Old Testament

The Levitical Diet: What is the meaning for Christians today?

One of the challenges for Christians today in reading the Hebrew Bible is to discern what is applicable to us, and what is not. Indeed, when I posted the question of the meaning of chapter Leviticus 11 on social media, (the chapter which details the clean and unclean animals) I received a variety of responses. These ranged from “We need to observe these distinctions and not eat what God says not to eat.” Others suggested…

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Old Testament

A Moral Chronology of the Book of Judges

The book of Judges is a book that some common Sunday school material is taken from. Samson and his feats of strength are popular. Or, Gideon and his defeat of the Midianites, after God graciously gave him confidence through the incident with the fleece. And, perhaps every 8-year-old boy’s favorite “Now Eglon was a very fat man.”(3:17) But there are many parts of the book that get sanitized or left out. But the book, strange…

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Gospel Old Testament

The Gospel is in Leviticus

“Moses and all the prophets” includes the 3rd book of the Torah. It’s somewhat of an evangelical applause line to say that you’ve tried to read through the Bible in a year, but got bogged down in Leviticus. Brothers and sisters, I’d like to issue an appeal that we stop disparaging the book as some cryptic, impossible-to-understand work that we somehow tolerate because it’s part of the Hebrew Bible. Instead, let’s look at Leviticus as…

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Old Testament

The Red Sea Crossing in the Psalms: Returning to Redemption

One of the notable things about the Psalms is the frequency of citations to the crossing of the Red Sea when Israel came out of Egypt. This event was a climax in the life of the people of God in the Old Testament. They were spared God’s judgment in the Passover, when he killed all the firstborn of Egypt. Following this, not only did Pharaoh let them go, he compelled them to leave. They stood…

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Bible Old Testament

Notes from the Resistance: How the Old Testament Continues to Assert its Value

I have written before about the “unhitching” of the Old Testament from the New, and the furor caused by some suggestions Andy Stanley made in his preaching. My previous post considered some statements he had made in public speaking. Having now read his book, Irresistible, I want to consider some of what’s in it and whether it offers a better explanation of his public preaching. There was a strong reaction against Stanley, and the invocation…

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Old Testament The Decalogue

Is a Threefold Division of Law Valid?

Making sense of the Mosaic Law in the current age is not an easy task. While there are many opinions, one that is more common across several different traditions is to treat the law in a threefold way. That is, the commands of the Old Testament are grouped together into moral, civil, and ceremonial. One can see that the law prohibiting the eating of shellfish or fish lacking scales (Lev 11:10) is a ceremonial law,…

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Old Testament The Decalogue

Is it for Oxen that God is Concerned? Using the Law Wisely

The way we understand the law of Moses in the Christian life is a perennial topic. The current dust-up with Andy Stanley’s view that the Old Testament is not relevant for Christan faith has complicated this. While Stanley has made statements that proclaim the Christian’s freedom from the Mosaic Law, a position that is demonstrable from the New Testament, he has confused the issue with his views on the Old Testament itself. In their critiques…

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Old Testament Uncategorized

Historical Adam and the Doctrine of Salvation

The early record of Genesis is the locus of all manner of speculation, from young earth creationists to allegorical views that see the book as little more than one tribe’s attempt to explain the mysteries of the cosmos. Aside from how God has created all things seen and unseen is the question of whether the first man was an actual being, or whether he is simply a genus, a middle eastern explanation of humanity. The…

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Bible Old Testament

The Old Covenant is not the Hebrew Bible: The Hitch in Andy Stanley’s Recommendation

A recent sermon by megachurch pastor Andy Stanley has a lot of people criticizing him for everything from poorly worded teaching to Marcionism. Stanley doesn’t have a single text he preached from but loosely bases his sermon on the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, and Galatians 2. His points are not well stated, and this is the source of the trouble. He wants to echo the sentiments of the apostles to say that when Gentiles come…

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