Dissecting What People Mean When They Talk About Taking the Bible Literally

Between the Perfect and the Doomed

Maybe We Should Stop Using the Word Literal

I imagine that most of us have heard people say at one point another that the Bible either should or should not be taken literally.  For many people on the more evangelical side of Christianity, it is almost a mantra to say that the Bible needs to be understood literally and that when people don’t take the Bible literally they are not being faithful to scripture. For people on the more “progressive” side of Christianity, it’s almost a mantra to say something like, “We take the Bible seriously but we take it too seriously to always take it literally.” And if we haven’t heard people talk about literal interpretation in either of these two contexts, we have probably heard people talk about it when election season comes around in the United States.  It is common for reporters to ask politicians whether or not they take the Bible literally and it is common for political…

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Is All Sin Really Equal in God’s Sight?

Between the Perfect and the Doomed

Are All Sins Equal in God's Sight

One of the most common misconceptions that evangelicals have about what the Bible teaches about sin is that all sin is equal in God’s sight. So you will often hear evangelicals say that there is no such thing as a “big sin” or a “small sin” because, in the end, sin is sin and all sin is equal in God’s sight.

Now where does this idea come from?  This idea comes from, what I believe, is a serious misunderstanding of James 2:10-11:

James 2:10-11 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.” (NIV)

In this post we’re going be asking the question, “Is all sin really equal in the sight of…

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Religious Jealousy–The Ugly Reality of Religious Sin

Study & Teach God's Word

It doesn’t take much soil for a seed to sprout. I was amazed this summer, on our trip to Eastern Canada, to drive past a multitude of trees growing out of the sides of sheer cliffs. Did some bird drop a seed in flight, which germinated and using the limited soil and nutrients grew into an almost full-size replica of other trees in normal conditions?

The seeds of sin don’t take much spiritual soil to sprout. My Uncle Forde often quoted to me an infamous poem he had learned years earlier.

“Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit reap a character. Sow a character reap a destiny.”

Acts 5:17-18 illustrates this reality. The early church was growing. Sustained by the power of the Spirit of God, the apostles and others were proclaiming the gospel. This life-altering message changed a multitude of lives…

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A Recent Article on Canaanite DNA

Between the Perfect and the Doomed

Canaanite Article

A recent journal article published in the American Journal of Human Genetics has made headlines in the last couple of days because of the implications that its findings might have for the historical accuracy of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.[1] The article is basically a report about five genomes that were sequenced from bones that are approximately 3700 years old from the Canaanite city of Sidon in modern-day Lebanon. These genomes were then compared to the genome sequencing of 99 modern-day people from Lebanon. The results, at least for the researchers, were quite surprising: modern-day people from Lebanon are mostly descended from the Canaanite population who inhabited the same area in biblical times.

For anyone who knows the history of this region, these findings should not have been surprising. However, the authors of this article presented their findings as though they should be surprising, at least to those who are familiar…

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