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Mar 2013 30 Mar 30, 2013

Back in December, before I had resumed blogging, a few friends posted my article on the best books of 2012. Since I’ve started blogging again, several people who didn’t see the article have asked that I publish it one more time. So here it is. It’s that time of year again . . . time for top ten lists of every sort. The only lists I care about are those of the top ten books of the year. As with every year, so too in 2012, it’s hard to keep it to t...Read More

Mar 2013 29 Mar 29, 2013

I’m happy to announce that the new website for Bridgeway Church is now up and running. Many thanks to Church Plant Media for their incredible commitment to this project. I highly recommend them if you are looking for someone to build your site. Please visit the new site at www.bridgewaychurch.com....Read More

Mar 2013 29 Mar 29, 2013
Mar 2013 29 Mar 29, 2013

We have finally arrived at Golgotha where our Lord is nailed to a cross. There “they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it” (Matthew 27:33-34). This has been interpreted in two different ways. The traditional view is that it was customary for Jewish women to provide a narcotic drink to those condemned in order to deaden their sensitivity to the pain of crucifixion (see Prov. 31:6-7). If so, then Jesus' unwil...Read More

Mar 2013 28 Mar 28, 2013
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Oh, really? Well, that’s what the new Nike ad for Tiger Woods asserts (according to the lead story at U.S.A. Today, March 27, 2003). Evidently it is what Woods himself believes. If this weren’t so pathetic, it would be laughable. So, let me get this straight. Winning golf tournaments takes care of the absence of moral character. Winning golf tournaments is the remedy for lack of integrity. Winning golf tournaments takes care of broken vows and restores shatt...Read More

Mar 2013 28 Mar 28, 2013

The seventh and final shocking sin is, of course, the crucifixion itself (vv. 31-32). Normally the victim was forced to walk naked to the place of crucifixion and was scourged along the way. But since Jesus had already been scourged this custom was abandoned. If it had been repeated, Jesus may well have died before reaching Calvary. Custom also required that the victim carry the cross-beam on which he would be nailed. It weighed between 30 and 40 pounds. But it was phy...Read More

Mar 2013 27 Mar 27, 2013
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I’m happy to announce that the revised and expanded edition of my book, The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts (Regal, 222 pp.), is now available. The book first came out in 2002. This revised edition is considerably longer and contains new material that I think should prove helpful. Here are a few of the items not found in the first edition: (1) discussion questions for individual and small group studies follow each chapter; (2) a detailed account of a m...Read More

Mar 2013 27 Mar 27, 2013
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If there were a way to avoid talking of this sixth shocking sin, I would seize the opportunity to remain silent. I find it painfully difficult even to write these next words: they spit on him (v. 30). Spitting on someone and the inflicting of blows were conventional gestures of rejection and humiliation (cf. Job 30:10; Num. 12:14; Deut. 25:9; Isa. 50:6). Throughout Jewish history, people would go to Absalom’s tomb in the Kedron valley outside Jerusalem and repeate...Read More

Mar 2013 26 Mar 26, 2013
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Psalm 130:3-4 is simply stunning. “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared” (Ps. 130:3-4). On first reading, something seems terribly askew. Would it not have made more sense for the psalmist to have said: “But with you there is justice, that you may be feared”? Is it not the prospect of God exacting payment for our transgressions that evokes fear in the human sou...Read More

Mar 2013 26 Mar 26, 2013

In the previous article we looked at (1) the scourging of Jesus, as well as his being (2) adorned with a scarlet robe and (3) a crown of thorns. Although it may seem rather innocuous, the fourth of these seven shocking sins occurred when they placed a reed for a scepter in his hand (v. 29). The reed was again an instrument of mockery, for the monarch's scepter was a symbol of his authority and power. Thus, the point of the robe, the crown, and the reed was to portray J...Read More