What does baptize literally mean? Can infants be baptized, biblically speaking? What about adults being baptized twice? Questions like these are answered point by point.
Paul begins and ends each letter with grace. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.
What are those alternatives? Only one man, inspired by the Spirit, turned the problem and solution on its head.
One approach says, “Just do it!” The other one says, “It’s already been done.”
Hint to its meaning: Think about it and take it on credit.
Several years ago, my city installed cameras at various intersections, and I got caught three times. I “miraculously” became an awesome driver!
The New Testament issues all sorts of commands and imperatives that many of us can’t live up to. What then?
What does “being justified” mean? Acquittal in law court, put right in a covenant, or both, or what?
This study looks at the Old Testament passages that Paul quotes in his writings, and the post places the references in categories.
The “Grace Revolution” must adequately deal with this topic, for a change.
How does Paul use of the Old Testament in this most important epistle? Does he put people under the Old Covenant, by referring to its Scriptures? If not, then why borrow from them in the first place?
It is never expressed against his New Covenant community (unless you get a speeding ticket).
What’s with all the wrathin’ and a-smitin’ in the Old Testament? If grace teachers don’t explore this topic, some people may accuse them of hiding unpleasant truths and focusing on feel-good, sugarcoated doctrines alone.
Yes, the first-person pronoun “I” is in that old biblical songbook (Psalms), but so is “God” without “me.” But when do we take “me” too far?
It is also called the Lord’s Table, Communion, Messianic Passover, and the Eucharist. What does it mean? How should we celebrate it?
It is commanded. But wouldn’t it be better if we praised him out of our freewill gratitude?
It is the key to the Christian life. What does the Bible say?
God’s New Covenant plan is much better than an obsolete, national, theocratic tax designed to support an obsolete, national, religious system.
Do we ignore the Old Law so we can be free to live as we wish in the New Covenant? What about Christian Sabbath keeping? What does the Bible really say?
How much continuity and discontinuity is there between the New Covenant and the Sinai Covenant? This article is designed to answer the confusion between hyper-grace on the one side and legalism on the other.
What does the Bible say about it?
How was it done? To what purpose? Worship leaders must be Bible based, or else their lyrics and mode of worship will become shallow and self-focused instead of God centered.
God relates to humankind by covenants (not dispensations). What does the term mean?
The original words are very rich. Most deeply and richly of all, we can know God personally.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and Neo-Charismatics) believe that all the gifts of God mentioned in the New Testament are for today. They flow from God and are exercised through the Spirit and grace and a yielded, eager heart when the need arises. Let’s study the ones in Rom. 12:6-8.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and New-Charismatics) believe these gifts are for today. This is an old-fashioned Bible study, word by word. line up line.
This word begins the list in Gal. 5:22-23. From it flows all the other virtues. Here is a basic word study of the noun, with application to your life.
Gal. 5:22-23 lists nine fruit of the Spirit. The second one is joy. What is it? Giddiness, or does it go deeper? Also discussed here is the differences between happiness and joy.
It is clear from the news headlines that we need peace in the world. But that can happen only when we have the peace that flows from the Spirit. Everyone on the planet needs to be born again, be filled with the Spirit, and let the peace flow outwardly.
It is also translated as “patience.” Do we have enough of it? Do you dare pray for it?
This attribute should grow in us by the Spirit of God. Will we let him produce it in us?
Have you heard this meme circulating around the American church? “The gospel does not make bad people good, but dead people alive”? Yes, it makes dead people alive, but it also makes now-living persons better.
“Faith” and “faithfulness” come from the same Greek word. They need to be sorted out by context.
It’s the opposite of being harsh and overbearing.
Without this fruit, our lives would be chaotic.
It is possible to have too much love (doormat), too much grace (licentious or antinomian) or too much law (legalism), but it is not possible to have too much wisdom.
It is very sad on a human level. But what is the answer biblically? Is there hope?
This post is a basic Bible study of key words in the Old and New Testaments, all spelled out in English. Worship leaders need to have a biblical foundation. Practical application is offered below each term.
