• Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics,  New Testament

    Avoid Every Appearance of Evil (1 Thess 5:22)

    Growing up I often heard the King James Version rendition of 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” The implication of course was that Christians should avoid even the appearance of evil, not just evil actions themselves. Unfortunately this verse, like many others, has often been misinterpreted and misapplied. English Translations of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Comparing the various English translations, we can see that only the KJV translates this verse as “appearance of evil.” There is a significant difference between “appearance of evil” and “form/kind of evil.” Hence, we note that it is the KJV against the rest of the English translations. Although some would use this difference…

  • Christian Living,  Church,  New Testament

    Should Christians Confess their Sins?

    One question I periodically come across is whether there a place for Christians to confess their sins after conversion. Obviously it is an integral part of Christianity to believe that all sin (past, present, and future) has been dealt with by Christ on the cross. He has paid for all sin in full, assuring the believer of forgiveness and a future hope of eternity with Christ in heaven. So, is there any need to confess sin after conversion? Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living,  Church

    Does God Command Believers to Fast?

    I remember listening to a sermon one time and the preacher was telling us that he would fast to reprioritize his life. He said that one time he experienced a fast for 30 days, leading to a tremendous religious experience. In relating this story, he seemed to imply that we ought to fast in order to experience that as well. This kind of belief is not uncommon. In fact, with simple searches you can find guides on Christian fasting. Of course the assumption is that this is something we should intentionally be pursuing. However, I am convinced that the church is not commanded to fast. Rather, fasting is a natural…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    Christian Ethics and Worldview Systems

    Everyone is responsible for their actions, thus ultimately everyone has to decide whether an action is right or whether it is wrong. Even those who reject God must still have a system for determining whether something is right or wrong. One name for this systematic reasoning is called ethics. Ethics is simply a philosophy of determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong. There are two basic systems which people hold to in determining right and wrong. Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living

    What is the Benefit of Trials for a Christian?

    Going through trials and difficulties is a sure thing for everyone. It is not a matter of if you are going to experience trials, but rather when you experience them. Coming to Jesus initially requires acknowledging the high cost of following Him, but even a Christian’s daily life requires us to recognize trials and difficulties will be a part of our earthly existence. Knowing this, it is of the utmost importance to think about a theology of trials ahead of time. Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    Happiness is not the Ultimate Goal for Christians

    Unfortunately it is common to view happiness as the ultimate goal in life. This trend seems to be increasing with more people literally searching for happiness than ever before. Although this might be expected from unbelievers, who don’t know better, viewing happiness as the ultimate goal in life is actually quite common among professing Christians as well. An illustration of heralding happiness as the ultimate pursuit is an infamous sermon from Victoria Osteen, wife and co-pastor with Joel Osteen (her husband). In front of a church of 40,000+ people in Texas she said the following. Read the Whole Article

  • Apologetics,  Christian Living

    Must You Have Experience to Truly Know?

    It is very common in today’s culture to argue that experience is the ultimate authority. However, as I have written before, not only is it foolish, but it is dangerous to elevate experience as the determiner of truth. Additionally, Christians need to be adamant that lack of experience does not prohibit one from having an opinion or even speaking authoritatively on an issue. The idea that experience is not the decisive argument is counter cultural. It is extremely common to hear arguments like, “You don’t know what it is like,” “You have not been there,” or “You are not like me, so you don’t know.” Whether it is a culturally…

  • Apologetics,  Christian Living

    The Folly of Government Without God

    If there was no God, why would you obey the government? In today’s increasingly secularized culture, there are massive efforts to remove God from the public life. But one important argument that needs to be made is that if God is removed from society, the whole foundation for the authority structures within that society crumble. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Romans 13:1-2). Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living

    Comparison: the Good and the Bad

    “Comparison is the Thief of Joy” is a common saying, but I’m not sure who said it first. It is certainly true that some kinds of comparison can cause problems. But is all comparison wrong? In order to think through this issue, I ran a quick Bible search in the New Testament looking at all of the comparative adjectives (183 of them to be precise). Rather than list all of them, I want to just give some general observations from Matthew. Read the Whole Article

  • Christian Living,  Ethics

    The Bible and Pets: a Theology of Animals

    Americans love pets! It is reported that 67% of American households own a pet (the top pets being dogs). The amount of money Americans spend on their pets grows each year, increasing over 50% between 2013 and 2018. That means people spent $87 billion dollars on their pets in 2018! To put these numbers in perspective, in 2018 couples spent $845 on average per year on pets! Over 10 years (an average life span of a dog), that would mean spending $8,450 on one animal! Given the value that people put on their pets, it comes as no surprise that many hold to a viewpoint that pets are inherently equal…