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Several conundrums in the Hebrew Scriptures are resolved in the New Testament.  They are such that they require solutions that are not offered in the Hebrew Scriptures but that are offered in the New Testament.  Ten of these will be noted here. First, the Hebrew Scriptures present God as one and yet as relational.  His relational character is not an acquired part of His identity after the
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Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Read this passage in the Modernist, colonial era from a postmillennial (i.e., basically that the Church is growing greater until
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The popular understanding of the Pharisees is that they were legalists.  This is not, however, Jesus’ criticism of their ethics, even though the charge of Pharisaic legalism comes from a (mis)reading of the Gospels.  The Pharisees are cast in popular imagination as the quintessential example of legalists, overly focussed on rules and promoting works in order to attain righteousness apart from
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Introduction In Matthew 15, two adjacent pericopae (episodes) suggest an important theological relationship: the connection between ethics and theology or, more particularly, between an ethic of the heart and faith in Jesus Christ.  The first pericope involves an incident when Jesus’ disciples are criticized by the Pharisees for not washing their hands before they ate.  This allows Jesus to
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Does the unborn child have a soul?  Let us imagine a conversation between Aristotle (the 4th c. BC Greek philosopher) and some contemporary politician calling for abortion at any time up to the moment of birth.  We’ll call her ‘H’.  H. and A. are watching the recent news on television about abortion legislation in the United States.  During a commercial, H. turns to A. and begins the dialogue.
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We tend to read Romans as a theological explanation of our salvation, a clarification about how we are justified or made righteous.  This is a part—a large part—of what Romans teaches.  If you check in your English Standard Version translation of Romans, for instance, you will find that Romans mentions ‘justification’ three times, ‘justify’ one time, and ‘just’ and ‘justifier’ in one verse (3.26
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The purpose of this brief essay is to offer a different basis for freedom than that given in post-Enlightenment, free societies of the West.  The argument presented is that freedom understood as a universal human right ends up with various conflicting views and fails in a variety of ways.  Christians often seek to establish freedom for their faith on the grounds of universal rights, but the
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In Martin Luther’s day, a list of proposed theses would be posted somewhere in public (like the church door) so that they could be read ahead of a debate.  Day in and day out, I am involved with discussions or debates about theological education—its curriculum, its costs, its goals, its modes of delivery, etc.  These theses, then, represent views I have come to ‘after the debate’.  And yet, most
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Earlier New Testament scholarship—say, in the 1960s-1980s—was beholden to the idea that the early Church began as a ‘charismatic’ movement that developed into a ‘catholic’ institution by the beginning of the second century.  This ‘early Catholicism’ theory was defined in terms of one cause and two developments.  What allegedly precipitated this development was a supposed crisis: (1) the delay of
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The Senate Judicial Committees’ hearings on the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were painful enough to watch.  Yet they captured social pressure points throughout society.  The elephant in the room was the Roe v. Wade decision that unborn children lack personhood and may be put to death at any time up to birth.  That dividing issue in the USA led to all the tricks and

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