Opinion: Scripture, opinion, experience

Apr 24, 2017 by

I read with interest Harold N. Miller’s thoughtful opinion piece, “Scripture Overrules Experience” (March 27). I support his statement that an argument from experience alone on the LGBT issue “is not...

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Bible: Freedom that demands more than law

Feb 13, 2017 by

In our previous lessons, Lawyer Paul presented his case in a courtroom against the position that male Gentiles must be circumcised in order to join male Jews as full members of the New Community in Christ....

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Bible: Problems birthing a new community

Jan 30, 2017 by

Our February lessons are a long way from delighting in God’s creation through the Psalms, as we did last month. Centuries have gone by, and instead of “fire, hail, snow and frost,” we now confront parts...

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Bible: Delight in God’s handiwork

Jan 16, 2017 by

“Praise the Lord, sun and moon and all you shining stars!” Psalms 104 and 148 are different from the three psalms we have studied earlier in that they are entirely focused on the natural world, on...

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Bible: Overflowing pastures, joyful hills

Jan 2, 2017 by

No doubt some Sunday school attenders will brave ice or snow in order to discuss Psalm 65, where “valleys deck themselves with grain”! This should remind us that other Christians reading this lesson may be...

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Bible: Celebrate creation and Creator

Dec 19, 2016 by

“Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy!” Our texts for the five Sundays in January are psalms. The one theme that holds these five psalms together is praise for some aspect of creation —...

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Bible: Saviors and forerunners

Dec 5, 2016 by

The story announcing the birth of John the Baptist begins in Luke 1:5. Both Zechariah the priest and his wife, Elizabeth, lived “blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.”...

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Bible: Two blessed mothers in Israel

Nov 21, 2016 by

What was Mary thinking, on what seemed like an ordinary day as she went about her household duties feeding the animals or spinning wool? How should a girl in everyday clothes and a dirty apron relate to a...

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Opinion: Prof attests: gap is good

Nov 7, 2016 by and

Before I retired, I taught in the Biblical Studies department at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Each fall term, I was assigned two sections of a required course, Encountering the Bible. Each section had...

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Bible: Paul, the restless preacher

Nov 10, 2015 by

The next four cities Paul and his companions visit — Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth — are all in what is now Greece. As they push westward, Luke demonstrates the promise the risen Jesus made to...

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Scripture versus experience

Oct 26, 2015 by

Our next three lessons cover large developments in the Jerusalem church and beyond. In Acts 12 we find Peter in prison guarded by four squads of soldiers. King Herod Agrippa, after beheading the apostle James,...

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Peter’s vision shakes the foundation

Oct 12, 2015 by

While Saul is stowed away in his native Tarsus, the action moves back to the cities of Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea in Palestine, along the Mediterranean seacoast. Peter is now center-stage. He heals Aeneas, a...

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God’s power is not for sale

Sep 28, 2015 by

Stephen’s impassioned sermon from our last lesson incited such blood-lust in his listeners that he was immediately stoned to death. In praying for forgiveness for his killers, Stephen imitates Jesus on the...

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Whose side are you on?

Sep 14, 2015 by

As he writes about the early Jerusalem church, Luke holds our attention by alternating public and private events. The Sept. 13 lesson involved internal community organizing. This lesson takes us back to the...

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Birth pangs of the Jerusalem church

Aug 31, 2015 by

If we were reading this narrative as Luke intended, we would not start halfway through Acts 4. So let’s first get situated. Acts is Luke’s second volume and follows directly after his account of Jesus’...

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Love controls the spiritual gifts

May 11, 2015 by

May 24 is Pentecost Sunday in the Christian calendar and the Festival of Weeks in the Jewish calendar. It is the second of the three pilgrimage festivals stipulated in Ex. 23:13-17, celebrating the early...

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Gifts for the common good

Apr 27, 2015 by

I hate to tell you this, but the Johannine communities of our previous lessons were not the only Christians who had church fights. Some 40 or 50 years earlier, the Apostle Paul wrote the letter we call 1...

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Short letters about church fights

Apr 13, 2015 by

When did you last read 2 John? The shortest document in our New Testament begins in the typical form of a Greco-Roman letter: the sender, the receiver and the greeting. However, the greeting is specifically...

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Jesus didn’t just look human

Mar 30, 2015 by

When I taught Bible at Messiah College, I often had students from fundamentalist churches. They certainly knew their fundamentals, one of which was “Jesus is God.” As we studied the Gospels, they never...

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Street theater, physical resurrection

Mar 16, 2015 by

When we watch a play, we focus only on the stage. We do not think of the weeks of planning or the jumble of costumes and props behind the curtains. Good choreography and good acting bring us right into the...

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