A Multi-Layered Reading of Ruth 1:1-5

First off, the book of Ruth presents itself as the solution to Judges’s problem. The book of Judges sums itself up in its final sentence: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Turn the page, and Ruth 1:1, we find ourselves in same world: “In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land.” However, in verse 2 we are introduced to a man named “Elimelech”, which translates “God is King.”

Why Did Paul Winter in Nicopolis?

I’m in a wintry mood this morning. Christmas is just around the corner. Perhaps you are stuck inside looking at the snow falling, or maybe you live in South Carolina–like me–and are watching cold rain. You clutch your mug nice and warm in your hand, and a perfectly normal thought enters your mind, “I wonderContinue reading “Why Did Paul Winter in Nicopolis?”

Who Needs ‘The Shack’? We’ve Got Abraham, Isaac, and the Servant!

  There is a reason we are enamored with The Shack. We have a longing to see God’s purposes played out in metaphor, in terms we can touch and taste and feel. We are feeble creatures, and we need spiritual realities to be depicted in physical terms. The Shack scratches an itch–albeit poorly, like when you reach your handContinue reading “Who Needs ‘The Shack’? We’ve Got Abraham, Isaac, and the Servant!”

Churches that Love the Gospel…Love Paul

Acts is a book about the foundation of the church, but it is a book foundational to the church in every generation. In his second volume, Luke invites us into the fellowship of the local church. We hear the preaching of the apostles. We witness baptism. We taste the life together (κοινωνια, Acts 2:42). We hearContinue reading “Churches that Love the Gospel…Love Paul”

Don’t Waste Your [Young] Life

Any of these sound familiar? “I’m gonna travel and see the world while I’m young.” “I need to make sure I do everything I want to do before I settle down and think about starting a family.” “I need to spend tons of time working while I’m young so I’ll have a chance to advanceContinue reading “Don’t Waste Your [Young] Life”

The Bible’s Authors Have Feelings, Too

Humans are emotional beings. Today’s social media is like standing in front of a spewing emotional fire hydrant. The things we post, share, and read are invested with happiness, sorrow, outrage, or rejoicing. These days cold, logical arguments strike readers as inauthentic. Nothing rings with more true than a heart-wrenching testimonial or an experiential editorialContinue reading “The Bible’s Authors Have Feelings, Too”