Sinfulness

Medieval Christian Brides The biblical rule of not marrying unbelievers wasn’t always binding in the first centuries of Christianity, especially when it came to the nobility. Priority was given to political concerns and family alliances. And, at a time when rulers determined the religion of their...
I have fond memories of growing up in my neighborhood. I was raised in a little country town with one stop light. My friends and I played cops and robbers and the only girl in the neighborhood was as tough as any of us! We would run through the woods with our toy guns yelling, “Bang, bang!” and the...
Recently, while picking up my daughter from school I asked my customary question: “So, how was your day?” Normally, the response is brief, but this day was one of those exceptions. “History class was interesting. We had a discussion on predestination.” As it turned out, since they were studying the...
Learning about the battle between popes and civil authorities in medieval Europe feels a bit like an episode of Oprah’s show: “You get excommunicated; you get excommunicated; everyone gets excommunicated.” Of course it famously culminated in Henry VIII finally not going along with the program and...
Author Jim Belcher illustrates his chapter, “The Struggle Within,” [1] with a compelling psychoanalysis of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s classic novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. [2] Dr. Henry Jekyll, a reputable scientist wanting to enjoy being exclusively good without the lure of...
The book of Ezra is notoriously difficult to read, let alone preach; but it is there in the canon of Holy Scripture to edify and equip the saints (2Ti 3.16). Whereas, at one level, it provides a crucial link in the chain of God’s redemptive dealings with Israel, it is ultimately vital to our...
“Life will get worse.” What if that were one half of a ubiquitous Christian bumper sticker? “Follow me to Jesus. Life will get worse.” Maybe a little tacky, but it would be truth in advertising. To follow the Man of sorrows is to enter a life of sorrows. It is this lesson Calvin works out his...
Original Sin: Born This Way James and Jonathan tackle a foundational theological topic this week. The doctrine of original sin is integral to our grasp of many other biblical doctrines. How should we define original sin, and how is it different from the sins we commit daily? Guilt, corruption,...
We may not always realise it, but the Bible has a theology of conflict. Indeed, when we stop and think about it, we are literally no further than 57 verses into Genesis before we find ourselves in the conflict zone that changed the course of history. And the conflict that emerges there in the...
The fall of mankind began with a lie. “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” This was followed by a second lie. “You certainly will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil...