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Recent Churches & Theology Articles

These newer articles dealing with churches and theology provide plenty of food for thought and explore the difference between the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus preached about and the counterfeit religious system.

Outside the Box


It seems that an ability to question the norm, and to do something that starts out looking like it is anti-religious is a common trait in much that Jesus taught.  Several illustrations are given to show how important it is that we learn to tell the difference between religion and true spirituality.

Read more: Outside the Box

Of Diets and Truth


A very short reminder about just how simple real truth is, but how popular distortions are.

Read more: Of Diets and Truth

What is a Heretic?


A fresh look at avoiding arguments and how to distinguish truth from error in dealing with strong disagreements.

Read more: What is a Heretic?

Dave Gets Stuck into the Cults


Comparisons are made between ourselves, more respectable mainline religious organisations, and groups which even we might be inclined to see as "off", in an effort to find consistent criteria for weighing up various groups. Issues considered are: Finances, Leadership, The Second Coming, and Exclusivity.

Read more: Dave Gets Stuck into the Cults

Answers to Prayer


Popular misunderstandings about prayer are addressed in this one, which challenges the prosperity gospel and related doctrines.

Read more: Answers to Prayer

The Ten Commandments Vs The Sermon On The Mount


Ross considers how the churches treat the Sermon on the Mount like it is the "law" and the Ten Commandments" like they are the ultimate revelation of God, when exactly the opposite is true.

Read more: The Ten Commandments Vs The Sermon On The Mount

What is a Cult?


Dave looks at a comprehensive list of traits that will supposedly identify a cult. His conclusion is that any new, little group that is more zealous than the older bigger ones will be targetted, at the same time that the same traits will be overlooked when they occur inthe older bigger groups.

Read more: What is a Cult?

Evangelism that Flows Naturally


What starts as support for a more natural approach to witnessing develops into criticism of how that approach goes around in circles unless one is truly transformed by the teachings of Jesus.  All the books promise to offer the missing piece to evangelism, but continue to leave it out.  Read this to find what it is.

Read more: Evangelism that Flows Naturally

Paul and the Word of God

This Bible study from the first two chapters of Colossians reveals just how much Paul had to say about Jesus and his teachings, and how much he laboured to make those same teachings real in the lives of the people to whom he ministered.  Far from teaching another gospel, Paul was there to support the Gospel which the early Christians had already received from the teachings of the Gospel writers.

Read more: Paul and the Word of God

Vegetarianism


Four different arguments for being a vegetarian are examined in this article, in an attempt to determine how much Christian/biblical support there is for this practice.

Read more: Vegetarianism

Contradictions in the Bible


This article is arguably the best one of a collection of articles that Dave wrote over a period of two or three years, dealing with the problems he found personally with contradictions in the Bible, and the tendency for people to discard their faith altogether when confronted with them.  It includes a detailed study of the resurrection story from all four gospels, leading to a discussion of the approach taken in the Jesus Seminars in the U.S. started some thirty years ago.
[See also Mellowing Out.]

Read more: Contradictions in the Bible

The Golden Rule


A long list of illustrations to show how The Golden Rule can help us in just about every area of our lives.

Read more: The Golden Rule

Predestination


Consider for a while that everything that happens has been predestined, and that any notion of free choice is just a myth.  How would that change your life and how you think?  Does anyone, in fact, really live as though they believe that?  The case for predestination is examined in the light of all that Jesus taught and all that we experience every day.

Read more: Predestination

Infallibility


What is the connection between the words "inspired" and "infallible"? What connection is there between the concepts of infallibility and fundamentalism? Can faith in the infallibility of a person or a book actually work in opposition to faith in God? These are a few of the questions answered in this easy to read article.

Read more: Infallibility

Working Your Way to Heaven


A long overdue look at the so-called heresy of trying to "work your way to heaven".  It looks at where this teaching has come from, and where it is leading.

Read more: Working Your Way to Heaven

Nobody Has to Forgive Anyone


“The Christian Church has made a law out of grace.”  A wonky understanding of forgiveness causes immeasurable pain in human relationships, but it can even frustrate God’s offer of forgiveness.

Read more: Nobody Has to Forgive Anyone

Dappled Light


An anonymous Jesus Christian "graduate" gives his take on the invisible kingdom that we should all be trying to build, where we just shine our lights and let others change from inner motivations rather than external disciplines.

Read more: Dappled Light

Investing Talents


This one is about taking risks. We learn that the "safe" way (of respectability, lukewarmness, and orthodoxy) is almost always the most UN-safe way for Christians, and will probably lead you straight to hell. (See also The Reno Principle.)

Read more: Investing Talents

Which Came First: Epistle or Gospel?


Were the Epistles written to moderate extreme statements by Jesus in the Gospels? Or
were the Gospels written to offset misinterpretations of things that
were said in some of the Epistles? The sequence of events is very
important in determining how we should view these two sections of the
New Testament.

Read more: Which Came First: Epistle or Gospel?

Contrition


The link between contrition and humility in a passage from Isaiah leads to some insights into how little contrition (and, by implication) how little humility there is in most religion.

Read more: Contrition

Being Born Again

Being born again is more than just words or emotions.  Dave talks about being born again by the Word of God and allowing ourselves to be broken and re-shaped by the teachings of Jesus.

Read more: Being Born Again

What Must I Do to be Saved?


The history of the church has revealed many different ways for determining who is “saved” and who is not.  This article lists many of them, and discusses their strong points as well as their weak points.
[See also By This]

Read more: What Must I Do to be Saved?

Forgiveness and Bitterness


Misunderstandings about forgiveness have led to unfair judgment of God and his right to punish evil.  Because forgiveness is so fundamental to Christianity, it pays to understand how it works, and when it does NOT work.

Read more: Forgiveness and Bitterness

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth


What do we do when we find one passage of scripture apparently contradicting another passage? Does one necessarily have to cancel out the other?  Or is it possible that they could both be a part of the same truth?
[See also How to Tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys.].

Read more: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Crime Vs Sin


An introduction to the concept of substitutionary punishment.  It questions why our attitude toward the grace of God changes so dramatically when the word "crime" is mentioned.

Read more: Crime Vs Sin

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