Paul was no chauvinist. He taught the spiritual equality of women and men (Gen 3:28) and wrote eloquently about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church-sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25-33). But to a church in a corrupt culture where marriages were in disarray, the brave Paul argued that submission was essential for any institution-government, church, or family. Without authority, chaos reigns. Continue reading WHY DID PAUL SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT WIVES SUBMITTING TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
The sheer unlikelihood of this event has caused many to interpret Jonah’s book as allegory or parable, not history as such. Indeed, no other account exists of a human being surviving such an event. Did it really happen to Jonah, and if so, how did he survive? Continue reading HOW CAN A PERSON SURVIVE SEVENTY-TWO HOURS INSIDE A FISH?
David may have been referring in this psalm to an ancient custom observed by mourners at funerals. They would collect the tears they shed for departed loved ones in small flasks and place them in their tombs as memorials of their love. The New International Version renders this phrase as “list my tears on your scroll.” But in a marginal note, it cites “put my tears in you wineskin” as a possible reading. Continue reading GOD KNOWS OUR TEARS
To be superior to “all the gods of Egypt” was quite a claim, since the Egyptians are known to have worshiped more than thirty pagan deities. These included the bull god Apis, who ensured fertility; Hathor, the goddess of love; and Thoth, the god of wisdom and books. Continue reading ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT
Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
HEAD OF THE CHURCH – Title for Christ (Eph 4:15; Col 1:18). In Ephesians, the metaphor of Christ as head of His body, the church, is carefully developed. Headship includes the idea of Christ’s authority (1:22; 5:23) and of the submission required of the church (5:24). More is in view than a statement of Christ’s authority. The focus is on the character of Christ’s relationship with the church. Unlike self-seeking human lords (Luke 22:25), Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HEAD OF THE CHURCH”
Writing to the Corinthian church, Paul tells married couples to stay together (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Jesus also taught that marriage is permanent (Matthew 19:3-9). Paul states that having a non-Christian spouse is not a valid reason for divorce. If the unbelieving spouse deserts and will not return, Paul makes an allowance for the dissolution of the marriage. Jesus, meanwhile, listed unfaithfulness as another ground for divorce. Continue reading WHEN IS DIVORCE ALLOWED?
Many a marriage has fizzled because both husband and wife latch onto the nation of submission, and both are destroyed by it. The husband may like the feeling of dominance, but he discovers too late he no longer has any emotional tie with his wife. Sometimes, tragically, the husband’s sense of dominance becomes perverted and hurtful. Sometimes a wife submits as a survival strategy, fails to grow as a person, loses her love for the man, questions her value as a believer, and settles into a half-life of emotional and spiritual solitude. But submission is meant to help a marriage, not hurt it. So how does it work? Continue reading IF A WIFE IS TO SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, HOW MUCH? IN WHAT AREAS? AT WHAT COST?
Any description of God will necessarily use terms and ideas solidly anchored in humor experience. Our own experience, after all, is our only reference point for knowing God. It should be no surprise, then, that most of the emotions people feel are attributed to God at some time: jealousy, fatigue, rapture, love, and even hate. Continue reading IS GOD CAPABLE OF HATE AS WELL AS LOVE? (PSALM 5:5)
We judge what’s good by establishing a benchmark, which has been the task of moral philosophers since the invention of language. Several benchmarks currently compete: personal pleasure, social stability accepted norms (“do not inflict needles pain” is one example). following religious teaching. or obeying God. Continue reading HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT “GOOD” IS? (3 JOHN 11)