Verily, God Did Not Say “Thou Shalt Not Steal”


The title thou hast lately read art not a clickbait and switch. Verily, I believe it to be one of truth and importance.

Let me put you at ease right away by telling you what I mean by it.

God did not say, “Thou shalt not steal.” He said “You shall not steal.”

He did not say, “I AM THAT I AM.” He said, “I AM WHO I AM.”

Jesus did not say, “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” He said, “Whoever believes in him should not perish.”

As linguist Steve Runge has often observed, “Choice implies meaning.” And the choice to use Elizabethan English today adds another message on top of whatever the Bible is saying—a message the KJV translators never intended. It says, “Behold! Thou art reading solemn, elevated, religious verbiage!”
[Read more…]

What Makes a Good Biblical Scholar?

Over on the Logos Academic Blog (theLAB) there’s been a series of interesting pieces from biblical scholars answering the question, “What makes a good biblical scholar.” I thought I’d weigh in here on the Logos Blog, too.

I cannot give a secular answer to the question of what makes a “good biblical scholar,” even though I am deeply grateful for the benefit I’ve derived from non-Christians in the field. “Good” is not a concept whose definition I’m willing to cede to our secular age. There is none good but one (Mark 10:18). So my answer to the titular question is unshakably Christian: it’s love that makes a good biblical scholar—love for God, and love for his image bearers.

Love isn’t enough to make a 1) good 2) biblical 3) scholar, but it is a necessary starting point. To deserve those three descriptions requires loving the Lord with one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength; and loving one’s neighbor as oneself.
[Read more…]

3 Reasons You Should Read the Work of James K.A. Smith

A book series I’ve heard a lot of talk about in recent years is James K. A. Smith’s “Cultural Liturgies” trilogy: Desiring the Kingdom, Imagining the Kingdom, and Awaiting the King (plus the one-volume popularization I really enjoyed, You Are What You Love). Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College and editor of Comment magazine.

I will not provide a thorough review of the trilogy here—that might take a few years; they’re the kinds of books that need to percolate. Rather, I will mention just three emphases I have found helpful in his books generally. [Read more…]

What Does the Vision in Ezekiel 1 Mean?


We are prone to make assumptions about God and His favor when life has us down due to sin, mistakes, or incomprehensible circumstances. Of all the Scripture passages we might turn to during these times, the bizarre vision that opens the book of Ezekiel would not register high on our list. However, reading this passage with its original ancient context in mind reveals a powerful message for its original recipients and for every believer.
[Read more…]

Celebrating the Life and Work of Dr. Tony Ash

Today’s post was written by David Swearingen, a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Tony Ash.

Dr. Anthony Lee “Tony” Ash, author and narrator of Walking With C.S. Lewis, a new Lexham Press video curriculum, died after a short illness on December 6, 2017; he was 86 years old.
[Read more…]

What Should New Testament Preachers Do with Old Testament Promises?

Some time ago my wife and I visited a church we’d never been to before and heard a message from one paragraph in Joshua 1. Take particular note of the promises (bolded), because the preacher did:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

A stirring passage. And the preacher, who was a gifted speaker, skillfully weaved its themes into a unified sermon. We profited from it. We love to hear God’s word preached with care and feeling.
[Read more…]

One Thing Every True Evangelical Has in Common

Some people doubt evangelicalism exists—it’s too fractured to be called an -ism. And in the last year the value of the label has been fought over more vociferously than ever. What is “evangelicalism”? Is it even a useful concept anymore?

I believe it is still a useful concept, and I’ll tell you why: there’s a little something called “biblicism” which, thankfully, is still recognizable in basically all sectors of evangelicalism. It’s weakened in some places and under threat in all, but I still see it as a unifying center for evangelicalism. [Read more…]

You Already Own the Best Discipleship Manual


If you want to personally train someone else in Christianity, what discipleship curriculum is at the top of your list? I urge you to consider a resource you already own: the Gospel According to Matthew.

Matthew’s overarching objective in his Gospel is to enlist and train followers of King Jesus. From his first to his final statement, Matthew demonstrates that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s chosen king to rule forever on earth so that people from every nation will commit their lives to him. [Read more…]

A Great Bible Study Topic for the New Year

Rarely are biblical scholars unanimous, but NT scholars pretty well all agree on one thing: the kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching.

Some students of Scripture have argued that the kingdom of God is also the central theme of all Scripture. At the very least, it is one of the Bible’s most important topics. Given the significance of the kingdom of God, why not study the topic this year? [Read more…]

Who Has the Authority to Edit the Bible?

How strange would it sound if a friend described what they did this morning like this? “After she got out of bed, she took a shower and then made a quick breakfast for herself—just some coffee and a bagel. I was in such a hurry that I didn’t even finish my bagel and just took the coffee with me!”

Be honest. You would probably wonder if your friend needed medication. Although your friend was describing what she did this morning, the first few details sounded like she was talking about someone else. If the information was about her and spoken by her, why not use “I” and “my”—what we call “first person” pronouns in grammar? Why would she refer to herself in the third person? We just don’t talk or write like that.
[Read more…]