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Does the Lord Bring Trouble? (Job 42:11)

February 1, 2017 // 87 Comments

A few readers have asked for my thoughts on this “troublesome” passage: All (Job’s) brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a [...]

Get Your Name in Paul’s Book

January 26, 2017 // 20 Comments

My new book, Stuff Jesus Never Said, has won a gold medal at the 2017 Illumination Book Awards. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. Here’s another announcement: The ebook version of Stuff Jesus Never Said is coming out in a couple of months. And if you act fast, your name could be in it! When Stuff Jesus Never [...]

How Religion Makes Us Stupid (And Jesus Makes Us Wise)

January 19, 2017 // 62 Comments

Religion is an endless car race and I have a trackside seat. I smell the fumes of religious ambition, and I hear the sickening crunch of condemnation. The religious race goes on and on, and I get to watch people slamming into the hard wall of rules and unforgiveness. I don’t particularly want to watch this, but [...]

The Three Uses of the Law

January 12, 2017 // 42 Comments

This is a pretty special year. If you hadn’t heard, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The key date if you’re thinking of popping champagne is 31 October. It was on that date in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. Actually, [...]

The Feeble Gospel

January 5, 2017 // 49 Comments

The number one reason we have a feeble church is we preach a feeble gospel. We will never have a strong church unless we preach a mighty gospel. Do you know the difference? • The feeble gospel says you better love God; the mighty gospel declares he surely loves you! • The feeble gospel preaches God can [...]

How Your Bible May Be Ruining the Gospel

December 29, 2016 // 57 Comments

My wife is a good cook. She does a Danish roast with crackling pork and all the trimmings that is second-to-none. In fact, she is preparing a sumptuous roast dinner as I write. I’m practically drooling on the keyboard. Knowing that my wife is a good cook, which of these two sentences do you prefer? 1. Camilla [...]

2016 Christmas Message from Paul

December 20, 2016 // 28 Comments

Someone once said life is what happens when you’re making other plans. This is wisdom for me because I am a planner. I begin every day, every week, and every year with a detailed plan. But I am learning to hold my plans loosely so as not to miss out on life. At the start of this year I had grand plans [...]

They Will Not Taste Death

December 8, 2016 // 27 Comments

Jesus said some of his disciples would live forever and wander the earth as ageless immortals. No, wait. Did he really? It sounds like the plot of an Indiana Jones movie but the truth is no less exciting. Here is what Jesus actually said: Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will [...]

Jesus Stands with the Accused

December 1, 2016 // 62 Comments

In Biblical times there was a law that said a man could send his wife away with a certificate of divorce if she no longer found favor in his eyes. “She grew old and wrinkled, so I traded her in for a younger model.” This was not a good law, and Jesus didn’t like it. When asked about it he basically said, [...]

When is the Second Coming?

November 24, 2016 // 48 Comments

Every so often some omen or portent sets Facebook alight with the prospect of Christ’s imminent return. “Blood moons! Aligning planets! Israel sneezed! Jesus is coming – see the signs!” I have been hearing claims like these for decades and, I have to tell you, they sound increasingly ridiculous. I [...]

An Apology to the People of New Zealand

November 18, 2016 // 45 Comments

As a New Zealander, I was deeply saddened to hear about the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit north Canterbury in the early hours of Monday morning. As a Cantabrian, I groaned with the thought of “Not again.” In times of disaster it is natural to ask why. Why do bad things keep happening? And why Canterbury? [...]

The 5 Comings of Jesus

November 17, 2016 // 16 Comments

Imagine you lived 2,000 years ago and were waiting for the coming of Jesus. You expected him to come soon but you weren’t sure where he would appear. So you studied the scriptures and listened to different teachers, but that only increased your confusion. One group, quoting the prophet Micah, said the Messiah [...]