All the key words are here, spelled out in simple English.
How is it done? Can we balance order and freedom? Should we remain passive and just let the professionals worship at church? What about a choir? What about dancing, for example?
Have you ever received a dream, possibly from God, while you were sleeping or a vision before your eyes or mind’s eyes? How would you know it came from God? How do we evaluate them?
Some teach that the Second Person of the Trinity became the Son of God at his birth. True?
What should worship look like, biblically, in a church service? What are its component parts? Is the church today imbalanced by omitting some things? Included here is a teaching about prayer and intercession, based on the Lord’s Prayer.
Do we really know what it is, or are we just guessing?
What are the Scriptures that reveal them? How are they relevant to my life today? Or have they ceased today?
An odd teaching has been circulating around the church for a long time.
Dateline: Virginia, 1652 and 1658: Despite the hardships of the earliest Virginia colonists, they still formed the House of Burgesses to discuss the running of the colony. Here are two oaths that the members had to swear. They also swore on the Bible. Continue reading
Dateline: Virginia, July 30, 1619: The Anglican Virginia colonists under Sir George Yeardley met in a plenary session to invoke God’s blessing and set out basic rules. They met in the choir of the church. This is the first official government assembly. These men were not greedy, Indian-murdering atheists.
Church history is a wide net that catches not just the famous preachers and theologians and the political reactions they caused. Here is an English-American gentleman who soon became a church warden. What did they do exactly?
Dateline: 1696 to 1763, Virginia. Ten clergymen signed a key document. These historical primary documents tell the story of the gradual, great “divorce.”
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1683: The kings and parliament in the seventeenth century fought for political power. Who would win? How does this struggle relate to new-world America?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 28 Oct 1701: Penn offers this new charter. What about religious liberty in the first article? How should the government be organized? Churches? Continue reading
Dateline: Philadelphia, 28 Oct 1701: William Penn, Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania and territories, says that men are happiest when they can follow their conscience, particularly liberty of religion. Except for one class of citizens….
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1707-1708. This is about the Indians of Pennsylvania. What was one of the strong motives for Christians to settle there?
Dateline: Philadelphia: 22 Apr 1701. It is best to lead by example in the Christian faith.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1694. Various clans of Indians meet in Philadelphia to discuss their friendship and their fears. The English say they want peace so they can turn their attention against their real enemy—who?
Dateline: Virginia, 1676/7: After the troubles of Bacon’s Rebellion, the Queen of the Pamunkey Natives asks for restoration of her royal position, property and rights.
Dateline: Virginia, 1663. Some Indians used to steal livestock and crops from the English plantation settlers. Here’s how the authorities handled it. Short post of primary source. Continue reading
Dateline: Ft. Stanwix, New York, 5 Nov 1768. Sir William Johnson, Baronet, appointed by George III, assures the native chiefs that borders would not be crossed. Did the deed hold? Primary source. Continue reading
Dateline: Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, 18 October 1770. Land is ceded to the Cherokee Nation by this treaty. What is so interesting about it, in addition to the history, is the Indian marks or signatures reproduced here. Primary source!
Dateline: Virginia, June 3, 1644: Not afraid to declare war, these Anglican colonists are at war yet again with the Natives.
Dateline: Virginia, 16 October 1629: After the English were massacred in 1622, the General Assembly (in this specific meeting) decides not to hold back against the Natives. Plus, how does one pay for the daily business of governing? Is church attendance required? These Anglicans decide.
Dateline, Virginia: 1654. The earliest Anglican settlers were harassed by the Natives on certain occasions. How would the earliest Americans respond? Continue reading
Dateline: 10 May 1693, Philadelphia. A small clan of Indians of the upper part of the Schuylkill River came into Philadelphia to pay their respects to Benjamin Fletcher, who was appointed by King William and Queen Mary to be Governor over Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Dateline Virginia: 1 Aug. 1619: His Majesty’s Council in Virginia enacted these laws, which mixed civil law and religious behavior. Converting Indians was valid., and so was offering them a college education in the Christian religion, if they wanted it.
