But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Love of God - Apologetic Report

Leviticus 10; Psalms 11-12; Proverbs 25; 1 Thessalonians 4

IN LEVITICUS 8 AARON AND HIS SONS, under a ritual prescribed by God, are ordained as priests. In Leviticus 9, they begin their ministry. Here in Leviticus 10, still within the seven days of their ordination rites, two of Aaron’s sons,...

Read more

Thursday, 05 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 9; Psalm 10; Proverbs 24; 1 Thess. 3

Written by

Leviticus 9; Psalm 10; Proverbs 24; 1 Thessalonians 3

PSALM 10 CONTINUES THE THEME of the justice and judgment of God, now slanted away from the more immediate and personal issue of justice for David when he feels betrayed by his enemies and toward a more general treatment. Where is God when evil...

Read more

Wednesday, 04 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 8; Psalm 9; Proverbs 23; 1 Thessalonians 2

Written by

Leviticus 8; Psalm 9; Proverbs 23; 1 Thessalonians 2

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT in democracy, the Founding Fathers adopted several stances, accepted by few today, that were deeply indebted to the Judeo-Christian heritage. This is not to say that the Founding Fathers were all...

Read more

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 7; Psalms 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thess. 1

Written by

Leviticus 7; Psalms 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thessalonians 1

PSALM 7 IS THE SECOND OF FOURTEEN PSALMS that are linked in the title to some historical event (the first is Ps. 3). We cannot know the details, but clearly David felt terribly betrayed when he was falsely charged by someone close to him who...

Read more

Leviticus 6; Psalms 5-6; Proverbs 21; Colossians 4

AT THE BEGINNING OF LEVITICUS 6, the Lord lays down through Moses what must take place when someone in the covenant community has lied to a neighbor about something entrusted to him, has cheated him, has lied about recovered property so that he can...

Read more

Leviticus 5; Psalms 3-4; Proverbs 20; Colossians 3

IMAGINE A COMPLEX, WELL-ORDERED SOCIETY such that in every area of life there are actions that make a person dirty and further prescribed actions that make that person clean. When you get up in the morning, you wear clothes of certain kinds of...

Read more

Saturday, 31 March 2018 18:00

Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; Colossians 2

Written by

Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; Colossians 2

THE FIRST PSALMIS sometimes designated a wisdom psalm. In large part this designation springs from the fact that it offers two ways, and only two ways — the way of the righteous (Ps.1:1-3) and the way of the wicked (1:4-5), with a final...

Read more

Leviticus 2-3; John 21; Proverbs 18; Colossians 1

AFTER THE REMARKABLE EXCHANGE that reinstates Peter, Jesus quietly tells him that this discipleship will someday cost him his life: “When you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not...

Read more

Thursday, 29 March 2018 18:00

Leviticus 1; John 20; Proverbs 17; Philippians 4

Written by

Leviticus 1; John 20; Proverbs 17; Philippians 4

THOMAS GETS A LOT OF BAD PRESS — “Doubting Thomas,” we call him. Yet the reason he doubts that Jesus has risen from the dead may have more to do with the fact that he was not present when Jesus first appeared to the apostolic band (Jo...

Read more

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 40; John 19; Proverbs 16; Philippians 3

Written by

Exodus 40; John 19; Proverbs 16; Philippians 3

THE CLOSING LINES OF Exodus 40 tie together several important themes already introduced, and anticipate several others. Here the construction of the tabernacle is complete, along with the vestments and accoutrements for priestly service. “Then the...

Read more

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 39; John 18; Proverbs 15; Philippians 2

Written by

Exodus 39; John 18; Proverbs 15; Philippians 2

WHEN PILATE ASKS JESUS whether or not he is “the king of the Jews” (John 18:33), what interests him is whether or not Jesus presents some sort of political threat. Is he one of these nationalistic, self-proclaimed “messiahs” who...

Read more

Monday, 26 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 38; John 17; Proverbs 14; Philippians 1

Written by

Exodus 38; John 17; Proverbs 14; Philippians 1

JOHN 17 IS CONSTANTLY cited in ecumenical circles. Jesus prays for “those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you… to let the world know that you sent...

Read more

Sunday, 25 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

Written by

Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, the “Counselor” or Paraclete, is dependent on Jesus’ “going away,” i.e., his death by crucifixion, subsequent resurrection, and exaltation (John 16:7; cf. 7:37-39). This raises important...

