*Bible Interpretation - Literal vs. Figurative*

Defense of Christianity Main portal to articles about this topic
Homeschool — the new Holy War The issue of homeschooling has become a battleground in the church today. Each side has taken positions that can divide the body of Christ.
Hell Is hell really eternal torture? Would a loving God send an innocent person there?

I have always been troubled with the view of hell that it is eternal torture by God of those who may not have been aware that he would punish them in this way. This article provides an alternate model based on the Bible.
Astrology and Horoscopes Astrology is popular in our modern society. Newspapers print your daily horoscope, and people ask what sign you are. But what does the Christian faith and the Bible teach about astrology?
Astrology, the power behind it I am amazed at how many people believe in Astrology without having considered its truth-claims. I never once in all my years studying and practicing Astrology, heard anyone ever mention the topics of how it worked or whether it was true.
Biblical Interpretation How are we to interpret scripture? Guidelines.
Literal vs. Figurative There are clearly many figurative passages in the Bible. But how are we to know which passages are to be interpreted literally and which figuratively?
The Bible The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God — but it is not the only word of God
The God of the Old Testament You often hear critics of Christianity saying the God of the Old Testament is a different God than the God of the New Testament — that this Old Testament God is mean-spirited and vindictive, but that the New Testament God is merciful and loving.
Moral Law in a Perfect World Instead of wondering what kind of moral rule we should impose on all the wicked, depraved, ungodly people of today's world why not consider a world in which everyone is holy and saintly?
One Apostolic Church Main portal to articles about this topic. My model for a new kind of church:
  • not Protestant (because it isn't based on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide)
  • not Catholic (because it rejects apostolic succession, the priesthood, and the hierarchy of bishops)
Christian authority is apostolic truth from the Bible, Early Church Fathers, and early Church Councils.
The Stages of God's Election From the Bible: both God and man have roles in the salvation process.
Paul's Thorn in the Flesh What was Paul's thorn in the flesh?
Home Bible Community A denomination based on radical changes to the traditional church model as well as important differences with the House Church model.
The House Church    The House Church | Discussion Meetings | House Church Movement

I support the home church movement, but I'm unwilling to say the home church model is the best, or that it is the only model endorsed by the Bible.
To Spank or Not Whether or not parents should spank their children is a very volatile issue and raises strong feelings on both sides.
Integrating Psychology and Christianity The key question is whether or not psychology is based on a world view which opposes the essentials of the Christian faith. I explore the issue of integrating psychology and Christianity.
The "Word-Faith" Teaching This teaching is unbiblical.
Calvinism I highlight the many biblical passages which contradict the doctrines of Calvinism.
Faith Alone (Sola Fide) Faith only? It's a foundational doctrine of Protestant denominations, but the Bible clearly teaches we are not saved by faith alone.

Martin Luther, the first Protestant "Reformer," invented the doctrine of Sola Fide (faith alone) but there are a few obvious problems with it.
Saved by Works Do works have a role in salvation? The Bible says yes!
Faith vs. Works in Romans Protestants commonly cite verses from Paul's letter to the Romans as "proof" for their doctrines of salvation. Even Martin Luther used this letter to "prove" his doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola fide). But alas, his copy of this letter must have been missing some important verses!

I highlight passages he ignored and that many Protestants still ignore even today.
Jericho Is Genocide Moral?

What really happened when the Israelites massacred everyone in Jericho? Can God command us to commit mortal sin? In defending the truthfulness of the Bible, Christians often justify the genocide of Jericho.
Circumcision Against Circumcision

God would certainly never command such a barbaric procedure.
The Early Church Which is the "True" Church?
How Are We Saved? I was discussing with some Southern Baptists whether or not non-Christians can be saved; they were very uncomfortable with this topic. They wanted to believe it was possible but were repeatedly and emphatically taught that only Christians can be saved.
Soul & Spirit Controversies Two controversies of the soul.
How to know what is true In my many years as a Christian I encountered many truth-claims.
Non-essential Doctrines Various Christian denominations and faith communities have different opinions and beliefs about many doctrines and practices.
Christian Philosophy Various Christian topics.
One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church Jesus clearly established a church, a unified church, a holy church, the apostolic church. I discuss this using quotations from the Bible.
Links for Jehovah's Witnesses These links illustrate that the Watchtower Society proclaims a false gospel — one that is powerless to save.
Links for followers of the Word-Faith movement These links illustrate that the Word-Faith movement is not based on sound principles of interpretation.
Heretical Doctrines I list a few.
Gay Marriage What does the Bible say about this?
Homosexuality What the Bible has to say
Abortion Should it be legal? Is it immoral?
My Videos Text of my several videos
The Gospel The Torture View vs. My View.
Charismatic I examine the implications of the Charismatic view of Christian life.
Who did the Jews think Jesus was? It is very significant when a rabbi identifies various Old Testament prophecies as the Messiah since Jews who reject Jesus as the Messiah typically insist these prophecies do not refer to the Messiah.
Sola Scriptura (Bible Only) Clearly, with only a moments reflection: Sola Scriptura requires a few prerequisites from outside the Bible.
Bishop Timothy What was the gift given to Timothy by the laying on of hands of the bishops which he is to not neglect?
Bishops The Role of Bishops in the Church
Sacraments The sacraments are rites in which Jesus imparts blessing to those who participate with faith.
Tradition The topic of tradition is much misunderstood.
Words vs. Reality Are we to believe in words or in the truths behind the words, the reality behind the words? It's a subtle distinction I admit; perhaps just a small point.
Modern Morality for All Ages The modern moral law should be applied to Old Testament times and to Christendom. We should not excuse immoral behavior just because it happened in a previous age.
Soul vs. Matter Life exists only in the spiritual realm; the universe is inert.
The Church What it is; who leads it
The word "all" Many passages in the Bible use the word "all" to mean "all of a kind". Unfortunately, Christians interpret the word "all" to refer to all of every kind when it suits them even when it is easy to demonstrate that this is not what the writer intended.
Heap coals of fire Many interpret the phrase "heap coals of fire on the head" as figurative and give it all sorts of wacky meanings
The Magi Who were they?
Charismatic (1 Corinthians 14) The speaking in tongues as practiced by charismatics is not a language any more than a baby crying is a language. There is no vocabulary, no grammar, no syntax, no communication of ideas.
God curses the serpent Eve and Mary — enemies of Satan
The word "flesh" The word "flesh" in the New Testament has many meanings.