Articles

Israel's Undefinable God

Israel’s Undefinable God

The Bible doesn’t try very hard to answer our philosophical questions. In Genesis, where is the proof for God’s existence? What are his origins? Why isn’t God explained theologically? Knowledge of God in the Scriptures comes from personal encounter, not through human reasoning.

Why Does Your Creed have Cows in It?

Why Does Your Creed have Cows in It?

When I first read the Shema, the Jewish profession of faith, I assumed it was their Apostle’s Creed. I was shocked because I was looking for doctrines like the “communion of saints” and “forgiveness of sins,” not mundane realities like grass, fields and cows.

In the West, Man is Big and God is Far Away

In the West, Man is Big and God is Far Away

I’m always fascinated by the question of what we need to know, culturally, to understand our Bibles better. So I enjoyed the essay at this link by James Kugel, a Jewish biblical scholar, about a fundamental disconnect between the worldview of the Bible and of our Western world today. It’s from an essay on Psalm […]

Discipleship: What Sheep Can Teach Us

Discipleship: What Sheep Can Teach Us

I used to think that Jesus’ command to make disciples simply meant teaching people certain beliefs about God, helping them to accept Christ as Lord, and then educating them in doctrinal truth later on. Though all these are important, this way of defining discipleship showed that I, like many westerners, approached the gospel primarily as […]

Hebraic Thinking is that of an Oral Culture

Hebraic Thinking is that of an Oral Culture

In Walter Ong’s classic book Orality and Literacy, he shares a fascinating theory about why our modern Western culture thinks so differently than the way the Bible does. Eastern thinking, like what you find in the Old Testament, is very concrete and image-oriented, and it uses stories and parables to explain rather than abstract logic. […]