Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner died yesterday. His writings gave many of us a better understanding of Judaism.
According to The New York Times and The Times of Israel, Jacob Neusner died yesterday. He was a Jewish scholar who “transformed the study of American Judaism, becoming one of the most influential 20th-century scholars of the religion.” Continue reading “Jacob Neusner (1932–2016)”
The Isaac narrative is all about the way Abraham’s descendants must follow in his footsteps.
Since Abraham laid the foundation of the nation that would restore the blessing of divine reign to the earth, what Abraham’s descendants must do is to follow in his footsteps. The Genesis narrator makes this point in the way he recounts Isaac’s life. Continue reading “Isaac: the next kingdom representative (Genesis 26)”
Like to see the places where the Bible’s stories took place? Join me for a tour of Israel.
Update 2016-10-11: Okay, we had lots of interest for the information night. Applications close 25 November 2016, or sooner if we have 40 applicants. Contact me if you need a copy of the info booklet.
Riverview Church is planning its first trip to Israel 11–27 May next year, and I will have the pleasure of joining you and explaining the significance of the places we’ll visit. The information night is this Monday (10 Oct), 6pm, in the newly opened Riverview Church building (Burswood, Western Australia).
Continue reading “Visit Israel with us”
What do the New Testament writers mean when they call Jesus “Christ”?
More than 500 times, the New Testament writers refer to Jesus as the Christ. It’s a title meaning the Anointed, and there’s a whole backstory behind that word. Continue reading “Jesus, the Christ”
The core of the OT narrative is the story of God’s reign.
There’s a plotline that integrates all the little narratives of the Bible into a purposeful story. With all the twists and turns of a suspense thriller, the Bible’s narrative has a single focus: the unfolding story of the kingdom of God.
Over the last five months we’ve traced the meta-narrative of the kingdom through the first half of Genesis. In the previous two years, I’ve personally pursued that journey through the rest of Genesis and Exodus. The integrated picture of God’s kingship and kingdom is absolutely stunning. Want a taste? Continue reading “The kingdom in the Old Testament”
How do you understand the gospel? Having a personal Saviour, or being the kingdom of God?
If the kingdom is so central to the Biblical narrative, why do we miss it?
In the last few hundred years, we’ve developed a culture where the spiritual is separate from the natural, where faith is separate from science, where the church is separate from state. I grew up in this world. When I was a child, an elder of our church taught me not to worry about people’s physical needs. “Leave it to the Salvos and the do-gooders to feed their bodies now,” he said. “What really matters is to save their souls so they go to heaven when they die.”
Continue reading “Your God is too small”
Missed a few posts in the last five months? Here’s a summary of the kingdom theme in Genesis 1–25 so you can catch up.
The phrase “kingdom of God” is quite rare in the Bible Jesus used (Old Testament), so why did he think it was the main message? Most people today don’t understand the kingdom to be the main message, probably because we don’t really understand what it means. But what if Jesus was right? Shouldn’t it be the primary goal for us as well? Why did he want his followers to seek first the kingdom of God? Continue reading “The kingdom theme: piecing it together”
Abraham lived his entire life for the kingdom of God.
Abraham is the most significant human so far. The narrator devoted more space to Abraham than to Adam, Cain, Lamech, Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Shem combined. Why was Abraham so important? His significance was his contribution to the kingdom of God. Continue reading “Abraham’s life: a summary (Genesis 12–25)”
How has the life of Abraham (Genesis 12–25) contributed to the narrative of the kingdom of God?
One hundred years Abraham has lived in Canaan. And what a life it’s been! Just as God promised, he became the father of many nations. Continue reading “What did Abraham achieve? (Genesis 25)”