Dateline: Jamestown, 4 Aug. 1619: This is the sixth official government meeting in American history. These Anglicans were expected to attend church with their guns and swords ready. They had to treat Natives fairly, but not alone–together and provide uniform treatment.
Dateline: Virginia, 1619-1663. Were the Virginia colonists secular and anti-religious? Here are their values and ideas about the Christian religion and doing ministry. What about outreach to the Native Indians?
Dateline: Virginia, 1696. This Act of the Assembly gives the answer. Short primary source for American history teachers and students.
Dateline: Virginia, 1755. How did the Lt. Gov., Council and General Assembly deal with the “act of God”? Short primary source for American history teachers and students.
Dateline: Virginia, 1758. Are the Governor, Council and General Assembly heartless or merciful in difficult times? Read the (short) Act to find out.
Dateline: Virginia, 1751. This Act of the House of Burgesses tells us. Primary source for teachers of American history on all levels and students.
Dateline: Virginia, 1756 to 1759. The Bishop stands up for the colonial clergy when the Virginians were depriving them of their set salary. Would the Virginians even care?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 21 May 1701. Gov. William Penn, who was a skeptical Quaker about the supernatural elements in Christianity, hears a strange tale. What did he do?
Dateline: in Chester Co., PA, 1689, 1695: Richard Buffington was a prominent member in the community, often serving on the jury and passing over and receiving deeds (land records). His wife Anne was not quite as stable or upstanding.
Dateline: 1683/4 Philadelphia: Did the Quakers show the way on how to deal with accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth century America?
Dateline Virginia, 1676/7: This post shows the Grand Assembly’s perspective about the revolt. Primary source offered here.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1693. Would Quaker-dominated Philadelphia contribute to their ransom money or turn isolationist?
Dateline: Jamestowne, 1666, and Philadelphia, 1703-04: Manuel (last name unmentioned) and Antonio Garcia were mulattoes who made their appeals to two colonial government councils and won. .
Dateline: Philadelphia, 11 July 1693. Black slaves met together in Philadelphia on the first day (Sunday) of the week and apparently disturbed the peace. How did the Quakers clamp down?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1707. What did happen to the two thieves?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1687-1688. The facts are basic and short. The Council took action.
Dateline: 25 September 1703: Servant John Noyse stole a watch, etc. and had to be punished. But how? This short primary source is perfect for students and teachers and other researchers. Continue reading
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1704 to 1705. The description of corruption and vices that these new laws assume is startling. How would the Quakers deal with the vice?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1685 What was the result of the trial?
Dateline, Sussex County and Philadelphia: 1704. This happened rarely, but here is a sad but true case. How would these Bible-following Christians handle it?
Dateline: 1681-1688, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Some people behaved back then much as they do today. But these men were a small number, so let’s not overstate things.
Dateline: Virginia, 20 February 1745: The Executive of the Virginia Colony delivers a speech to support George II over the so-called Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charles. The title of this post is taken from words in the speech.
Dateline: Virginia, 1663. What happens when someone hangs out with Quakers? This brief post explains, in part, why the constitutional Founders adopted the First and Sixth Amendments 120 years later: Freedom of religion and no religious test.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 29 and 31 January 1704: What was to be done when the couple were already married?
In this short post, women folk were rare in 1624, so they had the upper hand in the marriage contract. They were betrothed to two or more men—usually two—by verbal agreement. They invoke the majesty of God for this new rule.
Dateline, Virginia, 1663 to 1666. The colony is growing, and they had to improve things to make money. Improve? Too much nakedness or inadequate clothing. Wolves had to be killed to protect livestock. Primary sources here. Great for teachers and students.
Dateline: 1662, Virginia. Would you get on your knees to beg for forgiveness in the Council chamber? Primary sources here. Great for students and teachers of history.