Read more

Saturday, 24 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 36; John 15; Proverbs 12; Ephesians 5

Written by

Exodus 36; John 15; Proverbs 12; Ephesians 5

GOD’S LOVE IS SPOKEN of in a variety of ways in the Bible.

In some passages God’s love is directed toward his elect. He loves them and not others (e.g., Deut. 4:37; 7:7-8; Mal. 1:2). But if we think of the love of God as invariably restricted...

Read more

Friday, 23 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 35; John 14; Proverbs 11; Ephesians 4

Written by

Exodus 35; John 14; Proverbs 11; Ephesians 4

THE FAREWELL DISCOURSE, beginning in John 14, includes some extraordinarily rich material on the Holy Spirit. Some highlights:

(1) In Greek, every noun is grammatically designated masculine, feminine, or neuter. The word for “spirit” is neuter....

Read more

Thursday, 22 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 34; John 13; Proverbs 10; Ephesians 3

Written by

Exodus 34; John 13; Proverbs 10; Ephesians 3

WHEN AT THE END OF THE previous chapter, Moses asks to see the Lord’s glory, he is promised (as we have seen) a display of his goodness (33:19). But no one, not even Moses, can gaze at God’ s face and live (33:20). So the Lord arranges for...

Read more

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 33; John 12; Proverbs 9; Ephesians 2

Written by

Exodus 33; John 12; Proverbs 9; Ephesians 2

ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND Exodus 33 without grasping two things: (1) The tabernacle had not yet been built. The “tent of meeting” pitched outside the camp (33:7) where Moses went to seek the face of God must therefore have been a temporary...

Read more

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 32; John 11; Proverbs 8; Ephesians 1

Written by

Exodus 32; John 11; Proverbs 8; Ephesians 1

EXODUS 32 is simultaneously one of the low points and one of the high points in Israel’s history.

Only months out of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites prove so fickle that the delay of Moses on the mountain (a mere forty days) provides them with all...

Read more

Monday, 19 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

Written by

Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

IN THE EXTENDED METAPHOR of the shepherd in John 10, Jesus keeps revising the dimensions and application of the metaphor as he drives home a variety of points, a few of which we may pick up.

(1) For the biblically literate, it would be difficult not to...

Read more

Sunday, 18 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 30; John 9; Proverbs 6; Galatians 5

Written by

Exodus 30; John 9; Proverbs 6; Galatians 5

AS THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND precipitates the bread of life discourse, so Jesus’ healing of the congenitally blind man in John 9 precipitates some briefer comments on the nature of spiritual blindness and sight.

Some of the authorities were...

Read more

Saturday, 17 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 29; John 8; Proverbs 5; Galatians 4

Written by

Exodus 29; John 8; Proverbs 5; Galatians 4

TWO COMMENTS on John 8:12-51.

(1) Already in John 7:7, Jesus said to his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I testify that what it does is evil.” Both in his own person and in his uncompromising words, Jesus is so...

Read more

Friday, 16 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 28; John 7; Proverbs 4; Galatians 3

Written by

Exodus 28; John 7; Proverbs 4; Galatians 3

THE PRIESTLY GARMENTS God prescribes (Ex. 28) are strange and colorful. Perhaps some of the details were not meant to carry symbolic weight, but were part of the purpose of the ensemble as a whole: to give Aaron and his sons “dignity and honor”...

Read more

Thursday, 15 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 27; John 6; Proverbs 3; Galatians 2

Written by

Exodus 27; John 6; Proverbs 3; Galatians 2

JESUS DECLARES HIMSELF TO BE the “bread of life” (John 6:35), the “bread of God” (6:33).

The language is metaphorical, of course. That is made clear by John 6:35, where the metaphor is unpacked just a little: “I am the bread of...

Read more

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 26; John 5; Proverbs 2; Galatians 1

Written by

Exodus 26; John 5; Proverbs 2; Galatians 1

ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING biblical passages dealing with what it means to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is John 5:16-30.

In a preindustrial culture, the majority of sons do what their father does. A baker’s son becomes a baker; a...

Read more

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 25; John 4; Proverbs 1; 2 Corinthians 13

Written by

Exodus 25; John 4; Proverbs 1; 2 Corinthians 13

EXODUS 25 AND JOHN 4 are canonically tied together.

The former begins the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle and its accoutrements (Ex. 25 — 30). The tabernacle is the forerunner of the temple, built in Solomon’ s day....

Read more