As Dr. Martin Mittelstadt pointed out when he was a guest lecturer in the New Testament Theology class I took in seminary, the book of Acts recounts alternating external and internal threats to the early church. First, after Peter and John were used by God in the healing of the lame man at the temple gate, the Sanhedrin threatened them not to teach in the name of Jesus any more. Then in Acts 5, the church faced the case of Ananias and Sapphira, in which two church members tried to make themselves look more pious and generous than they really were. In that same chapter (starting in verse 17), we once again find persecution and threats from the Jewish religious leaders. In Acts 6, a dispute over the Greek-speaking widows being neglected in the charitable food distribution threatened the unity of the church. The pattern of challenges from outside and inside the body of believers continues throughout the rest of Luke's account.
Friday, January 8, 2021
In the midst of all the craziness and confusion that was 2020, I believe I read more books than any other year in my life. While I read more pages per year during my time in seminary, most of those books were 300+ pages each (some over 1000 pages), so the actual count of books those years was lower.
In no particular order, here goes.
I read the whole Bible in about 100 days using the YouVersion Bible app's 90-day reading plan
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
I've been listening to this wonderful review and analysis of words given at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020 by people who claimed to have heard a prophetic message from God. The host are not cessationist naysayers who believe that the gifts disappeared with the death of the last apostle of Jesus Christ, but are themselves Pentecostal/Charismatic believers who hold to the continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit into the current time. Also, the pastors and scholars they had on as guests to review and analyze these "prophetic words" are also continuationists (they believe the gifts are still valid and active today).
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Here is a list of recommended books, podcasts, and web articles concerning the relationship between Christians, worldly political systems, and the way our witness is impacted by the manner in which we interact with others, whether online or face-to-face.