• Christian Living,  Church,  Culture

    A Mark of the Fool is Lack of Understanding

    Recently, a meme was circulating on social media, which had a picture on top and on the bottom. The photo on top showed Prince William making an obscene gesture to the crowd by holding up his middle finger. We could see the disrespect and arrogance oozing from the photo. However, the image on the bottom showed a different angle of the same situation. From this new perspective, we observe that the gesture was not obscene at all. Instead, it became evident that the initial view prohibited us from seeing the other fingers. The caption for the meme read, “Seeing only one side can be very dangerous.” I like this meme because it illustrates two aspects of biblical wisdom. First, there are many scenarios where our first impressions or perceptions are incorrect. Only through gaining a complete perspective can we be sure of what we are looking at. Second, wisdom obligates…

  • New Testament,  Theology

    What Makes Jesus Happy?

    Happiness is often thought of as the chief goal in life. Thus, many people assume that, as a perfect human, Jesus must have been a very happy individual. However, I don’t see Jesus being happy very often in Scripture. In fact, I can only identify two times in the gospels where Jesus is described as happy. One of those times is in John 11:15 where Jesus is happy that he was not there to save Lazarus, so that the disciples would see God’s power displayed through Jesus. The other time Jesus is happy is described in Luke 10:21, At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” If we…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    Following the Principle of the Law

    We have looked previously at the clear testimony of Scripture that the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law has drastically changed. In fact, because the Mosaic Law was tied to the Mosaic Covenant, when the Mosaic Covenant passed away, the believer was no longer under the Law (cf. Gal 5:18). But, yet we see Paul and the other Apostles constantly being influenced by and appealing to the Law. How can this be?   It stands to reason that although the Law is no longer binding, this does not mean there is no more usefulness to the Mosaic Law. In fact, I would argue that the Mosaic Law retains its didactic purpose and helps instruct mankind how to live in light of the creation principles. In other words, the Law stops functioning as a law code, but it retains its pedagogical function, giving the Christian insight into the character of the…

  • Christian Living

    Wisdom in the Bible and the ANE

    Old Testament scholars have noted an interesting overlap in ANE wisdom literature. On the one hand you have a book like Proverbs, which is divinely inspired and a special part of the Canon. But on the other hand you have sources like Amenemope, an Egyptian collection of wisdom sayings, which is polytheistic. Perhaps shockingly some of the statements in the Egyptian wisdom parallel what we would find in Proverbs. Note the following examples. Wealth is Not Everything Better is poverty in the hand of the god, than wealth in the storehouse; Better is bread with a happy heart, than wealth with vexation (Amenemope 9.5-9). Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways (Prov 28:6). Integrity and Fairness in Transactions Do not remove the scales nor alter the weights Nor diminish the fractions of the measure; Do not desire…