How NOT to Interpret Daniel

too easy to buy into the “Daniel fast” fads. don’t do it….

W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms

John the BaptistOn Sunday I held services at the nursing homes in Ellendale and spoke on Daniel chapter 6 giving the summary of the book of Daniel which is among my favorite books of the Old Testament and I hope at some point to write a commentary on it, but that needs to wait a good decade. Daniel is just one of those books that holds my fascination.

All that aside, I received a notification from Faithgateway that there was a free offer for The Daniel Jumpstart Guide. I was horrified (once again). Here was yet another false interpretation and application of this sadly manipulated and abused book. It is a prequel diet plan to lose weight and get healthy…based on (a distortion of) the text of Daniel. This plan includes more than other plans (says the video ad). It includes what no other plan includes which will make…

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Really, what is linguistics good for?

This is very good.

Old School Script

Several months ago — when I had more time (before baby #2 arrived ;) — I watched Particle Fever on Netflix. Whoa! An amazing documentary about the international effort, spanning decades, between scientists from different fields to build a massive particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC for short. The original goal was to crash two particles together, traveling close to the speed of light (186, 282 miles per second), with the hopes of discovering the Higgs boson—the central missing link in the Standard Model of particle physics (which “explains how the basic building blocks of matter interact, governed by four fundamental forces”).

The particles are so tiny that the task of making them collide is akin to firing two needles 10 kilometres apart with such precision that they meet halfway.

Lost yet?

Let me explain how all this relates to the BIG question of this blog post:

What is…

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One Christian Slaughtered Every Five Minutes

Apprentice 2 Jesus

Throughout the Middle East, this still is the under-reported story. Forget the “Merry Christmas” junk here. It’s nothing.

Let us raise our voices not for us (for once in our lives) but for others. 

THIS is the story.

Here are some cold facts:

The White House said it was preparing to accuse the Islamic State of genocide against religious minorities, recognizing various groups, such as the Yazidis, as victims. However, Christians are apparently not going to be included.

In September of this year, one Christian died every 5 minutes at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East. Not just “ISIS.”

There is a Christian genocide going on and it is not being recognized by Western leaders.

Possibly worse than not being recognized by Western leaders? American Christians ignore it. If anything, we will look to use it to cry over our OWN “poor plight” because no one says “Merry Christmas”…

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Christian, Please Read This Before Black Friday

this si something many people in the world need to think about. I feel its worth sharing with you all (or reminding you). Blessings, and my y’all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Jeremiah Gibbs

This is a simple post.

Estimated Cost to Feed Every Person in the World: $30 billion per year (UN estimate)
Estimated Cost to Provide Clean Water for Africa: $41 billion (WHO estimate)
Estimated Cost to Provide Clean Water to the World: $203 billion (WHO estimate)

Estimated Spending in the US on Black Friday: $60 billion
Estimated Spending in the US for Christmas Season: $640 billionethiopian-boy

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Steve Runge on Faith without Works in James 2:14–26

The Logos’ FaithLife blog has a post sharing the work of Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software Steve Runge from his forthcoming commentary on the book of James.  It’s very good.  Here it is in part:

James also offers an unnerving follow-up question at the end of verse 14—one that anticipates a negative answer. His question calls into doubt whether such a faith could save someone. Warning: We need to pay close attention to what James actually says and not mistake it for what he does not say. The focus here is not disputing whether faith is the basis of salvation. Instead, just as James contrasted the merits of hearing versus doing, he contrasts the value of faith alone versus faith that manifests itself in works. And just as James argued that hearing should lead to doing (1:22–25), he posits that faith—if it really exists—should lead to an outward expression: works. From the outset James shakes us by implying that a workless faith may not be a saving faith. This is only an implication of his wording, but it has caused no shortage of heartburn for theologians over the years. [Bold Italics, mine]

I appreciate his direction to pay attention to the text and what it actually says and be careful not to read into it what we want to see or what it doesn’t say. This is an important aspect of doing good Bible study.  You’ll need to read the whole post, and probably get the commentary, but he’s got a hard hitting conclusion for this portion of James:

If someone consistently claims to have faith, yet consistently fails to demonstrate it in their life, James’ challenge is fitting. Can faith that is never seen really be a saving faith? Is it really there if it is never seen? God is undoubtedly the final judge of such things, but there are no “do-overs” when we stand before the judgment seat.

Ouch!  He’s right, you know.  I recently went golfing with some friends as part of going to a minister’s retreat and getting ordained that night.  In golf there is a thing called a “mulligan” or as Runge calls it a “do-over.”  If there are any second chances in life, they come now not later.

Lord, help me to be someone who does not just say I believe,  but be a person who backs up my claims of faith with action in the here and now.  Amen!

As a Pentecostal, I want to say that this is where we can get help in living a life of faith that is backed up by actions, it is through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in us who empowers us to live the faith and action filled lives… Ask him and he will help you!  Afterall he is the helper!  :-)

Blessings!