Category Archives: Topics

Why Communication is Hard

Hearing what someone says does not always mean that you will interpret them correctly.

The same principle often applies when reading the Bible (… or being married, for that matter).

Read the results of the survey: Half of Americans would not be able to tell that a Briton is calling them an idiot.

Did Abraham Receive the Call to Go to Canaan While in Haran, or in Ur?

Answering this question is actually a fairly easy one to tackle. But there are two ways to go about it, and each way gives us a different picture of what the biblical writer is trying to do in Genesis.

In Genesis 11:26-32, we get the story about Terah, the father of Abraham (whose name was slightly different at this point, “Abram.”):

When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 
Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. 
Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran (Genesis 11:26-32 ESV).

In summary, Abraham’s family moves from the land of Ur (in modern day Iraq), to Haran (in modern day Turkey), an area about half-way along the journey, across the Fertile Crescent, well short of reaching Canaan.

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Do You Really Want Jeremiah 29:11 to Be YOUR “Life Verse?”

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

It is a great Bible verse. But when I see it on bumper stickers, and friends tell me it is their “life verse,” I often wonder: Do those friends even know what Jeremiah had in mind when he wrote that verse, so many years ago?

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Virtual Reality Church

Comedian John Crist is a funny guy, but he hits really close to home on this video. Comedy can be prophetic. Ouch.

Assorted Best of 2018 Blog Posts

As a way of ending off the year, I thought I would highlight some of the year’s best Internet blog posts and stories, that offer thoughtful reflections that inform Christian faith and practice. This is meant to supplement a “Best of Summer 2018” Veracity posting, from a few months ago (a lot has happened this year in the world of theology!). Some posts are Bible “geeky,” some deal with contemporary challenges to the Gospel, some are on church history, and nearly all I had to say, “I need to come back to that one, and give it more thought!” Bearing all of that in mind, here is my list of the rest of the best blog posts and stories of 2018:

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