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Proper interpretation is the key to transforming relationships and societies to the glory of God.
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Baltimorean Declares War on Literalism, Sectarianism, and Divorce - cepublishing's column on Newsvine

Baltimorean Declares War on Literalism, Sectarianism, and Divorce - cepublishing's column on Newsvine | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it

Today, on the anniversary of the United States’ declaration of war in 1812, a Baltimore author is calling on Christians to go to war against biblical literalism, Protestant sectarianism, and the breakdown of marriage. The author, Mr. Martin Pierce, presents plans to defeat these evils in his newly published book, Return to Genesis: What Ancient Poetry Reveals About Christ, the Church, and the Kingdom.

Martin Pierce's insight:

Since my declaration of war on biblical literalism will be questionable to some, let me explain...

 

Nowhere does the Bible tell us to try to take its words literally. In fact, that would be self-defeating since there's so much symbolism in the Bible! Jesus rebuked Nicodemus, a "teacher of Israel," for not understanding metaphors (John 3). Jesus taught in the symbolic language of parables more than He taught in literal language.

 

Biblical literalists boast of taking the Bible literally. However, all of us, literalists included, take some Bible passages literally and others figuratively. Should we make these decisions by bringing a pre-existing bias to the table? NO! Instead, we should let the Holy Spirit speak through the context of each Scripture passage to reveal the intended meaning.

 

In Return to Genesis, I point out many errors that have resulted from biblical literalism. One of the worst is the insistence that the creation days in Genesis 1 could only have been 24-hour days. Why - because God is incapable of understanding any other kind of day, even at a time when neither the Sun nor humans had been created?

 

So, yes, I do take the Bible with the utmost seriousness. For that reason, because I respect God's Word and how it is written, I reject the bias known as biblical literalism.

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The Truth About Tithes and Offerings

The Truth About Tithes and Offerings | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
This is a Twitter post, which means I am only posting tweets from my Twitter account, @RTGbook. I haven’t always had the greatest experiences in terms of how tithes and offerings were solicited and later used by ministers.
Martin Pierce's insight:

We need to start with sound teachings from the Bible when we think about to whom we should give our offerings, and how much to give.

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Poverty: Is the Church on the Wrong Side?

Poverty: Is the Church on the Wrong Side? | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
The blog's gotten pretty political lately, so let me steer the conversation back to something I tackled very early in this site's life: What role, if any, do Christians have in a secular, often cor...
Martin Pierce's insight:

Biblical Christianity involves true concern and care for the poor. There's no way around it for anyone who claims to take the Bible seriously.

 

This is a great article. I couldn't have said it better. Here are some quotes:

 

From the prophets and the psalms to the gospels and the epistles, it is: God cares deeply for the poor and oppressed. In Isaiah and Amos, God rejects his followers’ worship practices because they are done without any concern for his justice or righteousness, which are virtues connected time and again with treatment of the poor and needy. When Jesus says who will be in and out of his kingdom, what are the criteria? How people treated the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the imprisoned, etc. What does James consider true and spotless religion? Taking care of orphans and widows. What was the one instruction the Jerusalem church gave to Paul as he went to evangelize the Gentiles? Remember the poor.

 

vangelical Christians have largely limited their concern with righteousness and justice to their opposition to abortion and gay marriage. - Jay Howard


We are not to stand around, hands folded, waiting for shalom to arrive. We are workers in God’s cause, his peace-workers. The missio Dei is our mission. - Nicholas Wolterstorff


Please read the entire article for yourself, and pray about what you can do.

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The Just Man: Jesus and Plato’s Republic

The Just Man: Jesus and Plato’s Republic | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Socrates Teaching Pericles There’s a part of Plato’s Republic (c. 380 BC) which is fascinating because it resembles a prophecy about Jesus.
Martin Pierce's insight:

Jesus in His incarnated life on earth not only matched the expectation that the Hebrew prophets had of the suffering Messiah, He also was the kind of "just man" that Plato and other Greeks might have anticipated.

 

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Marginal Christianity: My Problem With the Bible

Marginal Christianity: My Problem With the Bible | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Martin Pierce's insight:

We first-worlders have a lot of nerve if we think we're like poor Lazarus, or like the "poor" whom Jesus proclaimed to be blessed.

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The world's most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed — and no one cares

The world's most ancient Christian communities are being destroyed — and no one cares | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Christians in the Middle East have been the victims of pogroms and persecution. Where's the outrage in the West?
Martin Pierce's insight:

Apparently, there's no money to be made in speaking out for innocent victims, even if they are fellow Christians.

