Many readers of 1 Corinthians 15:44 have puzzled over the language with which Paul contrasts the Christian’s body as it presently exists, on the one hand, and as it will exist after being resurrected, on the other hand. In the preceding verses, Paul says the former is “perishable,” exhibits “dishonor,” and suffers from “weakness,” but the latter will be “imperishable,” display “glory,” and enjoy “power” (vv. 42–43). So far, so good. Paul goes on, however, to confuse readers for generations to come, calling the Christian’s present body “natural,” and her future resurrection body “spiritual.”[Read more…]
In this article, I argue that we have been too apt to accept ancient and popular interpretations of Jesus’ wilderness testing in Matthew 4:1-11. Three issues warrant a fresh interpretation: the translation of πειρασθῆναι, our understanding of Satan’s role in the narrative, and the relationship between the two “sons” of God, Jesus and Adam.[Read more…]
by Matthew L. Halsted, PhD
In an article published last week on theLAB, COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast, I claimed that the mark of the beast (666) is most likely not a physical or visible mark (Rev. 13:16). The biggest objection I received from readers had to do with this very point: how could the mark be non-physical and invisible if having the mark was what allowed people to “buy or sell” things (Rev. 13:17)? Wouldn’t the mark need to be visible in order to do that? Furthermore, isn’t there enough evidence that the vaccine is the “number” of the beast, including a bill currently before the House of Representatives (6666) and the very letters “C-O-R-O-N-A” themselves?1 These are good questions, and I think a response would be helpful. But first, we need to start from square one and do some background work.[Read more…]
Watching the news a few days ago, I saw photos and videos of those protesting the COVID-19 quarantine on full display. I’m growing weary of how certain biblical texts are attached to certain political movements and demonstrations—texts that are, quite frankly, misused and misunderstood. Sadly, Christianity ends up getting misrepresented in the process.[Read more…]
Years ago, The Atlantic had an article entitled, “Study Theology, Even If You Don’t Believe in God.” The author of the article (Tara Isabella Burton) is a Clarendon Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford, where she is working on a doctorate in theology and literature. In this piece, she talks about studying theology as a secularist.
While reading, I was immediately drawn into thinking about my own theological education in various schools in the States and the UK that confessionally are very broad. As well, my pastoral ministry sparked many thoughts reading this, as a member of clergy for over two decades in a theologically minimalist denomination embedded in a complex urban center (Los Angeles, California) that is filled with many traditions, ideas, dogmas and questions. I thought, “If a nonbeliever can study theology, certainly believers should be studying theology with folks of different theologies.”[Read more…]
Put your ear to the ground in Ascension Presbytery in Western Pennsylvania, and it won’t be long before you hear people talking about the life and influence of Dr. John Gerstner (1914-1996). Gerstner was a longtime seminary professor and Reformed theologian in this area, and deeply affected the lives of very many people. Gerstner was Westminsterian in his doctrine and Edwardsian in his convictions. He mentored an entire generation of pastors to savor the doctrines of grace, with a zeal for revival and denominational renewal.[Read more…]