properly understand the scriptures and so we can properly live it out today. So what are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?

First of all, what Paul and the early believers understood as music was obviously conditioned by their time. Obviously, music varies from culture to culture and from era to era. So for instance when the New Testament talks about hymns it clearly does not mean what we call hymns today. Therefore, we need to understand in historical context what the well-known phase meant. Continue reading “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for Today”

Modern Idols

It is pretty common to hear Western Christian thinkers and commentators talk about and warn against idolatry. The issue of idolatry even appears in some popular Christian worship songs. Idolatry is a real thing and the prohibition against it is a very serious matter for Christians being enshrined in the second commandment. Furthermore, it is a perennial concern throughout the Scriptures. It therefore is certainly something worth talking about and guarding against. However, even though these Christian commentators undoubtedly have real, legitimate concerns, I am not certain what they are talking about is actual idolatry. Continue reading “Modern Idols”

The Shame of the Cross

Over the last year or so I have been learning more about honour-shame cultures and how they impact the way we read the Bible, particularly how we understand and communicate the Gospel. The Roman world in which the Jesus’ movement emerged consisted of honour-shame cultures. While I have recognized its importance, its only very recently that I have begun to fully grasp its significance. The insight came from reading a short but illuminating article from Jennie Pollock over at Think Theology entitled Global Glory. She writes: Continue reading “The Shame of the Cross”