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Archives for Re-examining How We Read the Bible

So morning came way too quickly. I was eating breakfast, and I needed caffeine, quickly and massively. I pulled into a local coffee shop and ordered an espresso. I began sipping while reading the morning paper on my smartphone.

Just as the fog was beginning to clear, the phone rang. It was Stanley. “Sorry. I know I’m getting to be a…

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Over the last 20 years I have come to believe that Exodus 34.6-7 is perhaps one of, if not the, most important texts in the whole Bible. This is fascinating to me because growing up and going to church all of my life previously I can testify I never heard of it. And since encountering the text I can also testify that many many believers know…

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It was late, but for some reason, I was keyed up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep for a while. And so I went looking for a snack — even though my wife had thrown all my snacks out, to “encourage” me to lose some weight. Finally, I found my grandson’s stash of chocolate Teddy Grahams, and began…

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“Sorry for the soap box speech. I get a little wound up with all this biscuits, barbecue, and lemon pie in me. And by the way, I’m buying. I enjoy talking about God, Jesus, and the Spirit so much that I happily pay.”

Stanley objected. “Look. I know you’re time is valuable, but I just have to ask a couple of more…

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“So what does that mean about my faith? And all the other alleged contradictions?”

“Well, there have been some fairly lengthy books written laying out alleged contradictions, and some are pretty tough to sort out. This is one. But there are others.

“And I can only speak for myself, but they just don’t bother me in the least. I mean, I lose…

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Stanley leaned back and drew in a breath. “You’re right. But it still bothers me that there are these contradictions. They seem to seriously impeach the credibility — a good legal term — the credibility of these witnesses. If they’re in error about small things, then maybe they’re in error about big things.”

“Ah, we should talk about that,” I said….

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I had just taught my Sunday morning Bible class when our campus minister approached me. “You know Stanley — he’s in pre-law at the University — don’t you?” I’m a lawyer, and so I usually meet the pre-law students who come through my church’s campus ministry.

“Sure. A good kid. I little intense, I think, but that’ll serve him well when…

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When I finished reading Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel, I was neither angry nor enthused. I was sad.

The arguments, proof texts, and methods were familiar, even the attitude was somewhat familiar. I had heard it before, and I had even used very similar, if not the same, arguments myself some thirty years ago.

Over those thirty years I have slowly shifted from reading Scripture as a legal…

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I love learning.

I love books.

I love conversations, lectures, study groups that stretch my understanding and give voice to my own ideas and questions.

And if I could, were it possible to do so, I would start another degree program today.

I love school.

I love education.

That makes me a strange bird in some circles.

Knowing my fondness for all the things mentioned above, I have had family and friends who for years have…

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Devotional reading luxuriates in the text, waiting for ways that words, ideas, characters, and situations in Scripture can prompt insights. Below are five ways to spend time with Scripture, which in my experience provide ways to see the text anew. Sometimes what I discover is a new detail I never noticed before or a question I never asked of the…

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