I find the term believer fascinating. Some of its intriguing facets include its frequency and the obfuscating manner in which people use it. Continue reading “Believer: an interesting term”
There are some bizarre definitions of faith in the world. One of the most prevalent seems to be that one only believes in Jesus, and that automatically confers salvation on that person.
Not even John the Baptist, however, agreed with that prevalent idea. In John 3, in a discussion by John with his disciples, the cousin of Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36 NASB). Continue reading “Obedient faith or disobedience”
Just before Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, his disciples were with him (Matthew 5:1). From at least that point until Peter confessed Jesus is the Christ his disciples were constantly present. They heard lesson after lesson and saw miracle after miracle. So, why on three occasions in the book of Matthew did he accuse them as being people of “little faith?”
In Matthew 8, Jesus had been teaching people in Capernaum and then “got into a boat.” God’s word doesn’t say why Jesus got into a boat, but what happens afterward is good evidence why. Jesus was asleep when a storm developed and threatened to toss everyone overboard. The disciples woke the Master saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die! (Matthew 8:25 NET). Jesus said, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Continue reading “You people of little faith”
In Mark 3 we read the reaction that Jesus’ family had to his teaching and performing miracles.
“Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind’” (Mark 3:20-21 NET). Continue reading “Why did Jesus’ siblings not believe?”
Every nurseryman knows which species cannot survive in close proximity to another. The most obvious example is shade. A large tree will take up all the sunlight in a given area, and leave none for the plants surrounding it.
Sedum can grow quickly, seemingly when you turn your back for a second, and literally run over plants nearby. My saxifrage didn’t stand a chance. The sedum had the advantage of rapid growth, and choked out the saxifrage.
In a few situations where I was discussing the Bible with someone who did not share my faith, the other party complained, “This isn’t a fair debate. You had formal training, and I don’t know that much about the Bible.” Continue reading “An unfair advantage”
What are our standards of belief? Continue reading Avoiding groupthink
Objective truth does exist. Continue reading Absolute truth
Our 54 year old cactus was a gift to my mother-in-law years before my husband was born. It came from Arizona when it was only a couple inches tall and now reaches to a height of 7 feet and weighs upwards of 150 lbs. Continue reading Bloom Anyway
Faith contains the element of the invisible. It believes in what it cannot point at. Its light comes from walking in the dark. In this sense, pardon the expression, faith is based on ignorance, in the sense of not knowing by personal experience. Continue reading Faith in the Invisible
by Barry Newton Dictionaries typically reflect a particular culture’s usage of words. In contradistinction to modern nuances and meanings, what if a dictionary were to roll back time to reveal Biblical usages? What light might such a manual of words cast on this essential biblical term? Hebrew Words In the OT the various nouns built from the Hebraic root ’mn, whose basic meaning is firmness or certainty, convey ideas ranging from trusting to faithfulness (Proverbs 12:22; Psalm 31:23). The verbal form (’aman) can describe the confident trust placed in or upon someone or something (Genesis 15:6; Proverbs 14:15). The Hebraic … Continue reading Faith By The Book