Showing posts from August, 2014

Everything You Love About Jesus is Actually from the Old Testament

Those who compare the New and Old Testaments can walk away scratching their heads, wondering if the two are equally valid products of the same God. The words and actions of Jesus seem infused with love and forgiveness, whereas the words and actions of God in the Old Testament can seem more focused on wrath and judgment. How do we reconcile the two? Should we reconcile the two? Yes, I believe they can be reconciled—but not by ignoring or dismissing their differences. The truth is, there are plenty of apparent contradictions in Scripture. To ignore them or pretend they don’t exist would be intellectually dishonest. However, as I explained last week , one thing we shouldn’t do is use the words of Christ to somehow disprove all the potentially controversial words of God in the Old Testament. Such an act might possibly be based on good motives, but it is nonetheless misguided. In order to deal with the narrative and theological tensions that do exist, it does us no good to creat

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pit Jesus Against the Old Testament

Before I (possibly) step on your toes, let me help you put on a pair of shoes. That is, let’s establish some common ground first. In order for us to know and understand Him, God revealed His true nature and character most clearly in human form—that is, in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Thus, the best way to interpret the Bible is by reading it through what some have called the “Jesus lens.” Are we agreed so far? Good. Now, here’s where it can get tricky. (And I’m sorry about your toes in advance.) Author Andrew Wilson explains that, for some people, reading through the Jesus lens means approaching hard-to-swallow Old Testament passages like this: [F]iguring that Jesus could never have condoned [them], and then concluding that the text represents a primitive, emerging, limited picture of God, as opposed to the inclusive, wrath-free God we find in Jesus. Not so much a Jesus lens, then, as a Jesus tea-strainer: not a piece of glass that influences your reading of the tex

In Defense of (Some) Sex in Movies

Hollywood needs to deal with sexual themes in its movies. Not all of them, of course, but some of them. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you might find that statement—and this article’s title—surprising. After all, I’ve been campaigning against both the use of porn in mainstream entertainment and the abuse of actors that said porn often necessitates. Actors are people too , and their emotional and spiritual well-being should be the concern of every Christian moviegoer . That being said, it’s possible to take any argument too far. Some readers might interpret me to be saying what I am not saying at all—that any and all references to sex or sexuality should be eliminated from public storytelling. Yes, some prudes are Christians, but not all Christians are prudes. As a Christian movie patron, I hope to act with prudence, not prudishness. Why support the prudent portrayals of sexuality in films? Because both the uses and abuses of sex are a part

“Sex Scenes in Movies Don’t Bother Me”

One night, you go to see a movie with a group of friends. In the middle of the movie, the two main characters take their clothes off and have sex. You console yourself with the knowledge that this isn’t why you came to see the movie in the first place. Truth be told, your heart enjoyed soaking up the sights and sounds of that scene, but you know that’s not something you’re supposed to admit in a group setting—especially since some of your fellow moviegoers also go to your church. To cover up your apparent weakness (no one else seemed to be negatively affected), you talk about how tragic it was for the filmmakers to stain an otherwise good movie with that one scene. Everyone agrees, and no one is the wiser about the struggle in your heart. Maybe you can identify with the above scenario. Then again, maybe you can’t. Based solely on discussions I’ve had with other believers, it would appear that most people can’t identify with the scenario. Probably the most often expressed exp