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We are Family

Hebrews 2:10–11 (NLT)

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.

Jesus is our perfect leader, indeed. Without him there would be no hope of entering into whatever the glory is referred to in verse 10. Jesus is the only one who can do it, the only one fit to do it. He is saving us. Or perhaps we should say that God is saving us through him as he leads us.

But whenever I read that Jesus is OK with calling me his brother, it does something inside me. I know I’m not worthy of that, but there it is in black and white. Jesus is not ashamed.

My parents were probably ashamed of me many times. My wife might be ashamed of me sometimes. I’m certain that I have made my son ashamed of me. But Jesus unashamedly calls me his brother.

I’ll take that.

Beginning Hebrews

Today I began a close reading of The Letter to the Hebrews. In recent months I’ve read Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, and Ezekiel. I think my time and effort in the Old Testament will help me read Hebrews as if for the first time.

The author of Hebrews (AH) says that God spoke previously in many ways and in splintered ways to reveal himself. Now there is Jesus, and he will pull it all together for us.

That’s pretty exciting. I’m certain I will have comments along the way. I’d invite you to read along with me, if you want. I would even be open to some kind of online study, if we can figure out how to make it work.

Since I don’t have the physical strength anymore to teach classes at church, I would love to find another way.

Recently on Postmodern Prophet:

Recently on Postmodern Prophet:

Health Update

It appears that the doctors have run out of ideas and options for fixing whatever is wrong with my bone marrow. Short of having a very risky bone marrow transplant, the only play now is to let it play out.

I have been through an extensive set of chemotherapy treatments and I’ve been through a grueling regimen of immunotherapy-type treatments. And my situation is the same as it was last fall when I started them.

My bone marrow has almost shut down as a factory for red blood cells. With a shortage of red blood cells (known as anemia) it is hard for the body to get enough oxygen around to the various systems. My anemia is quite severe, so any exertion at all leaves me gasping for air. And I seem to need about twelve hours of sleep every day, though I still wake up tired.

The news that we are out of options is causing us to reconfigure a lot of our thinking. However long I may live with this, it will be a very inactive life. We have some places we want to go and some things we want to see, but my life will be without many of the things I have enjoyed, like golf, biking, and hiking.

Outside of these necessary restrictions, we are going to try to live as normally as we can. We’ll be going back to church and doing things with our friends as we always have, just not the active things. I feel pretty normal except for the weariness. I hope you all will understand that I am doing the best I can, but things have significantly changed inside me.

Through all this, God has been faithful and true. He doesn’t always heal, but he is present. Very few times have I felt fearful about the future. Very few times have I wondered why. Mostly I’ve been able to stay in the present and to accept reality. I’m no longer a slave to fear; I am a child of God.

And of course, there is Carol. If you want to understand God’s faithfulness, hang around with Carol for a while. She daily lives out a great parable of God’s love. I am very blessed.

Heaven

We don’t go to heaven.

Heaven comes to earth.

If you don’t believe me, read your Bible.

Two Compulsions

Concerning my calling and desire to be a Bible teacher, I have two goals, two passions.

  1. I want to teach people how to read the Bible properly. My experience with church people is that most of them hardly read the Bible at all, much less read it seriously and deeply. Most Bible reading stops at the devotional level. I firmly believe that a deeper reading will bring with it deeper devotion. If I weren’t sick, I would already have started a podcast with this aim. I’m hoping for enough remission in my disease to begin it soon. If that sounds good to you, maybe you could pray for me that I could get this going.
  2. I want to blow up shallow and incorrect interpretations of scriptural texts. For many people, their knowledge of the Bible is limited to outlines of the major stories and a set of prooftext that guide their lives (in theory). This shallow approach to the Bible leads to disaffection and disappointment because of an incomplete picture of who God is. I want to dispel the incorrect and dispense the truth. This is where my blog should come in. If I had enough energy, I would have a weekly post that takes on a passage for deeper interpretation.

This is my heart. I have a deep desire to accomplish it. The flesh is weak. God help me.