• Church

    The Münster Rebellion: Unveiling the Forgotten Chapter in Church History

    Understanding history is not merely an exercise in nostalgia or intellectual curiosity. History holds profound significance for Christians today. Studying the past provides invaluable insights into the events that have shaped the course of society and the church. When we study the events and individuals that have influenced the church throughout the centuries, we can gain a deeper understanding of present-day dilemmas. Furthermore, the positive examples in church history can inspire us through the unwavering devotion and resilience of those who have gone before us. One captivating (although lesser known) chapter in church history is the sad tale of the Münster Rebellion. This compelling story unfolds as a complex narrative, blending religious zeal, political turmoil, and the pursuit of the utopian ideals of a kingdom on earth. When we unravel the lessons embedded within this tragedy, we find a few key takeaways that are worthy of contemplation. Although there is…

  • New Testament,  Theology

    Do Jesus’s Kingdom Parables Support Postmillennialism?

    Postmillennialists often appeal to Jesus’s parables in Matthew 13 as clear evidence that the kingdom will increase from a small contingent to take over the whole world, so that most of the world becomes genuine believers in Christ. The two most common parables appealed to by Postmillennialists are the parable of the mustard seed which becomes a tree, and the leaven which leavens the whole lump. He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in…

  • Christian Living,  Church

    Supporting Others in Times of Tragedy: Practical Guidelines for Helping Others

    Knowing how to respond to someone experiencing tragedy can be challenging, but as members of a local church community, it is our responsibility to share in one another’s crises. Scripture provides valuable guidance in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, which encourages us to admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. These principles serve as a foundation for practical applications when speaking to someone in a crisis. But how does this look in practice? This article aims to provide three practical ways that we can comfort and support fellow brothers and sisters during difficult times. We Can Engage in Conversation Despite not fully understanding what someone is going through, we can still reach out to them and convey our love and care. It is natural to feel hesitant when addressing individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one, fearing that we may evoke painful…

  • Apologetics,  Culture,  Ethics

    How Can Same-Sex Relationships be Wrong?

    How can same-sex relationships be wrong if they don’t hurt anyone? Can’t we all just live and let live? This is a common objection to the biblical view that same-sex relationships are wrong. The argument is often stated this way: if two adults want to engage in a consensual same-sex relationship, if there is no harm done, why disallow them that freedom? The implication of this kind of argumentation is that if something is not harmful, it is good (or at least allowable). Although this is a common argument, it actually falters on multiple levels. The appeal to allow same-sex relationships since there is no harm done should be challenged for two significant reasons. First, the issue of harm is distinct from the question of morality. Whether something is right or wrong does not depend on whether it is harmful to other people or not. Just from a logical standpoint…

  • Apologetics,  Christian Living,  Hermeneutics,  New Testament,  Theology

    Starting with Jesus is Terrible for Your Theology

    It is good that we recognize Jesus as the sovereign Lord. But is it justifiable to start with Jesus when it comes to forming theology? Many Christians assume that is the place to start. For example, I was once listening to a podcast and the subject was raised about how we formulate our theology. One speaker said something like, “We must get our theology from the life and person of Jesus who is God incarnate. If your theology does not match with who he is, then go back to him and start over.” This is such a popular idea, there is even a book available that is entitled, Let’s Start with Jesus: A New Way of Doing Theology. In the previously mentioned podcast, one of the reasons this particular individual wanted to start with Jesus was to circumvent the validity of other parts of Scripture that seem to be quite…

  • Christian Living,  Theology

    Optimistic vs. Pessimistic Eschatology: An Unhelpful Paradigm

    In recent days, I have seen an uptick in lazy argumentation by people appealing to “optimistic eschatology,” pitting it against a “pessimistic eschatology.” Although there are exceptions, postmillennialists have primarily used this argument against premillennialists and amillennialists. Postmillennialists believe that, over time, the church will emerge victorious gradually by progressively triumphing over the world. In postmillennial theology, eventually most of the world will embrace the gospel, which will largely bring about the end of Christian persecution. According to this “optimistic” eschatology, Matthew 16:18 gives assurance of the church’s progressive victory over the forces of darkness, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Postmillennialists point to the great commission as evidence that Jesus has all power and dominion and is currently reigning from the Davidic throne with all that was ever intended entail (cf. Matt 28:18). All nations will bow before His rule…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Old Testament,  Theology

    Swift Justice: The Biblical Importance of Timely Judgment

    In a previous existence, I held a job where I was responsible for upholding the principles of fairness and accountability. And by that, I mean I was a high school swim coach. I loved swimming, and I loved helping others feel pain through swimming. I enjoyed the job immensely, but early on, I learned a valuable lesson about the necessity of timely justice. From the outset, I was basically doomed. Although I had been a swimmer myself, I really didn’t have an appropriate appreciation for the theological depravity of man. So, I developed a system where if someone broke the rules, they would have to submit themselves to pushups as punishment after practice. Breaking the rules included goofing off, ignoring commands, and the like. Well, after about 3 days of trying to implement this system, I realized it was a complete and unmitigated disaster. What happened was all fairly predictable.…

  • Christian Living,  Church,  Theology

    Why Go to Church?

    Attending church has been a long-held tradition for many people. Yet, in recent years, there has been a decline in church attendance in many parts of the world. With the rise of secularism and the availability of alternative forms of entertainment and community, many people are questioning the relevance and necessity of going to church. All that makes sense among the general population of so-called Christians, but even real Christians have ask the valid question: why do we go to church? The idea of actually going to church has become more contested, in part, due to the whole COVID situation. Churches shut down in-person gatherings and livestreamed their services. People began questioning whether there was a benefit to going to church or not. Wouldn’t watching a livestream technically qualify as going to church? I wrote an article in 2020 that explained church fellowship is essential in a technological age. Here…

  • Old Testament,  Theology

    Did the Holy Spirit Indwell Old Testament Believers?

    As believers, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Cor 6:19). The Holy Spirit indwells us as part of the new covenant (2 Tim 1:14; cf. Ezek 36:26). But what about Old Testament believers? Did the Holy Spirit indwell Old Testament saints? There are many that would argue that the Holy Spirit did indeed indwell Old Testament saints. Others, like Jim Hamilton, argue that the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit is a New Testament phenomenon. How should we think about this issue? The Temporary Empowerment of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament The Holy Spirit was very active in the Old Testament. For one thing, the Spirit inspired the prophets as they wrote holy Scripture (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit also uniquely gifted individuals like Bezalel from Judah to construct the Tabernacle (Exod 31:2-5). The Spirit also was very active…

  • Church,  New Testament,  Theology

    The Historic Connection between Easter and Baptism

    Easter is one of the most significant celebrations for the Christian, marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This celebration of Christ’s resurrection is arguably the centerpiece of the Christian life. After all, if Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Cor 15:17). It is no wonder that Easter is one of the most joyous occasions of the Christian life! A lesser-known part of the Easter celebration is its historic connection to baptism. Traditionally, Easter was recognized as a prime time for the baptism of new coverts. The association between a believer’s baptism and Christ’s resurrection was viewed as central. But, it was not an issue that was without differing opinions. The Easter Baptism Debate in the Early Church Leo I was bishop of Rome from 440 to 461 AD. Also known as Leo the Great, Leo exercised…