Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 2)

In my last post, I began a biblical-theological investigation into the meaning and purpose of temples in the Bible. I argued that the garden of Eden is Scripture’s first temple. Yet more must be said about the function of Eden in God’s plan for the world. It is not enough to simply demonstrate that Eden functioned as a primeval temple; we must also consider Eden’s purpose in light of God’s design for humanity. If we do not understand God’s creation project, then we will misunderstand God’s redemption project and the role Israel’s temple played in bringing God’s redemptive purposes to pass.

Continue reading “Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 2)”

Reflections on sleep, fear, and faith

Sleep is a dangerous enterprise. Every night we lie down unconscious and vulnerable for multiple hours. This is why it is safe to assume that most of us lock our doors at night before we go to bed. I go through my routine every night: close the garage door; lock the garage door; lock the back sliding door; lock the front door. I never set an alarm on my phone to remind me to lock the doors. I always remember and I always do it. It never fails. My wife never asks me to lock the doors, she just knows that I do it. And if I am gone, she never forgets to do the same thing even though she is not in the habit of doing it. Why do we do this? And why do I think it is safe to assume that virtually everyone who reads this blog post does the same thing? Is it simply because more crime happens at night? In actual fact, a lot of crime happens in broad daylight. But the reason we lock our doors at night is because we know that we are about to lie down and become unconscious. We do not know what might be going on around us while we are sleeping or who might be awake in our presence so we try to make ourselves as safe as possible before going to bed. Continue reading “Reflections on sleep, fear, and faith”

Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 1)

When I mention the word ‘temple,’ what comes to mind? Maybe you think of a house belonging to a deity. Maybe you think of a place where religious people gather to worship their god or gods. Maybe you think of the stories in the Bible, the people of Israel and their kings. Maybe you think of a beautiful building that has all the glitz and glamour of a five-star hotel. Or maybe you think of movies like Star Wars and its Jedi temple or the TV series Lost, where a temple played a significant role in the story’s plot structure. Whatever you think of, I am sure you have some conception of what a temple is. Continue reading “Do We Need Temples Today? (Part 1)”

Thank you, Dr. Gentry

Thank you, Dr. Gentry, for pushing me beyond my own limits while I was in seminary. To this day, I feel as if you are hovering over me every time I sit down to diagram a Greek text. Your ghost runs through all of my study and all of my preaching.

Do Not Hinder Them

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In Mark 10:13–16, Jesus rebukes his disciples when they hinder children from coming to him because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Mk 10:14). Surely we would have never made such a foolish mistake if we were in the disciples’ shoes, right? Well we may not find ourselves in the same situation as the disciples, but we can hinder our children from coming to Jesus in other ways. How so? Let me give you six to consider: Continue reading “Do Not Hinder Them”