Dateline: 1666 and 1667. One had to take certain steps to become a citizen, including belonging to the right religion and having a trade. Continue reading
Dateline Virginia, March 1661/2: A husband and wife with their two servants get lashes for striking the High Sheriff. It’s one symptom of a dysfunctional family. Continue reading
Dateline Virginia: Tuesday, August 3, 1619. The earliest colonists, borrowing their customs and laws from England, did not mess around with insubordination from the lower classes. Continue reading
It is startling what they had to go through. How did the churches fare?
Dateline: Virginia, 1623/24: This is a letter written by the Governor, Council, and Assembly of Burgesses to King James I, to reply to Capt. Nathaniel Butler’s “Unmasking of Virginia.” How did the churches fare?
Dateline: 1623/4, Virginia: 29 Anglican Virginians signed this document. The earliest settlers on the American shores suffered greatly in the first twelve years. What follows is their entire firsthand account of their deadly ordeal. How did the churches fair? Continue reading
Dateline: Philadelphia: 26 Jan. 1684 and 12 Feb 1698: They actually enacted laws to set up the public school of Philadelphia, with money. Girls could attend, and poor children could go for gratis. But was the school subsidized by tax payers?
Dateline: 1704: A brawl broke out in the streets of Philadelphia on the night of 1 Nov 1704. Here is the account from the Minutes of the Provincial Council. By now, a few people of church denominations other than Quakers moved into the city. Where’s the City of Brotherly Love? Continue reading
Dateline: Philadelphia, 10 Feb 1698. Or at least that’s what a letter from England claimed. How would the Philadelphia Council reply?
Dateline: 1683 to 1700, Pennsylvania and West Jersey. The head of household served in the highest level of government of the Province of Pennsylvania, but his own really bad behavior brought him down.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1700. What she do? Marry her “rapist”? Did she love him and claim rape to marry him? Or did she want to save his life by marriage to him?
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1686-1688: What happened when Luke Watson had an affair with his brother-in-law’s unnamed servant girl?
The Richardsons, even though one of them served in the highest level of Pennsylvania’s Provincial Government, were very dysfunctional. These records go from 1688 to 1689 in Philadelphia, but the murder happened in Kent County, (West) New Jersey.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1688: Peter Stewart was a yeoman who was accused of stealing a lot of money and other valuables from John Wickham. But Wickham was no angel, either. This short post reveals what daily life was like at our founding—or at least the daily life of some people.
Dateline: Chester County, Philadelphia, 1689: What did the court conclude about widow Anne Richards’ two children who were born out of wedlock?
Dateline: Chester Co. PA, 1688-90: She was used by a certain John Bradshaw and then mistreated by her father-in-law in a sexual way. How would the Quakers handle this case?
Dateline: Chester County, PA, 1683: Our earliest (Christian) Founders had to decide on how they would punish people—free or indentured—who showed contempt for the government and its authority. In the following case, they decided on a standard punishment for the times.
Dateline: Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1685-88: Samuel Rowland was most likely an indentured servant, and the court records show him either in trouble or more often the cause of it. Life wasn’t paradise in a growing and early Quaker community in Pennsylvania.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1684-85: This time the combination and interaction turned out bad.
Dateline: Chester County, outside Philadelphia, in 1689: I don’t know, but it looks like it’s the first one in the Quaker community.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1698: Peter Baynton abandoned his wife and went back to England, where he got married. He’s now looking to get more of his estate in Philadelphia and bring it back into his possession.
Dateline: 1693 to 1694, Philadelphia. The earliest Americans, even peaceful Quakers, supported the death penalty—that’s for sure.
Dateline: Philadelphia: 1683 to 1689: We look at the records of a devout Christian and carpenter. Church history is more than just famous preachers and theologians. It encompasses everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
Dateline: Pennsylvania: 1755-1814. Church history is more than just famous preachers and theologians. It encompasses everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. This family inspires me. Would I be this courageous to fight in a war and be a pioneer into new territory?
Church history goes wider than the famous theologians and preachers and political reactions. It embraces the common people.
He was born in 1778 and died after 1828. He attended a biracial church. These primary, old, handwritten documents say he lived a remarkable life and deserves our honor. Church history is more than just famous people.