 

Are the Christian leaders you follow, respect, or admire speaking out against this? If not, you might want to direct their attention to it.

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What do we mean by ‘The Kingdom of God?’ « Word Made Flesh

Martin Pierce's insight:

This is a good explanation of the kingdom of God. For what it's worth, I don't see anything that I disagree with here.

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The Difference Between the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom

Os Hillman explains the difference between seeing the world from the perspective of the gospel of salvation vs. gospel of the Kingdom. He tells us why this matters.
Martin Pierce's insight:

There is only one true gospel, and that gospel says Jesus is the Lord of all. This is the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus commanded us to preach. It's the same gospel that the early Christians preached. Roman ceasers commanded that Christians be killed because they preached the supremacy another King - King Jesus.

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My Belief Statement as Poetry

My Belief Statement as Poetry | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
I created a one-sentence belief statement which, despite the brevity, requires some explanation. You can see it on the sidebar under my picture. This statement encapsulates some of my most cherished beliefs.
Martin Pierce's insight:

This is my one-sentence statement of beliefs. What Christian doctrines do you emphasize the most?

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Dispensationalism: A Basis for Ecclesiastical Separation

Martin Pierce's insight:

Maybe it's just me, but I found this article confusing since the writer hardly makes his own position clear. He seems to be pro-dispensationalist, yet the information is mostly anti-dispensationalist. Regardless, I agree with Carnell's critique.

 

I see it now. The key to understanding this is to know that Oats thinks separatism is a wonderful thing, and that unity is a very bad thing.

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how has our Christian society changed in the last millenium?

how has our Christian society changed in the last millenium? | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
I happen to be reading an enjoyable little book in the 'brief history' series, A brief history of life in the middle ages by Martyn Whittock. His focus is England, and he covers a period from aroun...
Martin Pierce's insight:

This is mostly a history lesson on medieval Christianity, with a twist at the end.

 

It's easy to credit secular governments. Christian Europe didn't have to deal with people of other races and religions, except from a distance. That's why that form of Christendom had to die. Secular governments of the West have also been able to build on a Christian ethical heritage, and on higher levels of wealth and education. In the "Christendom" era, the vast majority knew very little about the Bible. We must also take into account that life in medieval and ancient times was brutish and quite paganistic.

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Sponsoring Works | Center For A Just Society

Christianity Today features a long article on sponsoring children by Bruce Wydick, an economist and professor at the University of San Francisco (click here
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Marcus Borg and the Language of the Bible

Marcus Borg and the Language of the Bible | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Martin Pierce's insight:

"...religious fundamentalists... anachronistically impose this Enlightenment perspective on the Bible."

 

This is the crux of the problem with Christian Fundamentalism and biblical literalism. True premoderns wouldn't be as contentious and rigid as the fundamentalists of any religious faith. (My blog is titled, PremodernWisdom.org).

 

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John Calvin: theocrat or socialist?

John Calvin: theocrat or socialist? | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
I have two words for you ... John Calvin. A name with which to conjure. What do we make of Calvin, whose 500th anniversary of his birth occurred in July 2009, just a few months after I started this...
Martin Pierce's insight:

With so many Christians today calling themselves followers of Calvin ("Calvinists"), it's important that we understand who John Calvin was and what he really believed.

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The Prodigal Sons

The Prodigal Sons | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
The prodigal son parable provides an apt lesson as we strive to craft modern social policies.

Via Pippa Davies @PippaDavies , God Is.
Martin Pierce's insight:

Self-righteous moralizing does not produce the righteousness of God. Even the greatest among us needs to be humble.

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Pippa Davies @PippaDavies 's curator insight, February 18, 11:21 AM

The Bible parable is shared again from a modern perspective.

God Is.'s curator insight, February 19, 10:36 PM

 Very insightful. Need to ponder on it...

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“We Only Do Exegesis” (Except When We Read Things Into the Bible)

“We Only Do Exegesis” (Except When We Read Things Into the Bible) | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Should Christians Do Eisegesis? Bible interpretation is one of my favorite topics. If you know that the Bible is worth your time (and it definitely is), it’s also worth your time to learn about how best to interpret the Bible.
Martin Pierce's insight:

We should think carefully before accusing someone else of having read something into the Bible. We should humbly examine ourselves because we all read things into the Bible sometimes.

