About James M. Arlandson

James M. Arlandson, Ph.D., is lifelong learner and teacher. He has published a book: Women, Class, and Society in Early Christianity: Models from Luke-Acts (now out of print). He is a student of theology and a commentator and translator of the New Testament (soon to be posted) and essayist and college teacher. Contact: jamesmalcolmrt@hotmail.com

Bible Basics about Praise and Worship

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.

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The Biblical Way of Worship in Church

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?

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What Is the Biblical Character of Worship at Church?

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.

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Two Oaths to God in Colonial Virginia House of Burgesses

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

America’s First Government Meeting Begins with Prayer in 1619

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.

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William Penn Proclaims Liberty of Conscience in 1701 Colonial Pennsylvania

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….

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1629 Virginia Assembly Decides How to Fight Indians and Levy Taxes

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.

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Laws of Conduct and Business in 1619 Virginia Colony

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.

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Ministers’ Duties and People’s Conduct in 1619 Virginia Colony

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.

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A Brawl in Streets of Colonial Philadelphia

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

Lashes For Contempt of Government in Colonial Philadelphia

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.

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One Troubled Indentured Servant in Colonial Philadelphia

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.

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Daily life in Colonial and Early Republic America

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?

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3. Either Jesus or Muhammad: Living in Freedom or Dead Laws

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.

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6. Either Jesus or Muhammad: Their Views on Wealth

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.

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10. Either Jesus or Muhammad: Bible Prophecy

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.

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11 Marriage to Prepubescent Girls in Early Islam

Though it is difficult for Western intellectuals to believe, the Quran and early Islam assumes this was done, though it doesn’t command the practice. However, some Muslims today take this assumption and run with it. This is Part 11 in the sharia series.

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12 Polygamy in the Quran, Traditions, and Classical Sharia Law

In June 2015, the Supreme Court said it is constitutional that marriage should include two men or two women. How can society and lawmakers, logically or constitutionally, prevent other nonconformists like polygamists their chance at redefining marriage? What are the pitfalls of polygamy? This is Part 12 in the sharia series.

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Thieves, Give Muhammad a Hand!

The tragic sound of one hand clapping in Islam. The punishment of hand amputation in the Quran is still being applied today for major theft. The Bible is contrasted with the Quran on theft.

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The Truth about Islamic Jihad and Imperialism: A Timeline

This post shows Islamic jihad in a four-hundred year timeline before the pope called the First Crusade in 1095. The Church, imperfect as it was (and is), was merely responding to Islamic aggression. No jihad. No Crusades. Peace.

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