Dateline: Edgefield County, South Carolina, 1810-1847. This is a list of church members who attended Bethany Baptist Church. Both slaves and owners went to the same Christian community. Blacks and whites attended church together.
After my mother died in 1994, I found her mother’s handwritten family history. It pointed me to the right states, counties and dates for her grandparents, who lived before and after the Civil War (1861-1865)–the Great Divide.
I’m interested in history, no matter where it leads. Call it church history, since these people claimed Christianity. This post goes from 1790-1850
These families feed into the Wilbourn lines and go from 1703 to 1854. But this post goes wider than just family history. It is now about American church history, since everyone in this post claimed Christianity. A few were church wardens.
Faith, faithful and believing come from the same Greek word group. Let’s learn about them together in simple English.
Historians of the monarchs of Europe always include several genealogical tables. Here are some of them for your convenience. Further, each monarch massively influenced influenced the Western European church, and the church influenced them. Continue reading
To spell out the differences between the two persons is to clarify the differences between Christianity and Islam. The points are real and relevant today.
The old laws need to be studied today because they’re still being practiced right now.
Here are the reasons why no one should convert to Islam, which are not placed in any particular order.
Thanks to the worldwide web, Islam has been exposed, at long last, as oppressive and harsh, with countless numbers of harmful sharia laws and derivative and confused theology in the Quran.
It is what made this country great. Max Weber’s thesis recently got a significant boost in the Philippines. Look at the evidence in this post.
The evidence is clear from the Quran itself and Muhammad’s life.
It may seem strange to sweet Westerners and others to contrast the two, but the evidence says you cannot have both in an unholy marriage. We must face those facts. They are different–even opposites–in so many ways.
The references and the totals that are based on them are close approximations. It goes with Part One in the series: Either Jesus or Muhammad.
Lovely and tolerant Westerners and others may not like to see the stark differences between the Quran and New Testament, but these well-intentioned people must, anyway. They cannot have both mixed together. What is the answer to that question?
God loves people, but sometimes their beliefs are short-sighted. They think all religions are the same. They are not. People have to choose between Jesus or Muhammad, without mixture. Here are differences that impact our practical living.
Does Muhammad fulfill and complete the mission and ministry of Jesus? The Quran answers with an emphatic yes. It is a serious challenge. No mixture here. Choose one or the other, but not both. Continue reading
This post may be the most surprising one in the series that contrasts Jesus with Muhammad. Here the differences are once again so huge that you cannot have both mixed together.
Both Jesus and Muhammad said that we should give to the poor (and so do most world religions). But beyond this basic generosity, they had very different attitudes and policies on money. Let’s not pretend those differences don’t exist. They do.
Sleepy, sweet Westerners and others must understand the differences. Here are more differences which produce all sorts of repercussions today. The differences are so massive that they are incompatible.
I love tolerance, and so do you. But the intolerance that leads to violence comes from one side only. Why is that? Two sample verses in the New Testament and the Quran are analyzed here. Either / Or. Not both.
As noted throughout this series, the differences are huge–too big to wed together in an unholy mixture. You must choose one or the other, not both.
There is a meme going around that Muhammad is in the Hebrew Bible (old Testament). But the reference is obscure and out of context. In contrast, the New Testament authors were careful to note numerous prophecies that Jesus fulfills. The differences are huge and unbridgeable. Choose one or the other, but not both together.
Should you take the plunge? I remember hearing an interview on the radio with a Muslim, a few years ago.
This article is Part 1 in the sharia series.
This articles gives the basics. Let’s define what it is before we critique it. This article is Part 2 in the sharia series.
They are impossible to separate. This article is Part 3 in the sharia series.
Jihad means struggle, sometimes personal, other times military. Qital means only military war and appears more often in the Quran than does jihad. This article is Part 4 in the series on sharia.
There are some positive verses in the Quran about the treatment and even release of slaves, but there are also some negative ones. This article is Part 5 in the sharia series.
Simply stated, there is none. This article is Part 6 in the sharia series.
There is no free speech about religion in Islam, and barely any in political Islam. This is Part 7 in the sharia series.