Articles

Dayenu Wisdom for Holy Week

Dayenu Wisdom for Holy Week

If you’ve ever been part of a traditional Passover, you’ve sung a song called Dayenu (die-AY-nu). You may think of it as an upbeat children’s song, but its actually an ancient liturgy that brims over with profound wisdom. The earliest known copy dates from before 900 AD, and some scholars think it’s far older than […]

Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home...

Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home…

There are some Hebrew words that really can’t be translated into English, and pakad is one of the most fascinating. It can be a wonderful word or a terrible word, depending on the context. How can this be? Well, imagine that you’re twelve years old again. One afternoon, your Mom yells, “Just wait until your […]

Does God Want Us to Fear Him?

Does God Want Us to Fear Him?

The word “fear” is common in the Old Testament, and to many it sounds like we should cringe in dread of God’s presence. Of course, we also find “fear” in the New Testament too. The Gentiles who believed in God were called God-fearers, and the early church was said to be built up in the […]

Mr. Spock's God: The Mistake of Western Theology

Mr. Spock’s God: The Mistake of Western Theology

The idea that emotions are irrational and unnatural arose from Greco-Roman philosophy and has influenced Western theology for thousands of years, giving rise to the idea that God is “impassible,” emotionless. Many of our problems with God come from this unbiblical idea.

The Magi and their Heaven-Shattering News

The Magi and their Heaven-Shattering News

At this time of year, people everywhere are setting up nativity scenes. We’re used to having an odd mixture of characters around the manger — some scruffy shepherds, some glittering angels, a few animals, and of course a brand new little family. To many of us, the characters that are oddest are the magi, or […]

Test Your "Jesus Theories" in the Book of Acts

Test Your “Jesus Theories” in the Book of Acts

There’s no end, it seems, to how people can interpret the words of Jesus. It’s not hard to pluck out a line here and there and read it in some strange new way. How can we know how they actually sounded to his original audience? I’ve discovered that a great place to look for answers […]

The Epic Saga of Genesis

The Epic Saga of Genesis

I used to struggle with why we have the stories we do in Genesis – about the sons of Jacob destroying the city of Shechem, or Reuben sleeping with his father’s servant girl. My expectation was that the Bible was a book of simple moral stories to teach me how to live. Actually, the point […]

A Blessing for Every Occasion

A Blessing for Every Occasion

If you’ve read my article, “Learning from Jesus’ Jewish Prayer Life,” you know the richness of the Jewish pattern of prayer that encourages a person to “bless the Lord” at all times. Below I’ve put a list of some of the many blessings that are traditionally said on all sorts of occasions. (You can also […]