Tag Archives: Bible

B90X – “How to Interest Young People in the Bible”

In googling a list of who was young in the Bible, this article popped up.  BibleAt first glance, when reading the preamble, the thought occurred to me, “Wow, Ms. Beard has really nailed the condition of our contemporary culture.”   Then when reading further into the article, it occurred to me that the language and vocabulary did not fit our culture.

In perusing the site just a bit further, it was discovered that the article was written in January 1917!  Maybe things do not change as much as we think they do.

The article is just at 96 years old.  Frederica Beard postulates that one of reasons young people do not read is because they see the Bible as mere precepts and not as story.  In reading through the Bible in 90 Days, gobbling up so much material at a time, the idea that the Bible is story sure resonates.

* The Bible was not intended to be a sound bite.
* The Bible is not a selection of verses used out of context in a verbal battle.
*The Bible  is not a sleep aid.
*The Bible is not a list of moral code.

The Bible is varied literary genre about Father’s interaction with humans.  That interaction belongs in story.  It belongs in humanizing the Bible.  It is a real book– about real people– dealing with real life issues, problems, and challenges.

If you have the time to read the article, it is worth both the time and the fun.  You will engage a writer from a divergent east coast perspective, yet more familiar than might be presumed.

Prayer for our Kids day 19 – Humility

“God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all” (Titus 3:2).

“Show true humility toward all.” Think about that for a minute. What does that look like, true humility to everyone? We live in a very proud nation. We’re proud to be Americans, proud to live in such a beautiful state as Colorado, proud of our families, our pets, jobs, kids, sports teams just to name a few. But, are we living how we were called?

humilityHere are a few more things to think about from the Bible on humility:

“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (Proverbs 29:23).

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:12-14).

Pride leads to humiliation and disgrace. Humility brings honor, wisdom and good works.

I’ve always said that it’s important to take pride in your hard work for example, but I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Instead we are told to “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23). I think I’m going to have to re-evaluate my entire life view after writing this.

What does it really look like to live in humility?

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

B90X- Genesis thoughts Pt. 2

Have ever driven down the same road over and over again thinking you know every pothole, every curve, and every sight along the way? Then one day you notice something you have never seen before and wonder how you missed it.   Whether it is a building, a feature to the terrain, art of some sort, or an old sign.

The same thing happens to me every time I read the Bible.  I have no idea how many times I have read through the scriptures.  Whether for a seminary class, preparing for a sermon, B90X, or just feeding my own soul.  Each and every time, there seems to be something that catches my attention I had never seen or had never cognitively ruminated.

point of interestToday’s Biblical “Roadside Point of Interest” is found in Genesis 41.  Joseph has been in prison a full two years.  Pharaoh has a dream, is puzzled by it, and needs it interpreted.  Pharaoh’s cupbearer recalls a young man who can interpret dreams and tells Pharaoh about him.  Pharaoh send for this dream interpreter.

One sentence that grabbed my imagination- “When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh”  (NIV).  What did he look like?  Was he scraggly looking?  Was he dirty and where would he have cleaned up?   What did his clothes look like and where did he get a fresh set?

I digress.  The thought occurred to me on how we present our selves to others.  How we dress when we speak to a public official or stand in a position of authority?  Do we take the time to look neat and tiddy before others.  Did it matter?  The message is the message.  But yes, appearances do matter.  It is the first impression thing.  It was important for Joseph to look presentable as he had his moment in the presence of the Pharaoh.

I thought about the process of taking off and putting on that shows up in the Bible.  There is lots of imagery of taking of something lesser and putting on something greater.

“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”  (Is. 61:3).

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, … and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-23).

“Put on the full armor of God” (Eph 6:13).

“So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12).

Colossians 3:14 tells us to “put on love.”

Let’s shave and put on a fresh set of outerwear.  Blessings.

 

Divorce rate among Christians.

For my entire life as a Christ-follower, I have heard that the divorce rate among folks in the churches I attended was no different than that of the secular population. It always puzzled me that somehow those who were really working hard to have a Biblical influence in their lives would look no different in the marriage department than anyone else.

This kind of promotion of statistics did not help me. Were we all really the same? Just because the average divorce rate in the US was roughly 50%, did that mean I had to fall in the statistical quincunx box. I didn’t want that for my life.

The other day, I ran across a more reasonable chart showing some data on divorce rates in various religious demographics.

Finally, some relief.  Not true after all. I feel so much better. I want the best relationship with my wife I can possible have and remain faithful to my vow “til death do we part.”

Weighing in on the Fourth C. Papyrus.

No one really knows where it came from. The fragment of papyrus is no bigger than a business card. First surfacing in 1997, the wispy section of fiber contains portions of sentences scrawled  in Coptic professing, quite clearly, that Jesus had a wife and that it is OK for her to be one of his disciples.

Papyrologists struggle with empirical evidence of those who state the document is authentic. The type of material, the ink used, the language, the wording, the style of lettering, the apparent emboldening of the word TA for “my” preceding wife, and much more. Is it a forgery just to throw folks who say his singleness and celibacy are relevant to his divinity, message, and lifestyle?

It is certainly possible for this to be authentic in date. However, the question arises as to the author and the purpose of the writing. Gnostic gospels and writings have for millennium been known for their errant descriptions and fictitious nature, almost revisionist in pursuit of something completely different than the historic Jesus.

Would it matter to any of us? Does it change how we perceive and/or Jesus?Does it change his message? What if it were true that Jesus were married? What if the gospel writers, Paul, Peter, and even James and Jude, both half-brothers of Jesus kept that information from us in their letters? Much less that it potentially was Mary Magdalene, a woman of questionable career choice early in life?

Or is this just a red-herring to whip folks into a frenzy? A ruse to mess with the Catholic Church tradition of single clerics?

Here are some links detailed articles on the matter:
Our own very own, Denver Post

NT Blog - “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” blog post

Concordia Theology BlogAn Ancient Manuscript and Jesus’ Wife?

From the Boston Globe “Harvard professor identifies scrap of papyrus suggesting some early Christians believed Jesus was married”

Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K. - “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed.”

Thank you Denver Seminary for your ongoing scholarly work on matters like this. You force me and others to think theologically, spiritually, and worshipfully.