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Rebuttal to Dispensational Premillennialism | Christian Journal .org

Rebuttal to Dispensational Premillennialism | Christian Journal .org | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
most would be surprised to discover that the great figures of the Christian faith, such as Athanasius, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, wrote absolutely
Martin Pierce's insight:

Dispensation is a diversion from the true Christian faith, which knew nothing of its false doctrines prior to the 1830s. Dispensationalism led Christians to retreat from culture and politics by spiritualizing the kingdom of God and even giving it to nonbelievers - the Jews. The Church is not Israel, say Dispensationalists, but the Jews are the Israel of God.

 

If you were to ask me what is the root cause of the problems in Evangelicalism today, I would reply that it is Dispensationalism.

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The ABC3s of Miscellany: The Righteous or Just Man in Plato

Martin Pierce's insight:

Interesting... Plato foresaw that a just man would prove that he was just by suffering, even to the point of death on a cross.

 

I have written about this topic myself at http://www.premodernwisdom.org/christianity/apologetics/the-just-man-jesus-and-platos-republic/

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The Flip Side: God’s Response to Evil

The Flip Side: God’s Response to Evil | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it

One of the greatest obstacles to belief in God is the problem of human evil. It is often asked: If God is so good, how can He permit so much evil in the world?

Martin Pierce's insight:

All Christians have a role in responding to evil in the world, even if it is only to pray. One man can't expose and overcome all the evil in the world, even if that man is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We have the Spirit of Jesus, however, to help us overcome evil with good.

 

This post comes from my own blog. I believe it can help you to better understand the gospel.

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The Top Ten Lies That Satan Uses to Discourage Christians

The Top Ten Lies That Satan Uses to Discourage Christians | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Every day, each of us is tempted to become discouraged over one thing or another. Discouragement is contrary to the will of God because He wants us to be joyful in all circumstances (Phil. 4:4). Also, discouragement is the opposite of faith in God.
Martin Pierce's insight:

This is one of my own posts. We all need to know how to deal with discouraging thoughts. If you find this helpful, please share it with others!

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The Goal of the Church – On Earth as it is in Heaven

The Goal of the Church – On Earth as it is in Heaven | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Martin Pierce's insight:

This should be a critical verse for Christians since it's in the middle of the Lord's prayer, but most of us don't take this seriously.

 

Think about it: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
What does this mean to you?

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Book Reviews | Review: Apostles Of Reason | The Gospel Coalition

Book Reviews | Review: Apostles Of Reason | The Gospel Coalition | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
Martin Pierce's insight:

Albert Mohler Jr. on Molly Worthen's critique of evangelicalism. I agree that evangelicals can stand to do a better job of reconciling faith with reason.

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Incest is “holy in God’s sight”?: a Westminster West grad gets consistent with his R2K

Incest is “holy in God’s sight”?: a Westminster West grad gets consistent with his R2K | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
The article below is written by my missionary friend Frank Brito. He brought this instance of radical-two-kingdoms ethics to my attention and I asked him to write it up for us. He obliged.
Martin Pierce's insight:

This article explains why we must reject "New Covenant Theology." We need to respect the Old Testament, including the Law.

 

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Prophecy and the Fear of God | Blog & Mablog

Prophecy and the Fear of God | Blog & Mablog | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
A few weeks ago, I was on a radio broadcast in the UK with Adrian Warnock, which I believe I told you about at the time.
Martin Pierce's insight:

On the charismatic movement, and the problem with saying, "Thus says the Lord..."

 

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Economics of ending poverty: 0.7% of GNI is all it takes

Economics of ending poverty: 0.7% of GNI is all it takes | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
The Economics of Ending Poverty
The following article is also a social science high school lesson that you are welcome to use.

Instructions: Please read the f
Martin Pierce's insight:

Governments have taken the lead in getting nations entangled in wars. So it makes sense that they should instead take the lead to eliminate poverty, which will lead to more stability and peace. We can shift some funds from defense spending to poverty alleviation, not to feed the poor but to help them feed themselves.

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Humour in the Bible: Book 6 Joshua: Rahab and the bungling spies

Humour in the Bible: Book 6 Joshua: Rahab and the bungling spies | Biblical Christianity | Scoop.it
The little story, in Joshua 2, of Rahab and the clueless pair of young Israelite would be spies, provided Spenser (( F. Scott Spencer “Those Riotous – Yet Righteous – Foremothers of Jesus: Exploring Matthew’s Comic Genealogy.” In Are we amused?
Martin Pierce's insight:

You'd better keep this business of ours a secret!

 

This is hilarious interpretation.

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