Showing posts from 2017

Isaac, Abraham's Only Son?

I had a second discussion today as well. I preached on Gen 22 last week, and an observant person noted that while the text says Isaac is Abraham’s “only son,” he actually had another son at the time, Ishmael.
This is a classic example of where we need to read a term in context to understand it. The term “only” is יָחִיד (yā·ḥîḏ). If we take it literally, there is a clash with Gen 16, where Ishmael is born. However, when we come to a term like “only” or “all” in Scripture, we shouldn’t just immediately think that every time it has a pure “same as everywhere” meaning. So, for example, in 1 Tim 4:10, Jesus is “the Savior of all people.” If we literalise this, we end up with universalism; Jesus saved everyone, period. However, when we consider all of Paul’s theology, clearly he did not believe this. What he means is that Jesus is the savior of all people who believe. Potentially, he is savior of all, if they will yield. So, we have to take care to interpret “all” here in context (especiall…

The Sign of Jonah and Three Days and Three Nights

I had an interesting conversation after church today. I preached on Jonah 2 and referenced the “sign of Jonah” from Matt 12:38–42. A wonderfully passionate Christian in my church was keen to discuss whether Jesus was dead three days and nights, which would align with Matt 12:40: “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” He went as far as suggesting that I was not taking Jesus at his word by not believing that Jesus rose three days and nights after his death.

I suggested that the sign wasn’t so much related to the exact three days and three nights, but that Jesus died and rose again, which parallels Jonah in the belly of the fish and being “resurrected” onto a beach. The exact timing is not the point. What I said, clearly did not satisfy my friend, and so I said I would do a bit more research.

The first thing to note is that in later references in Matthew’s Gospel…

Who Is the Foremost Theological Provider?

The other day I was at the graduation of another college. Overall it was a great experience, it being wonderful to see another group of students graduate. I was especially pleased to see a relative and some friends gaining postgraduate awards. Hats off to the hard work done by the staff and students who serve Christ in that context. This institution is doing great things for our Lord Jesus, and for that, I give thanks and praise.
The leader of the institution gave a great crisp message in which he stated how the college loves the things of God, I was stirred by this. He articulated his hope that the students would embody humble servanthood in their ministries. I wanted to shout a loud amen. I wanted to come to this college! A student then spoke, quite brilliantly to be honest. He was a great advertisement for the work this college is doing.
Later came the keynote speaker. He gave a good presentation but lost me with one of his lines, a statement to the effect that this institution is …

Should Women Lead Churches and Preach?

Conversations with students and on Facebook suggest to me that there is a rise in concern over women in ministry; particularly, their exercising leadership and authority in a church and preaching/teaching groups including men. As such, I thought I would write a blog explaining why I passionately defend women in all forms of ministry in an uncluttered way. If people want to, it is not difficult to track down resources that go into such things in more detail. The positions I espouse are widely held among egalitarians where gender is concerned.
Before outlining the reasons, a few caveats are in order. What I will say does not deny that men and women are different, and that gender is a glorious gift. Some aspects of our genderness are set, e.g. where women are concerned, giving birth and breast-feeding. Gender is a creational gift. This blog accepts this premise but presents a list of reasons why I believe the Bible endorses that woman can lead churches and preach.
This issue is treated a…